It was three in the afternoon when I realised my key no longer worked. I turned it one way then the other, pushed, pulled and kicked at the door, put so much cooking oil in the lock I could've fried an egg in the keyhole, then gave up and called the school.
Two hours later the emergency rescue team - the cleaner, her husband and his box of tools - finally arrived. After forty-five minutes of jiggling, scraping, pushing, pulling and kicking they gave up and left for home, shrugging apologetically as they got back in their van. Inside the flat the situation had taken a desperate turn for the worse: I'd run out of milk, teabag supplies were dangerously low, and there was no-one left to talk to on Skype. The ten-metre drop to the cobbled courtyard was looking more and more appealing.
It was half past six by the time the locksmith managed to get me out. He stood in the doorway, writing out the bill, shaking his head in bemusement. "You can use two locks or four, but your door was on three. It should not have closed." Other people blamed it on shoddy workmanship: "They all have Made in Italy written on but really they come from Russia. It happened to a bloke from Ipswich five years ago. He had to stand on the balcony waving his arms around until his neighbours came out." "It's like that in Poland. It's the same all over eastern Europe." "You can't get worse than Czech for dodgy keys."