30 Responses

  1. Jennifer Hayden

    Beautifully written! Hilarious and very evocative! I was in Romania at age 13 in 1974 and it was a similar experience, only I wasn’t responsible, so it was much better.

  2. Kathryn Rile

    Oh Emily! I was MARRIED in Prague in 1994–post communist, but pre-latte (also pre-destination wedding). I was living as a student in Germany and 7 months pregnant. I needed health insurance that covered the birth, and this was the way to get it fast!

    The Americians were just arriving, and the city and citizens were still run on coal and covered with soot. The place still ran like a communist country, but with a touch of optimism. All that red tape, translations and super-legalization of documents, and visits to buroctratic offices.

    Long since the divorce, I keep my marriage papers as a charming artifact. They actually wrote Rileova on the papers because Rile is masculine (no ova!). Then in Germany I had to convince them to take the “egg” off the translation…The story goes on and on. Have not yet been back for the latte.


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    Wow, what a unique and adventurous experience! Your story of getting married in Prague in 1994 sounds like a true feat of determination and resourcefulness. The bureaucratic obstacles you had to navigate, the cultural differences you encountered, and the practical challenges you faced all add up to a truly memorable experience. It’s fascinating to hear about a city that was still transitioning from communism to capitalism, and to imagine what it must have been like to live there at that time. As for returning for a latte, perhaps you could combine your trip with some dreadhead parkour - who knows what other exciting experiences you might have!

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    What an intriguing and adventurous story, Kathryn! Your marriage in Prague during that unique time must have been quite an experience. It’s fascinating how you navigated the challenges of bureaucracy and translations, all while being a student in Germany and expecting a baby. It’s heartwarming that you still keep your marriage papers as a cherished memento. Perhaps one day you’ll have the chance to revisit Prague and finally enjoy that latte. Thank you for sharing your captivating journey.

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