I felt anxious, negative, paranoid (silence sounded so loud!), scared and angry the first few days in Prague. Despite being a bit of a control freak and despite how I may come across on this blog, feeling that way isn't my normal state.
I couldn't figure it out and my left brain kept asking "what is going on?!". There was no real reason for feeling that way. It was a fine voyage over. Had a real aggressive fellow beside me on the plane but that's not enough to set me off like this.
Was picked up by the apartment manager from the airport. Didn't expect someone so young (early 20s) so we listened and tried to talk over the techno music blasting out of his car speakers. He drove a 5 series wagon so the ride was smooth.
It was lunch time by the time I got checked into my place for the week and once I freshened up, the next thing I did was look for a place to eat lunch. So armed with my handy dandy Czech language cheat sheet and the map of my neighbourhood pretty much memorized, I had a pleasant walk to what was supposed to be a good area restaurant.
Everyone I encountered was really kind. There was a sadness to the people I met. They weren't crying or anything but it was a feeling I saw in their eyes and felt from them. Czech people seemed quite private and reserved. So you don't tend to find the larger than life persona emanating from them, like you would find in say, North America. I liked that.
And people obey the traffic lights! I was so used to jaywalking when in Europe I had to quickly stop because I stood out! D often laughs at me because at home, I'd wait for traffic lights to change even though there are no cars as far as the eye can see. He has to say "pretend you are in Rome" to get me to cross the street illegally.
Lunch was OK. I had read you don't go to Prague for the food and I would agree from this and subsequent meals I had. Consistently the food tasted way more seasoned and salty than I'm used to. Chalked it up to different culture. No big deal. Drink more water.
After 2 nights of not being able to get to sleep until between 3 - 4 am Czech time and not feeling one ounce tired, I had plenty of time to start wondering if there was something else going on. I've been to Europe often enough to know it was not normal.
There is a 6 hr time difference (ahead) compared to home so I ended up calling D more than I originally expected. It was he who figured it out -- I must have been reacting to something in the food. On day 3, I stopped eating out and started cooking. And a day later, found myself again.
***I'd like to say I was delighted with the Oscar results. I'm not a watcher of it nor the Grammys but I was curious this year of the outcome. We saw Django Unchained a couple months? ago and I was hoping Quentin Tarantino and Christoph Waltz would win. And having seen Argo twice, I was really pleased Ben Affleck took home an Oscar.***