I flew to D.C. today for a conference. I won't go into details because the only people who would be interested by the topic are already here. This little trip made me think of something I really should warn you all about. Let me set the scene....
I was in the car, driving to the incredibly exciting town of Omaha. I was staring at the scenic countryside of some flat, brown land with the occasional cow and left over snow drift. Then, my mom asked my dad and I if it reminded us of the drive to Prague. (Yes, I am enough of a dork that I had my parents take me to the airport. Who wants to pay $10 a day to park?). My mom was reminded of the three of us driving to the Prague airport to go home after our European excursion last summer. That was the last time the three of us had taken a trip to the airport together.
My response was, "No, this doesn't remind me of that because it's Omaha." Omaha in January looks so much like Prague in July. Instead of beautiful, medieval architecture, look a barn that needs to be painted.
And then I thought of another reason this wouldn't be like that trip to Prague. I highly doubted anyone was going to question whether or not I was in this country illegally. Yeah, that totally happened in the Czech Republic. It's every girl's dream to be sent away from the passport booth to speak to a Czech cop. Awesome. Scene set.
By now, you may be wondering where I'm going with this. No, my warning is not, "Don't illegally enter a country", though I really don't want you to do that. My warning is, "Make sure the peon at the booth actually stamped your passport."
When I went to Poland, I actually flew through Berlin. And, since my flight was late I was in a hurry to try and catch my bus to Poland. I didn't think to stop and check that the booth worker actually stamped my passport when he brought it down behind his desk. I didn't notice until I stopped to see what the stamp looked like almost a week later. (Before that I was too busy trying to deal with my lost luggage).
So, without a stamp, I got asked how I made it to the Czech Republic. As there are no border stops, driving there is not an acceptable enough answer and I had no stamp for Europe at all. At least the cop was pretty nice about it.
Lesson: Make sure you got a stamp. I definitely learned it,
Um... I'm pretty sure someone is sawing in the next room. What an odd hotel.