By SEZIN KOEHLER
When I first arrived in Prague I was a size 7, had an acceptable C-cup and chocolate-colored skin. Three years later I’ve become a size 12 and an overbearing DD-cup with skin the color of weak tea.
Aging plays only a small part.
My tropical sensibilities have been assaulted by the sub-zero temperatures I live in 80% of the year. Even the summers in Prague come with a chill equivalent to winters in my former homes of Spain, India, Thailand and California.
Watching my previously lithe figure fill out caused discomfort and anxiety. Then I had to change my style of dress and how I saw myself.
Plus, it’s not only my physique that’s changed. I used to have a big smile.
As if they take a cue from inhospitable weather, the Czech people are notoriously unfriendly. Part of this has to do with their experience under Communism and a general distrust of foreigners. Their general reserve is also cultural. It’s almost unheard of that a Czech person will invite anyone but family into their home. They meet friends at local pubs and bars. In warmer places like India and California, it’s customary to invite a virtual stranger over for dinner or drinks.
Smiles are evoked from natives of tropical places more easily than in the frigid Czech Republic. I can recall each smile I’ve received from a Czech stranger while in temperate lands I remember the rude people, so few and far between.
I’ve eradicated my broadly smiling public self lest I look like a tourist. It took me two years to develop a Central European frown. I have new lines on my chubbier face to prove it.
Do warm places make warmer people? How has your body changed in adapting to a foreign climate?