Monday, June 14, 2010
The Mystery of the Expanding Face
Okay so, I recently spent two weeks in the Czech Republic on a geography field course. Most of the time was spent in Prague with a day in Vienna and another few days in and around Znojmo (small-ish town in the southern Moravia area of Czech). It was a pretty great time BUT that is not what this entry is about.
Probably the worst thing about the trip was that in major cities in Europe, they make you PAY??? to go to the bathroom! Even at McDonald's sometimes! Like 50 cents Canadian or 25 cents without toilet paper in the stalls (thanks, Prague metro). Or sometimes even more, for example this awesome (not actually) bathroom in Vienna:
The Toilet of Modern Art. Surely this was to be a bathroom like no other, right? Wrong. It cost 0.60 EUR (over 75 cents CAD!!!) to use and was the most crowded, dirty, ugly bathroom of the entire trip (even worse than the one with no toilet paper in the stalls). Ugh worst.
So anyway, having to pay to use the bathroom + public bathrooms being really hard to come by + holding up the entire group of 14 people if I had to go to the bathroom and we weren't stopped = most of us not drinking very much during the day for two weeks. Luckily the weather wasn't too hot so somehow we got away with it without any major side effects...
...other than the third last day of the trip, when we had taken a 3 hour bus ride from Znojmo to Prague first thing in the morning (no bathroom on the bus, no stops), dumped our luggage at the dorms in Prague and hopped back on the tram all within about 25 minutes. We then went to a restaurant for lunch where I drank juice instead of water (no such thing as free tap water either), which went right through me and I had to hold up the group while I followed bathroom signs up a hill which led to a cemetery and no bathroom. I didn't drink anything else until the evening when we got back to the dorms in the late evening and I realized that my lack of water intake was probably not healthy so I had a couple glasses of water.
I caught a glance of myself in the mirror shortly after and basically did a double take - something didn't look right. My eyes seemed closer together and my face was almost fat! Okay not actually "fat" by comparison to other people but I normally have a very thin, oval-shaped face and my head looked really round. Compare Prague-me on the left and normal-me on the right:
No one would ever say I looked fat of course but it's just not my natural face shape and it was really unsettling so suddenly have a different face shape!
Eventually one of my roommates helped me figure out that I was probably dehydrated and retaining water. Not good! I downed 1.5 L of water in the next couple of hours and within a day or two my face was back to normal. Drink water, people. Don't let this happen to you.