The worldwide Augustana College experience

Poland!

Dzien Dobry! Czy Pani mowi po angielsku?

I’m finally in Poland! After a brutal nine hour flight to Warsaw and a quick 45 minute shaky flight to Krakow, then a 20 minute ride on a shuttle bus, followed by a 20 minute ride on a train, then a 25 minute tram ride to Piastowska Street, and finally a 10 minute walk to Piast Dormatory, I can at last say my American feet are on Polish ground. Europe is everything you’ve imagined and hoped for but even more. It’s not just a square on a map, it really does exist! A simple walk around the block will be more of an adventure for any American who has never been to Poland. On every corner, there is a Piekarnia (bread store), a tram stop, a park, an old building that looks like it just went through the War, fashionable Europeans (and yes, it’s true, Polish people know how to wear their clothes), and tiny communist era cars that are parked in every way possible and on any available piece of sidewalk. Already, I love Poland. I’ve been here two days and I’ve already had the opportunity to meet a girl from Moldova and a guy from Prague. And their trying-to-speak-English accents are nothing to ignore but appreciate. Actually, as I’m writing this in an internet cafe outside of the main square in Krakow, I’ve got this accent running through my thoughts as if I’m a natural polack living here in Krakow.

For the first few days, my dad and I toured around Krakow. We had some interesting experiences trying our first Polish restuarant. I learned that “with gas” and “without gas” is nothing to joke about, but it actually means “would you like your water carbonated or non-carbonated.” Since monday I have yet to figure this out so all I’ve had is water “with gas.” And I also learned that when a waitress tells you that your bill is burning over a candle, you believe her even though my dad was simply trying to get some light.

Today, a polish girl from Krakow gave my friend Richard, the Czech, and I a grand tour of Poland. She was more like a translator than a guide, but all was still great!

Well, Do widzenia (good bye) for now. Hopefully by my next letter I will be writing in Polish.

- Matt

5 Responses to “Poland!”

  1. Cześć! Sorry, I don’t know who you are, but I liked that you prefaced this post with “Dzien Dobry! Czy Pani mowi po angielsku?” I forgot I wasn’t reading English for a moment. :D I didn’t realize that Augie students could go to Poland, and now I am quite jealous of you. Oh, and when in Rome, you’ve got to go with woda gazowana for meals. Hope you have fun, especially if you’re in Kraków. Say hello to Smok Wawelski for me! I’ll be reading this to see your exploits. Do zobaczenia

  2. Thank you for the e-mail. We all got a copy! Very cool. I sent everyone a copy of the link to your blog. I expect more will write back

  3. Matt! We miss you here in the office. Your great bike-tire-in-leaves photo is on the October calendar. Keep telling us your stories and don’t forget to use your camera. We’ll get some bottled gas water for your return, one day.

  4. Hi Matt,

    Sounds like you are having an adventure already. Photo Bureau misses you. We have a great staff this year. I can’t wait to see your photographs!

  5. How’s it going, Matt? Your first entry was great but I’m dying to hear more! Are you dressing European yet? ;-)

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