Warsaw Calling

Trip Start Nov 24, 2009
Trip End Dec 09, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of Poland  , Central Poland,
Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Greetings from Warsaw! Following a quick layover in Frankfurt, Germany I boarded a 737 (with more legroom than my previous 11 hour flight?!?) bound for Poland. As I woke from a short but needed nap the clear German skies were replaced by a sea of cloud cover. Only once we penetrated the clouds to land did I take my first view behind the former Iron Curtain.

My first few moments there were filled with mishaps...I had money spat at me by an ATM (a rather high quality problem if there weren't so many people around), was sold the bus ticket I didn't ask for (which seemed unnecessary since no one else on the bus was even paying) and I got off on the wrong stop only to have to walk the rest of the way, and my room no longer came with free breakfast!?! Despite these minor setbacks (the fun in traveling outside your culture) I made it safely to my room up the eight flights of stairs in another building across the square from the main hostel. Believe me...this is not the place you want to live if you're handicapped. No elevators, slippery stone tile steps and the only wheelchair ramps I saw were going into the subways, and they were just as steep as the stairs...just like a slide!

Even though I had only slept 3 hours out the past 50 I still managed to unpack, get settled and arrive on time for happy hour in my hostel's pub. The bartender, in an attempt to avoid his math homework chatted me up for a good half hour. It's nice that people around here speak English so well...but that's only those under 30. Even stranger is that many of the young English speaking Euros had little traces of accents and actually sound American! I found out this is likely due to their heavy exposure to American TV (everybody seeems to be talking about Scrubs...is that even on still at home?) Basically they sound like they're from LA. ;-)

Later that night I took a walk through the city center in search of a meal. I finally settled on a higher end tea house restauracija for pierogi (polish dumplings) and strawberry tea to warm up the system...much needed since It's about 40 degrees outside most of the time! After a roundabout walk back (intended this time) and a little journaling I finally hit the sack for a full 6 hours. There's lots to see here so I gotta be up to it tomorrow. After all...how often am I gonna be in Warsaw!
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