ok, so Prague is a mysterious, gothic, enchanting place, full of castles and ancient bridges, it seems almost fitting that something d r a m a t i c would happen in Prague,
let’s illuminate the issue, because i think things need to be known/spread/pressed&explored,
while I was in Belgrade (living in my sublet), someone I knew from Canada messaged me from France. He’d been in Canada for 4 years while completing a math PhD.. I was also in Canada for grad school, so we knew each other through the city/university.
when he heard I was in Europe for the summer, he messaged me. We’d hung out a handful of times, and were on okay terms. He told me he’d love to travel and visit Belgrade, and since I had been there for awhile and had a 2 floor apartment with tons of space, I offered him a place to stay. He said sure, bought tickets and flew to Belgrade, and stayed in my apartment for a week for free *
Then, in Prague, we met up because I was doing a month-long tour of Europe and he was there for a math conference. but I mean, I had booked hostel reservations, and he double booked saying he forgot, and booked a one-bedroom hotel for us to share ? right away, it gives away a broken romantic subplot < / 3 however, this isn’t why I’m writing this.
so when I get there, first thing that happens: I lose all my luggage and my travel backpack, so I’m only left with my one carry-on backpack and very little to carry (blessing in disguise maybe), but also with very little stuff… I’m distressed, trying to track everything that I had in there, because travelling is kind of stressful, you are constantly re-checking your stuff, trying to bring as little as possible, and still sight-see. meanwhile, we’re hanging out in Prague for a few days, supposed to meet up in Paris eventually.
I realize dude was probs looking for a summer romance at this point, which was so not going to happen, because most people kinda repulse me, but beyond this, the energy was really dark and toxic, and this is where I don’t really understand what happened..
this is the mindfuck level I’m trying to untangle * for myself, because I think we all feel when someone’s energy is bringing us down, it’s literally like when I feel more buoyant without <<you>> around, I know something with the other person is causing me to not feel my natural high, but what is that “thing”
was he upset I wasn’t into him when he got to Belgrade? was he faking being cool with it while he had a free place to stay, making this a strategic calculated move on his part? anyway, I got to Paris, and was supposed to stay at his place as an exchange for his staying a week in Belgrade, but at this point, he was so awful that I dreaded every second I was around him. He said I was very negative..and it reminded me of the way people in relationships try to flip things on each other as a manipulative way of controlling the other person.
Meanwhile, he kept putting down everything I said, and kept using “Belgrade” (/my country) as a way of projecting his negative feelings onto me. Saying things like “are you ashamed now that you know where you’re from” or, when I said I got something from a flea market, he would scoff and ask if it was in Belgrade, assuming Belgrade held flea markets over say, Budapest. Just ridiculous, racist stuff. I get it, you are upset you didn’t get laid, but he could’ve seen that coming, and yet he came all the way to Belgrade, and then attempted to bash me and the city, while ruining my time in Prague and eventually Paris.
Which brings me to my next point: he finished a PhD in math with hardly any prospects for a post-doc, and very little for future employment in the field beyond the post-doc. Yet, he spent 20k/year on just tuition to live in a small town in Ontario for 4 years. And I became the person on whom he felt he could channel all of his disappointment / and frustration onto. And what could I have done / said to flip the dynamic? He clearly invited me over to Paris as a formality and did everything he could to make my time there horrible, at one point even saying “you don’t know what French men are like” while sneering. I don’t know. What are French men like? Are “French men” a category? Can we still essentialize in 2016/17. I know people think the French are rude, snobby and math PhDs are logic-bred and boring. But how far can I extend the stereotypes?
Of course he tried to label me racist for attempting to have an open conversation about the Trump election while in Prague, and when I ultimately had to find a place to stay in Paris since staying in his mother’s office-apartment wasn’t working out, he laughed at my staying in a part of town that was looked down on by well-standing French people due to an influx of refugees/immigrants living in the vicinity. This is the hypocrisy that fascinates me with people, and I think for the most part, it’s an unconscious process. But I think it’s stronger than ever today.