Here is what I wrote on the forum. I don’t feel like repeating myself but the short version is that after arriving in Prague (by train) this evening, I have decided I like men more than ever, particularly strong silent types who typically lack the foresight to pack food ahead of time AND I have three travel tips for women which are:
First, please do not douse yourselves with perfumes and colognes. If you are going to be on a train (or in close proximity to others in public) and otherwise innocent
victims people will be subjected graced with your presence, please pass on any smelly topical applications. Please. All of them. ALL OF THEM. I mean it! No perfume. No hairspray, no other sprays, it makes some of us quite ill. A shower before traveling will suffice; it’s all the freshness you need.
Second travel tip: SHUT UP. Please. Sometimes you can shut your mouths, no words can pass between you and your seatmate for fifteen seconds and the world will not fall apart. Honest. I swear. Enjoy the silence. Take a break. Other people go out of their minds if you do not shut up for four straight hours of non-stop blather. Don’t your ears hurt? I’m wearing ear plugs but mine do if you don’t shut up. It is one thing for those who know you to dislike you but quite another matter to inspire hatred from perfect strangers. If in doubt, SHUT UP. Thank you.
Third: if you must bring food, it should not smell. If it is something that is oily and can turn rancid, omit it, particularly if it can get toasty in the compartment; you can give heartburn to others just from the heavy cloying smells. Fruits, crackers, baked goods are much less offensive than salami and pepperoni.
I’ll write tomorrow; by then I will be much chipper and recovered from the perfume+blather induced migraine and heartburn. On a positive note, the Czech Republic, while noticeably much poorer than Germany, is just as clean as the latter, no trash anywhere. No whiffs of you know what either, unlike the Paris subways. And all the men are wearing suits and sportcoats! What’s up with that? I will tell you more tomorrow once I figure out the mystery…