Walking through the Jewish Quarter for a second time with my friend Bob, going into all of these old synagogues and weeping for lost ancestors, I was jostled and paid no attention until I realized what was missing way too late.
Cell phone and wallet stolen. feeling very vulnerable in Prague tonight. I don't mind the money and the credit cards but I am shocked at how attached I was to the phone and its contacts and the pictures. Also feel so dumb for letting my pocket get picked. My New York hyper drive was out of batteries. I went to the police and reported it - they say there is not much they can do (I luckily had wonderful Barbora with me translating) apparently the Jewish Quarter where I was walking is a famous pickpocket hotspot. They told me to go to the US Embassy.
Sitting at the US Embassy in Prague using the phone and the computer trying to find some money after being robbed- high high security getting in and out of this building - more body searches than one would imagine- but maybe I am naive- did I expect Bruce Springsteen and a free hamburger? there is - not much help from banks and phone companies not much warmth from the powers that be here or there - my problems are quite minor in the face of well...everything else in the world. i was feeling sad and lost and a little sorry for myself and I looked up to see a picture of my president and I feel a strange comfort in seeing Obama's face. It was the first warmth I felt from any eyes today. It is not patriotism, it's personal. I pray that in Jan 2017 when they change that picture in US Embassies all over the world I will be able to feel the same comfort. The same warmth. John Kerry is here too. Smiling. As if to say- Its OK Jessica. It's only money. It's only an iPhone. Am I getting a little sentimental? homesick? just plain nuts? I have been on hold with Bank of America for 45 minutes. I think I will hang up, say goodbye to the president and secretary of state and go back out into the Czech sunshine.
Next stop: Finding and buying a used phone and then a sim card.
This was a journey through the twisty streets of downtown Prague with a taxi driver who spoke little English but brought me to a place he knows to get a "cheap used cellphone". The woman who sold it to me negotiated the price of this used phone. It was hugely expensive but apparently much cheaper than the ones on the main street.
My temporary phone number is: 420777580763.The sim card is supposedly good for a month - but no one along the way spoke English so fingers crossed.
I am traveling on a tight budget because I won't get a credit card until a friend brings me one from the States on Dec 12- I will meet him at the end of my journey in Rotterdam.
My stupid bank has very weird policies.
I am now at a cafe using internet. Feeling grateful for connection. warm soup. hot coffee. my computer. Steve Jobs who invented my computer. The waitress and her sweet smile. The lamp on the table. The far away friends in my heart. The play I will see later. The privilege to have these kinds of catastrophes, without fear of incarceration, homelessness, and marginalization. I will find a warm bed tonight. I will listen to music and walk with two working legs to the beat of freedom. And I will be grateful for all of it.