Maybe it’s because I only travel internationally every couple of years and part of me assumes I’m so savvy now that it won’t be an issue, but I keep forgetting this part of the trip: where I arrive in a city I’ve never been, a place where I don’t speak the language and don’t know the customs, without having slept or eaten properly or even really talked to anyone I know/love for more than 24 hours, and then I’m shocked and frustrated by my emotional reaction to complete sensory overload.
I got into Prague just fine. Found my AirBnB accommodations without trouble. Took a glorious, glorious hot bath. And felt like maybe I was up for venturing out this evening since I needed to kill a bunch of hours anyway if I wanted to have any hope of fighting off the jetlag. So I left the apartment in search of food. But after a bout of paralyzing indecision when confronted with all the cafes and restaurants serving things I don’t recognize or know how to pronounce, followed by nearly bursting into tears at the grocery store when the cashier immediately figured out I didn’t speak Czech (in spite of my fumbling efforts to do so), I’ve opted for a strategic retreat.
I brought my bread and cheese and yogurt and chocolate bar back to my room, and I’ll just watch the sunset from my balcony, maybe throw on The Labyrinth, and sleep for the next ten hours. (As of this writing, I’m going on roughly 32 hours with only a 20 minute power nap). Tomorrow, well-rested and with more sense of where I am, I’ll be ready to tackle the world. Or, at least, ordering breakfast. Maybe I should start with smaller goals. I do know how to order coffee in Czech.