As I wrote it on 28 June 2014
This was the very first travel we had as a family, just exploring. No relatives to visit, not our hometown, just traveled purely because we want to see the world.
This trip was a milestone for us, like for real, the very first time I was bitten by a travel bug. I have not been cured since and it has infected the rest of my family, much to my delight.
Alex was only 12, Jason was 8 and we did not have JD yet. :)
This was when The Walkaroos was born. Our very first Walkaroos shot was taken from our AirBnB home in Old Town Prague.
We flew via KLM and so the journey was pretty long with a pit stop in Amsterdam but it was all worth it. We enjoyed the adventure and we look forward to a quickie tour of Amsterdam on our way back.
Different passengers have different experience
With the big plane from Dubai to Amsterdam, everyone's happy. We then had to transfer to a smaller plane called Fokker. The name made my boys' giggle a bit.... fine! They giggled a lot! They're the ones who read the airline magazines and told me about it.
It was a nice small plane used specifically for short distances. KLM calls them City Hopper.
Jason got scared while Alex loved it. It was a lovely day with clouds looking like pearly white cotton candies,,, I think the plane was alright.
They were mesmerising. My boys' have to ask, "is it possible to stand on them?"
The snack they serve was so tasty, the boys won't stop talking about it. Mustard ham, egg and cheese. All organic. Crisp. I have not enjoyed a simple sandwich as tasty as that. The boys wanted more but as a spoil sport mom like I am, told them it's only a little over an hour flight and that it's a good idea to reserve our tummy for Czech treats.
*Not knowing what I knew now, I could have asked for more for the boys because it's not a big deal. Plus what's the worst that they could have said to me? "sorry, we are all out" and then they'll give the boys something else to munch on. I was much too embarrassed to ask then. A newbie in traveling.
It's true... altitude makes you bloat. My face before boarding in Dubai was starved... as we take this picture in Prague, I looked like I was fed mercilessly.
The plan was to take the plunge, full immersion (or our version of full immersion), ride the public bus to the train station and then take the metro to Namesti Republiky and walk. Sink or swim baby or in our case... get lost.
Because we were tourists, and novice at it and the lady at the counter was a pretty one with blue eyes, Joseph convinced me that that was the counter for the Public bus. Apparently not. The public bus was the long one (obviously) and we saw it on our way to the shuttle.
Even though it's not a public bus, it only cost (Koruna) CZK 600 for the four of us, which is practically AED 30 each. Darn cheap compare to their European counterparts.
The shuttle bus was a saving grace because when we got off Namesti Republiky station, we walked and walked and walked, lost for about 30 minutes. That was a long time searching for a small street.
We were armed with 2 maps, but still got lost. We were so disoriented that when a gentleman driving a car stopped at us and asked if we are her sister's guests from Saudi, we didn't put two and two together!
By the way, the worst part was, we have no data on our phones. No matter how much she messaged us through my AirBnB account, I was not able to read it. Her mother called us too, giving us landmarks which really does not click in our heads because we have been walking for 30 minutes! Why because we were so disoriented! And honestly, telling me that it's next to a nun's convent won't mean squat to me.
When we finally found the house, there was no one there. Why? Because the man was driving around somewhere looking for 2 idiots (with two poor kids) who are from Saudi (because to most, Dubai and Saudi is pretty much the same).
Alas we got the keys, left all by ourselves, we collapsed in exhaustion. Remember, we had one back pack each but they are dang heavy. It was then when we discovered that wherever we travel, if it's a home we will stay in, the first order of the day is to be lost. To the point that in every new city, my FB update right after we land is,,, "time to get lost!" :)
Next week's (Wednesday) throwback post will be about our first AirBnB experience. We cannot talk highly enough of all our experience with various home and hosts... well apart from one of the houses we stayed in, in Roma. That's another story for another day.
Currency is in Czech Koruna
The cost is pretty much like how it is in Dubai.
Parenthood is not for wusses. We do give tons of hugs but at the same time must take tough choices and actions when the buggers won't listen.
Time and time again we have to prove to my kids that we are their parents, not their friends. They have enough friends, they'll have many more and will not run out of them. They do not need us to be their friends, they need us to be their parents. We are meant to be their parents, otherwise they should have been born decades earlier and out of someone else's you-know-what.
Jason deciding to fool around with his school work this week (not the only week, mind you) is the straw that broke the camel's back.
Weekend is for homework. Friday, to be exact, so that we can all enjoy Saturday. However, Jason pretends to be in la la land every Friday and just lift a finger when I start yelling on Saturday evening.
One of his homework required him to submit newspaper clippings.
So on Saturday morning he made a list of things he needed to complete all of his homework. Then he forgot the bloody paper at home. Where were we? In the mall, supposedly buying the items in the list that's left AT HOME! Oh fer fek sake! Of course, the newspaper was forgotten.
Sunday, I told him to buy newspapers from the shop close to his Aunt's house. He forgot. Still cool. There's time before Tuesday.
Monday afternoon, I called to make sure they got the newspapers, they said they did. Nighttime came...
Me: Where is it?
Jason: Where is what? (this drive me nuts because I know he knows what I'm asking)
Me: The newspaper that I asked you to buy?
Jason: Uhmmm it's at Auntie Ann's house
By this point, my blood pressure is clawing out of my ferking skull, wanting to blast my boiling blood out like Mayon Volcano in Naga, oops I meant Albay.
Nothing I can do but he still needs to do the exercise so he will understand the process.
Tuesday night, he brought the newspaper home. Hallelujah!!! There I was, in my head, "what he has to do next is implied". Jason's best frustrating skill is to not go with the implied and go with the shove-it-in-my mouth kind of spoon feeding.
Yesterday morning, being a Wednesday, as we got in the car to do the long drive, I asked again if he's finally done it. He didn't.
Since he did not seem to give a damn about school, why should I drive him all the way to Dubai, through the dangerous dense fog, for exactly no reason?! Why? Why? Why in the world should I do that?!
I told him to get out of the car, left him by the curb of the house, looking at us driving away. I could see he was shocked and there was a teeny tiny trace of sadness but he must learn his lesson.
Did he learn his lesson? Came home from a stressful day and the first thing I asked at 8PM on the day I kicked him out of the car for not doing his work was, "where is your work?" To which replied grandly with, "I didn't do it because I was reading a book the whole day".
I GIVE THE UP! Mother father! Brother sister! I want to hurt someone so badly! I didn't! But I really, really want to.
Through gritted teeth, I told him to go up to his room and do his work. Livid but couldn't do anything. I still end up helping him... why? because I'm his mother!
I survived the ordeal but the trauma caused to my blood vessels are irreparable. I am forever going to be an angry, UGLY, old mother, thanks to Jason. His nonsense will be the death of me.
Gosh, I wish I can do the spanking challenge like how my mother used to. I'm sure I will feel so much better after, like as if I did cardio or HIIT.
Jason's antics will end me. I wonder how other kids test their parents patience. If your kids are not spawns of the devil, I don't want to know about it. Because seriously, that's the only story that will make me feel any better.
And if you know where I can buy patience... my stock run out more than a decade ago.
*Reading books is one of our new things at the moment. Alex, Jason and I are aiming to read at least 10 books this year. He is on his second and that is why HE THINKS it's okay not to do the clippings because he is fulfilling the other challenge. NOT OKAY.
This used to be us...