POLAND - Grape Tears in Warsaw

Trip Start Aug 15, 2012
Trip End Jan 10, 2013

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Flag of Poland  , Central Poland,
Monday, September 17, 2012

Our research told us to be aware to taxi drivers taking advantage of unaware tourists in Warsaw so we opted to catch the shuttle bus from the airport to the train station ten minutes away which would then take us in to town. What we didn’t know is that we were going to have to wait over an hour for the train to leave… ahhhh more waiting! Anyway, we were at least able to sit on the comfortable and clean train while we waited. There was no English signage or overhead announcements so we didn’t know what was going on until we asked some friendly Poles.
We stayed in another airbnb apartment just on the outskirt of the main city area which meant we could walk everywhere which was great and the apartment was way cool.  It was a newly renovated interior inside a typical communist style grey cement building. These kind of buildings were everywhere.

During world war two the town of Warsaw was completely obliterated by bombing and such from the Germans and the town lost 85% of it's buildings. Can you imagine that? Of course the human casualty, estimated at between 150,000 and 200,000, came at a much larger cost.
A couple of months before the end of the war the Russian Soviet Army kicked the Germans out then occupied Warsaw rebuilding the town using traditional communist style architecture. Thankfully they immediately started rebuilding the beautiful old town, which dated back to the 13th century. We had lunch in the square one day and it was so beautiful and completely touristy but we ate well! I ordered a side of mashed beetroot which I ended up eating as dessert because it was so sweet.
It was Sunday night when we arrived and we could not find a restaurant open near our apartment for dinner so we decided to go to the grocery store and buy some supplies to take home. Shopping like this in a foreign country usually takes a little while longer because we can’t read the labels so it requires a little more scrutiny. We were blown away by the alcohol isle… one whole long isle was dedicated purely to vodka! They were all different kinds, sizes and shapes. Not being fans ourselves we opted for a bottle of wine and a can of beer
On approaching the check out counter I started packing the bags while the lady asked us something in Polish holding up our bag of grapes. We apologized saying we spoke English and she huffed and puffed got up out of her chair and stormed off with our grapes and us staring after her bewildered. It seems one is supposed to weigh the grapes, print the docket and THEN go to check out. Oops. She then started to cry, can you imagine our surprise? After this a guy who seemed like her boss commenced a conversation with her in which she started sobbing… we avoided going back there for fear of upsetting her further!

The night life seemed to be huge in Warsaw. We went out late one night for dinner and the main streets were packed full of fun seeking people. At one bar we watched a girl busking on the street and boy did she have a strong voice like Alanis Morissette. We ended up opting for a pizza dinner rather than some of the local dishes... beetroot borscht, herring (even for breaky), various cured meats, vegetables or fish in aspic jelly, sauerkraut and pork knuckles.

Like in Spain, Asian food restaurants are usually bundled together and one day we had lunch at a place called Bali Cafe & Dim Sum House. It was a unique restaurant but the food was good. I had a noodle soup and my first tofu in a looong time which was lovely. Poor Leigh, with vivid memories of Diana's delicious Beef Rendang, ordered it and alas they were all out for the day! Very disappointing! Anyway, it was never going to be as good as Diana's... the best ever!

Maybe when we go back to Sydney there might be a Beef Rendang (and a Tofu one) waiting for us??

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