3, 2002-- Arrival in Prague
in a foreign country all alone felt like it always does to me --
in this case exacerbated by sleep deprivation from a train trip
from Paris that was delayed by a full 8 hours and was filled with
drunk Germans who were having singing duels. My first emotion was:
"Wow, I am so alone" followed instantly by panic.
Ten years ago, this panic was fairly paralyzing, requiring a constant
recitation to myself of "You can do this, you can do this,
all you have to do is one step at a time. First things first, get
some money. Ok that was easy, see? Now find yourself a taxi. . ."
These days the panic is not nearly so bad, but the vague aloneness
is still fairly pervasive.
. . which is why upon arrival at my hotel (which fortunately, as
promised, is a beautiful, historic building with 20 foot high ceilings,
and tiled walls in the hallways. And which unfortunately, as promised,
has rooms that themselves are fairly hostel-like, read: thin cots
for beds, no phones, and two peices of falling-apart, blond Nordic
furniture, with the bathrooms down the hall) the first thing I did
was find the closest Internet Cafe. A mere block and a half away,
sitting down to a computer terminal, at the rate of 1 Koruna (3
cents) per minute, I realized that all would be well. I was officially
tapped in, connected, and most importantly very much not alone.
this gave me the necessary fortitude to do what a girl's gotta do:
I left the cafe for the nearest beauty and bath store and bought
several nice-smelling candles, bottles of luxurious facial supplies
to pamper myself, and, crucially, a new pair of flip flops to wear
in those public bathrooms.