I ran down the stairs of one of Prague’s metro stations. I was heading to a Couch Surfing meeting at a pub in a neighbourhood that was best arrived by subway. As I descended the stairs I noticed that the ticket vending offices were closed since it was evening. Hmmm…so I will need to find a ticket machine. I spot one and walk towards it as I fish out some coins for my purchase. I look at the machine. Uh-oh…it’s all in Czech. “Of course it is Eeva, cause you’re in Prague!” In a small panic I look at the well-worn machine looking for English anywhere. I don’t spot any. I look around to see if anyone can help me. A woman walks past hurriedly, too fast for me to stop to ask her for help. I turn back to the ticket machine. “Eeva, you can do this. You use transit all the time. Most machines are the same.” I sigh. “I can’t believe I’m giving myself a pep talk on how to buy a metro ticket.” My worry increases a bit and I am getting flustered. I look at the machine and it’s buttons. “Okay Eeva, you probably have to pick a ticket type, put the money in and a press the appropriate button. Most machines are like that. If it doesn’t work try again.” My internal dialogue is picking up speed as I am nervous. I am freaking out over a metro ticket! As I raise my hand to drop money into the machine my eyes glance downward. “What is that? OMG! English!!” I found instructions in English in very tiny print. I start to read it and a smile plays on my lips “YES! You figured it out girl! Exactly as you were gonna do it!” I buy my ticket and so want to do a happy dance on the spot. I figured out how to buy a metro ticket without needing English. The validation was sweet! I never realized how happy I could be for figuring out on my own how to buy a metro ticket in a foreign country with a foreign language until that moment. Every other time I was with someone else, had help from an employee or instructions were in English. Okay, yes the instructions were in English on this machine but I didn’t see them until after I tried (and successfully at that) to figure it out. Happy! Happy! Happy! Small victories are sometimes the best victories.
Please leave a reply