I need to manage my eating habits.
This means: No dinner after 7 and red or white wine ONLY when going out to drink with the other trainees (absolutely no beer). Salads for lunch ONLY, though, when I think of it, my much adored “chicken salad” being served in my co-workers’ favorite eatery are covered in what I think is mayonnaise.
I can feel myself becoming rounder and rounder. It’s as if I have a baby that’s growing inside me called Brno. Or if I want to get creative and hippie-like, I’ll call the creature Star after the Starobrno beer that this city is known for. For crying out loud, just a few moments ago, I devoured an entire foot long sandwich from the dorm refrigerator, because of a seriously dumb excuse:
I was terrified earlier.
I went out rather late tonight to do my laundry in another side of town. Why? Because the web site of the place seemed darn interesting and I heard good feedback about it. It’s a place called Club Wash, a rather hip bar/hangout place where you can simply chill when you’re doing your laundry. Wine, beer and snacks can be eaten while you’re waiting, and there’s free wi-fi in the venue as well. The place opens at 6pm and closes at midnight—and basically, I, perhaps stupidly, went approximately midway—at around 8:30 pm.
It was still rather sunny when I left the dormitory—I even debated bringing my shades since the temperature was quite warm. Even when I was on the tram, the heat and the overall liveliness of Brno seemed somewhat comforting, or at least familiar.
But as I switched trams in the main train station, I noticed something odd going on. I was sitting by the back exit of the tram, in a solo seat, when a scruffy, dirty man stepped on the tram and began mumbling to himself. I thought he was just a regular disheveled old coot and I tried to ignore him, but he kept on yelling stuff to everyone. I noticed from the straight backs and sniff necks of the other passengers that they were likewise intent on ignoring him.
I tried to do the same, staring at my map as if it were some kind of intricate puzzle or work of art—but I could feel the fear creeping up my back, making me sweat. The man mostly seemed to ignore me—he had other people to bother, but he must’ve got disheartened by his audience’s poor response to his ravings, so he turned to me, leaning a bit forward.
I recoiled, and squeaked, “I don’t understand!” and gratefully, he turned away. On hindsight, I suppose this was a dumb thing to do, but I reacted instinctually. I felt that if I continued ignoring him like everyone else, he’d turn violent or louder.
But that moment, the tram halted at another stop, and a rather booby girl in a low-cut tank top stepped in. She casually situated herself near the madman, and I, desperately and meanly relieved, thanked the gods that the loon was distracted. He started staring at her (and undoubtedly, her chest), and I swiftly stood up from my seat, grabbed my bag, and planted myself near the exit—hoping for my stop.
From the corner of my eye, I saw that the girl was not alone. Her large and burly boyfriend had taken just a few steps to verify their tickets in the tram’s machine, and I saw as he grabbed his girl protectively and occupied my old solo seat, pulling her into, what I guess he assumed, was a position of safety on his lap.
The crazy man started mumbling at her still while she was sitting on her boyfriend, and as the tram swayed to the rhythm of the roads, I chillingly saw him shuffle further forward. I kept my grip on my bag full of laundry and my eyes on the road—though I could hear the whimpers of the girl near me paired with the crazy mutterings of the man.
Practically teary-eyed with relief, I got off at my stop and tried to find the Laundromat. I had the map in my sweaty grip, and I had the directions in my head, but all I could think about was getting away from that godawful tram. I walked and walked in one direction, dazedly and fearfully, turning back only once when I heard the tram start to move again. I practically sprinted away when I saw a lone man being shoved off of the tram, because I had the dreadful feeling it was the psycho.
Yes, eventually I got to Club Wash. And yes, it was still daytime when I got there. Yet I was a trembling, babbling bundle of nervous giggling and relief when I began speaking to the smiling man at the bar/counter.
Good lord, I am never, ever going to simply sit there when someone like that enters the tram along with me.
I am going to move away—silently.