Later that night, Tomas develops terrible stomach pains, a condition he always experiences with deep depression. He usually keeps medicine on hand, but he has not stocked the cabinet recently. Tereza comments on how terrible Prague has been lately and suggests moving to the country. They won’t run into the editor there, or colleagues from the hospital. Nature hasn’t changed, Tereza says, and Tomas agrees that perhaps she is right. He would probably be bored, however, Tereza says to Tomas, if he had to be alone with her in the country.
Without Prague’s never-ending supply of women, it would be difficult for Tomas to continue his womanizing, and Tereza’s passive-aggressive comment draws attention to this and implies that she alone will not be enough for him. Meanwhile, Tomas’s stomachache is evidence of his depression and unhappiness. He resents both Tereza and what his life has become, but he has little to look forward to, especially in the country.
Tomas’s stomach aches even more. He thinks that his womanizing may be “something of an ‘Es muss sein!’—an imperative enslaving him.” He needs a vacation from all enslavements. Just like his vacation from the operating table, he needs a vacation away from the women he cuts open with his metaphorical scalpel.