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.