I’m not going to lie that today was tough. The weather was lousy- super windy, rainy and cold. The morning school work was…well…unfocused.
We looked forward to a coffee shop date with our friends but the reality of the boys not running off steam caught up with us (and the fact that I forgot playing cards).
The big girls were afforded the independence of their own coffee shop and the rest of us picked a super cute one. We choose the second floor and then quickly realized this is a smoking coffee shop. Between my boys cabin fever and the smoke, we got out of there pretty quickly.
We split up and we headed to Ikea to grab things like garbage cans and something to cover up these beautiful white microfiber couches.
Since Ikea is familiar to us, I didn’t expect any roadblocks like other stores we have been to. However, it was not easy.
Hunger stuck and the kids wanted a snack. I checked out and headed to the food area, bags in hand. I was surrounded by no less than 3 security guards. Armed with my receipt, I figured I was fine. Another kind English-speaking guard came over and explained that I must put all my purchased goods in a locker in order to eat food. Ha, ok. The kids were a little rattled at this point but I reassured them. One thing didn’t fit in the locker and the guard told me to keep it with me (big mistake).
The checkout for the food was also complicated but offered a plethora of fizzy juice options which intrigued the kids and helped me with a low blood sugar.
After some meatballs, we all felt ready for the journey home. We bounced back to the lockers and were greeted by two more guards who wouldn’t allow us to descend the stairs and told us to go the other way (all through the 7 million arrows and the whole store). As we walked the mile through the store, I realized that the receipt for the large item I was holding was in the locker. And the security guards were between me and the locker.
I pulled up google translate so I was ready for this. At the checkout, I explained by my phone that I already paid and the receipt was in the locker. Even though the explanation was in Slovak, more guards came and everyone was speaking louder to me in Slovak. The kids were feeling nervous. These type of experiences help me and the kids to better understand what it is like to live in another country and not speak the language. After a short back and forth- one guy just motioned and said OK. HA. The kids were like- let’s get outta here!
By the ride home, I was fried. The sweet Uber driver wanted to try to engage in English but it was clear we weren’t understanding each other. I complimented his enormous sunroof and then he responds in perfect English, “yes, so you can watch birds shit on you.” Laughter erupted from the back seat.
We got home and as I’m unloading, I’m realizing the kids took advantage of my vulnerability and I’m not even mad. These are delicious!!
And the couches are (hopefully) McCarthy-proofed.
I got news from back home that a dear friend is facing a really hard thing and I’m not there. She’s in my heart and knows it but that doesn’t make it easier.
Tomorrow we will visit the kids’ school and that feels like a really great next step. 🤞🏼