Yesterday while I was at Roma eating pizza, sipping pivo (beer), and doing some writing, they changed the lock to my building. I got back and my key simply didn’t work. There was no sign, nor any warning that it would happen, and no indication what to do about it. It wasn’t just a language thing; there were no signs up at all. I stood outside the building in the light rain, asking myself, what the heck?

I stood in the doorway, flipping through my slovnic (dictionary) trying to figure out how to say “What the heck?” to anyone who happened to open the door. Eventually someone did, but by then I was too tired and frustrated to try to ask him anything. I really should have. Even if he spoke no English I by then knew the words for lock and key, and certainly he had got a new key from somewhere.

I mentioned the incident to another Prague NaNoWriMo participant and she said that she had heard of that happening to three other people. I had planned to be reclusive this month, but this is just crazy. The key is required to either enter or exit the building. (Most buildings are like that as far as I can tell. Imagine an American fire marshall over here.)

The biggest problem of all is that since I buy beer in quantities that fit in my coat pockets, I have no reserve. It never seemed to be an issue; there’s a beer store half a block from the front door. It is filled to bursting with yummy beer. Just down the street from there is a grocery store with even more beer. In between there’s a wine store and a booze store. All of them are on the other side of that door.

This just in: According to an email from Marianna, the building superintendant leaves town on the weekends. I probably puttered around the house too long, and now he’s gone. I will just have to hang by the doors until people pass through this weekend. Next time I leave, I’m coming back with plenty of supplies!