I am wasting time at my favorite coffee shop, Kaaba, waiting for the most recent episode of Desperate Housewives to download. (see?) I love this place. They have the best coffee in the city, I can walk here from my flat, and it is decorated like a cute 1950’s style kitchen. There is all sorts of mismatched chairs and tables and they always give you a really good cookie with your coffee. They also play really good music here. Anyway. I like it here – obviously.
I have been having a pretty rocking good day. I was finished with work at 11:30 this morning and I got paid today! I had to go into the dreaded offices of James Cook Languages, where i am “employed” to talk to them about the fact that I am dropping 4 of my classes. I knew this was not going to be a fun conversation since they really don’t like their teachers to drop one class, much less four. I had a feeling this would be about as pleasant as listening to “My Heart Will Go On” sung at karaoke bar by a drunk Bachelorette. The fine folks at James Cook – heck, the Czech people in general – are not really known for their flexibility. So, I went in knowing that they would not be happy with me, and that they would be up front about that fact.
I sat down with Dana, who once we had dispensed with the pleasantries, proceeded to tell me that they don’t like it when their teachers quit classes. Understandable, I said. Of course you don’t. I went on to explain that a great opportunity had presented itself and that I could not pass it up. Now in America, that would be enough. Your boss would wish you well and send you on your way. Not so in the CZ. She said she didn’t appreciate the fact that I was quiting and seemed to take it rather personally. I told her that these things happen and that there was nothing I could do. This sent her off the handle. She said she didn’t like the way I said that, like there was nothing to be done about it.
Right…because there is not.
It goes back to the whole attitude here. My roommate Chrissy and I were talking just this morning about the Czech people’s unwillingness to change or adapt. We have both had classes who expresses nostalgia for the communist days in the old CZ. Seriously! Why? Because they “didn’t have to do anything”. It doesn’t matter that they had to wait in three hour long lines just to buy potatoes, or that they had no choices. They said they were happy with a job that they KNEW they wouldn’t get fired from. Now, I’m not saying that all Czech people are lazy or anything. I’m just saying that there is a definite attitude of “It’s the Czech way, or the Highway” here – while they are scarfing down a Big Mac, Fries and a Coke. I didn’t know that McDonald’s was traditional Czech cusine. It seems to me that they really like some of the western influences, but at the same time they refuse to accept anything that is not “traditionally” Czech. They are just really skeptical of newness.
Anyway. I am still teaching 5 classes there, so I really don’t see why they got their panties all bunched up. By the end of our meeting Dana expressed disappointment in me, and said I used to be one of her favorite teachers. Awww, shucks. Too bad I have have spent my life building up a resistance to guilt.
My show is still downloading…I wonder if it would go any quicker if i told it it used to be one of my favorite shows.