When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a lot of things — a dancer, a doctor, a famous actress, an interior designer. I somehow managed to turn one of those desires into a career, but what I really secretly wanted to be was a private detective. Being “Harriet the Spy” was so appealing, and if I had my druthers, I wanted also to be invisible so as to gather as much covert information as I could. Being fascinated with Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes added to this fantasy of mine. Oh if only.
Except. There is a lot of spying going on these days, and it is not me who is doing it. In fact, the U.S. is being accused of a nuclear level spying conspiracy according the the BBC News and others. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the U.S. is not the only guilt party here.
As the wife of a senior Diplomat, I have always assumed that someone might be watching or listening to me and my husband at any time, wherever in the world we are posted. I am of the belief that all governments have an espionage program, and you would think this would upset me in the most base of ways, but it really hasn’t. Maybe it is because I am not harboring classified information or national secrets. Maybe it is because I consider going to a farmer’s market on a sunny Saturday in Prague horribly inconsequential and downright boring in light of our world’s troubles. Although, if we all started out our Saturday with some deliciously grilled fresh seafood and home made bread — the world might be a better place.
Or maybe I have just become used to the idea over the years. Therefore, any interest in me personally, in my opinion, would be for sheer amusement or an effort to protect me from any local anti-Americanism (which would actually be most appreciated).
This brings me to the present state of affairs. I am certain I am being spied on in Prague. It dawned on my the other day after being followed home twice — once from near the Embassy by a uniformed police officer, and the second time from the mall by someone in plain clothes, that I am carrying a phone with a Czech SIM card registered to my husband. Which, by the way, must be very confusing to the Czech government because my sultry voice is nothing like that of my husband, nor do my svelte legs walking down the cobblestone streets resemble his hairy ones. I know what you are thinking. I am having paranoid, hormonal delusions. Maybe I am. But if I am correct……
You would think that this invasion of privacy would irk me. Not the case as I have nothing to hide from the Czech nor any other government. What I am annoyed at is that I have a cell phone battery that is being drained in less than 3 hours!!! What this means for me is that my phone is regularly dying before I can access the mobile app to purchase a tram ticket home. VERY inconvenient. Steve thought I was delusional as well and blamed it on the iphone 5c unreliability until I proved my point and put my Verizon SIM card back into my phone today. Eight hours and counting and my phone still has 25% battery. SIGH.
So if you are a member of the Czech intelligence agency and are reading my blog, I apologize for going rouge today. I am going be a little cheeky, help you out just this once and tell you what I did for the record:
- I slept in with my husband. Total luxury. There was “pillow talk”. You might know of our conversation if you are listening in at the apartment. I hope we amused you.
- Long walk to the farmer’s market at Dejvice, my favorite farmer’s market so far in Prague. Diplo-Dog shared a delicious sausage with Steve while I salivated over ones to bring home (less the pheasants). Ate grilled calamari and prawns and wistfully sought out a tmavé pivo (dark beer) at 11 AM to go with. Steve insists I have gone “local” in less than 4 weeks time.
- Long walk back home. Took a different route. Please note that I will do this often. Was pleasantly surprised to find a fabulous art store where there were goodies in the window that intend to buy so that I can begin to sketch images of your lovely city.
- Circumvented the Castle grounds to take in the beauty of the fall foliage wrapping around the historic walls.
- Spent some time online booking tickets for my visit back home next month. You already might know that if you are tracking my computer. I hope you think I made an excellent seat selection.
- Took another fall foliage walk with Dipo-dog. Not telling you where. I need to have a little fun.
- Visited St. Nicholas church in Old Town and picked up a concert brochure. Plan to attend one soon. Your churches and basilicas are architecturally astounding. Concert line-up includes Vivaldi. My favorite 🙂
- Returned home and devoured a yummy farmer’s marked spread of ham, fresh goat cheese, brown bread, veggies and olives. With dark beer, of course. Which, by the way, also complements poppyseed and plum strudel very well. I am genuinely impressed with your country’s strudel making abilities.
As I suggested, boring in terms of international intelligence. I for one really enjoyed my day, and managed to do so with a functioning phone. Unfortunately, it is not cost effective nor practical to use a U.S. SIM card in a foreign country for an extended period of time.
In my personal opinion, I suspect that one country spying on another is probably not the best way to protect our civil liberties. We really need to work harder at trust, honesty & diplomacy.
Reality check. It might all be in my imagination. Perhaps it is a Diplomatic faux pas for even suggesting such a thing. But, if I am correct and must live with the current state of affairs — I am hoping that someone might recognize that I am not Steve and will stop trying to track me. This American girl just wants to use her phone to get home!