HEY CHECK IT OUT I ADDED SOME PICS TO THE FOOD POST
By the by, you would not believe how epically long uploading pictures takes. I have a few more from France I just uploaded that I will try to post in a subsequent entry, but man does it take forever.
So, let’s see. I’m at an Internet cafe in Warsaw, waiting for my Indian visa to be ready so that I can then head to Berlin and catch a night train to Malmo, Sweden, so that I can then zip over to Copenhagen. If any phrase in the preceeding sentence strikes you as mildly insane, join the club. We have tee-shirts. Or, we would, if I were capable of organizing anything more complicated than a chocolate croissant and a tram ticket, which is roughly the socio-linguistic capacity I’ve had for about 3 weeks. I actually felt a sense of relief on arriving back in Poland today, because I am very confident in how to say “hello!” and “thank you! ” and “excuse me” in Polish, as compared to Czech. I tried to learn these things in Prague, but since Czech is so similar to Polish, I just ended up sort of babbling in some kind of Czolish that belongs to no Slavic language.
I like that this Polish computer spell-checked “this” and “ticket” and then literally just gave up underlining words. Haha.
Rough summary of things done since leaving Greece:
– Epic train ride to Split
– Prancing on the beach in Split, drinking beer under huge 11th century clock tower, exploring remains of Diocletian’s palace
– Two-day hike through desperately beautiful and sparsely populated Hvar island
– Made dinner with my Croatian host Domagoj in his house in Trogir, another well-preserved medieval town
– Ride to Warsaw–Warsaw Uprising Museum. Serious respect for the Polish people. Seriously serious history.
– Stayed with a group of wonderful Polish students in Krakow
– Partied with a group of wonderful Polish students in Krakow
– Saw wonderful Krakow, by bike and by foot
– Saw Auschwitz, speaking of serious
– Two day stint in Prague, which is easily the most unexpectedly beautiful place on my trip.
Did you know that:
– The Czech Republic is the most atheist country in Europe. (My guide claimed it’s 80%. Need to confirm.)
– 40 Kc is considered expensive for beer in Prague. (That’s about $2. For half a liter.)
– Most Polish cities still have Communist “mlczeny” bars (milk bars) where you can buy cafeteria-style food, except delicious, for about 4-8 zloty per meal. (Aka roughly $2-$2.50.)
– English is NOT widely spoken by anyone over 25 in a lot of Poland. Or by many people who are under 25, come to think.
– You can tell if your train comes from a former Communist country if the bathroom has: 1) foot pumps instead of handles, 2) lots of signs in French, German, and Russian, but never English, 3) either toilet paper, running water, soap, or paper towels, but absolutely never all 4, and often less than 1.
Time to go seek out lunch and grab that visa. What a whirlwind it’s been! I’ve really enjoyed and valued my travels here, but I am definitely looking forward to staying in one place for a bit, and am especially excited to volunteer in Leh.
More thoughts on Croatia/Poland/Czech R soon.