From Berlin, I decided to make a quick trek over to Poland for a couple of nights (five hours by bus). It was an easy decision because to my good fortune, I had a few friends studying abroad in Wroclaw (good luck pronouncing it correctly). A quick booking with Polski bus and the Corner Hostel and I was off to the land of po.
When I arrived at the bus terminal, I wasn’t sure what to expect other than what I had heard. No English, cold, and cheap. Luckily my friend Jenny, a polish-Canadian I had met while in Barcelona, was kind enough to send me a list of places to visit and some insight on the culture. To add, another friend Deanna (a resident back when I was a resident assistant at the university) steered me with step-by-step instructions to my place downtown.
To note, it’s an excellent idea to learn a couple of polish words as with any culture. Like I was warned, a lot of the polish did not know English. Secondly, they cram onto the trams. As coordinated as I want to believe I am, I felt like I was fighting through a defensive line with a 75-liter bag strapped to my back. I don’t have the Internet at this moment to know the spelling but I can spell out the phonetics: Sha-pashum (aka excuse me). Slur it enough and you’ll blend right in.
Another observation I made making my way through town were the styles. A good number of them were dressed… 90’s. It was like a movie from the 80’s depicting what the future would be and they dressed accordingly. It was a good throwback moment with rat-tails and mohawks.
The next few days I spent experiencing Poland were incredible. It was cold, so I bought my new inexpensive coat from a store called Pull&Bear. I went to the top of one of the many churches in the city and viewed the variety of architectural styles influencing the historical area. I wanted to experience the urban night culture and went to a “4 zł” bar, which is beer and shots at the cost of one euro (Poland is on their own currency). I went to a disco with a group of polish college students and danced to the American beat. I tried a dish called “Tatar” which came out as raw meat with an egg cracked on top and survived. And to top off the adventure, I made some new friends including Jeff, a 70-yr-old Irishman I shared coffee with who flew to Poland because his new tablet didn’t work. Cheers!
With the amount of traveling recently, it’s been difficult to find the time to write/post/edit video – catching up as the time becomes available.
Jay has joined in as well. Posts to follow!