Now the dust has settled. This strange feeling of constant excitement that you have on adventurous holidays is completely gone. I’m talking about the “everything new” feeling. You never get to clear your mind, you are unresting. Sitting in your room feels horrible, although it is the most normal thing to have some time during the day where you just do nothing. But in this state of mind I am describing you get beyond bored every second that you aren’t busy – you get mad! Man, I am in Budapest! Sitting in my room and watching TV is a NO GO! What a pressure. Will I find friends or will I be alone all the time (which feels like “forever until I die” in this irrational psychological condition)? Maybe it’s just me thinking too much, but I bet there are people who understand me. Everybody who claims to be totally relaxed and happy all the time after moving abroad alone is definitely a liar! Luckily after a few days this nervousness disappears by itself. Then things like taking the bus become normal again and the days start floating by as usual. You stop making detailed plans for tomorrow or the weekend. You get used to the strange currency. You stop trying to compare ALL the prices in the supermarket, which makes shopping a lot more comfortable. You get used to everything. Only being alone for a longer time is something at least I can never enjoy – but well, you can always handle that problem in one or another way. At one point of desperation even the shyest person starts going out and talking to people…
This evolution from a tourist to a “person who lives here” is a funny thing. In the beginning (because I was restless) I forced myself to leave my room and strolled aimlessly around in the city. I felt like a weirdo. I was even starting a little paranoia: Apparently people stared at me everywhere on the streets, as if I had a big sign around my neck that said: “Confused foreigner.” Of course there was no staring – or maybe there was, but just because of my strange behavior, walking too slowly, watching the buildings and people a little too interested.
We seldom do something alone, that’s why it feels strange. There is always a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, mother or father to accompany us when we go shopping or sight-seeing. When I am trying new clothes on or see a beautiful place I need someone to whom I can talk about it: “Look, this gorgeous building over there! / Is this shirt too tight? / My feet are hurting, let’s sit down for a coffee.” By the way, going into a restaurant or a café and order something alone is also a weird thing. But why do I need another person for all this? I think it is because humans are gregarious animals. The other person is like a mirror that reflects my own feelings. If there is no other person, all the thoughts keep circling inside my head, which is very close to soliloquizing, which is actually the clearest evidence for being a little loony. That would be a reason to stare at me indeed!
So whoever is out there feeling like a “lone weirdo”: Don’t worry, things will sort out! 🙂
By the way, after two months in Budapest I still need a map to find my way around and am constantly taking pictures of nice buildings. So I guess I will never finish the evolution from tourist to “normal person” within these three months 🙂