Saturday, 29 October 2011

Paying For Exam Fees

Last week while I was in Helsinki I spontaneously booked a trip to Prague. I arrived a couple of hours ago and despite the delayed flight it all seemed to be going well. I had taken out money, I had found the way to my hostel; I was feeling pretty good. My tram was coming and I boarded only for the person in front of me to stop in the middle of the door way so that I couldn't get through. Frustration and puzzlement at douchbaggery is a big distraction. When I finally get through the lady next to me asks me to check my belongings and sure enough my wallet was gone.

At this stage the pickpockters had left the tram, I've missed my stop and I could feel myself shaking. I think about what was in that wallet. Cash, about the equivalent of $AUD300, debit card, travel card and all of my methods of identification minus my passport thankfully (but how will I get student discounts now?). The cash I know I'm never going to get back so I forget about that. The time is now for damage control. I run to my hostel and turn up to the reception crying, a little bit pathetic yes but it was a bit overwhelming. The owner was the sweetest man, without asking anything (I didn't even tell him I was a guest there) he sat me in front of a computer to help me sort my shit out.

My advice for pretty much everything is to push yourself but to know your limit. My limit is trying to call home without phone credit. There was no way I could do this without help. By this stage I'm on facebook talking to one friend back in Copenhagen and another friend in Melbourne, asking the former to buy me phone credit and the latter to call my parents to ask them to call me. Two hours and a sigh of relief after I remember that I have a spare travel card later, I'm sorted. Cards are frozen and a new one is coming.

My uncle, whom I hadn't spoken to for five years calls me. He lives in Budapest so it's not that strange. He left the nest to roam the world when he was a little bit older than me. He asks me why I'm out in Eastern Europe by myself. And I tell him because I wanted to test myself and see if I can make it. To which he responds, if you want to be tested then you know you have to pay the exam fee first. Three hundred, he says, isn't so bad, but then again I'm a student so that's pretty much three weeks worth of food. The cost of education is expensive in Prague but at least it's effective.


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