/ Poor Edward in Kraków
I'm sorry it took so long for my post but here it is. (Please excuse me if I refer to myself in the third person)Thursday
Poor Edward awoke, bleary eyed and "bardzo kaca" to the all to often last minute packing, where the hell is my passport scenario. After a last minute run-around and a quick checklist I was on my way. Soon after I arrived in the airport flying with Ryanair, who were kind enough to charge me an extra five euro because I didn't check in online. The flight went ok, I was trying my best to learn last minute phrases with my phrasebook and brush up on anything I'd learned. After a successful touchdown and hassle free exit from the airport I was at a loss as to how I would get to my destination because your humble narrator had no planning to his trip only a rough idea on how it was supposed to go. I stood outside the airport and swallowed my pride and asked a taxi man to take me to Kraków, and as he was more than willing I jumped in. A half an hour later and 90pln less we arrived at our destination, which was Śv. Jana as I only knew this street and none other. By this time it was 11:30 at night and all I wanted to do was find somewhere to throw my bags and get settled. Meandering from hotel to hotel I found myself in a nice place called the "Hotel Polski" on Pijarska, for 300pln for a single room for the night. Settled and excited I hit the square, and found myself sitting outside an enchanting establishment called "Vis A Vis". I had the biggest ********** grin on my face as I knew this is what I had worked for and wanted for the past three nearly four months. Three or four Żywiec later and I was game for trying my hand at a little bit of conversation. The barman was my first target, he had little or no english. After a slightly rough conversation, (which included him giving me a history of the big "Głowna" staring straight in the face), I walked away thinking this is what it was all leading to.The bar closed and I went home tired, slightly "pijany" and hungry. Floriańka was next on my list, and into McDonalds I marched, ate my fill and spoke to people via a mouthful bigmac, fries and fanta. And I slept my little "hiberno-slav heart out :)Friday
I awoke to the sound of a skip truck emptying a skip full of bottles. 7:00 in the morning Eddie was watching the streets with a head full of anticipation and want. I soon realised what time it was and went back to bed, half ten seemed a more suitable time to make an effort. But before the good times rolled I needed to find somewhere else to stay. So over to a B&B I had seen on my walk home the night before. This dainty looking establishment led me into a nice looking room for 200pln a night on Wislna. I liked the building I was staying in, it made me feel like I was staying in the Dostoevsky novel, and the room I had bestowed cable tv on me which I had a look at for about a holf hour. Once again roomed and ready I set of on a trip to the shop. Two books, a postcard and stamp later I found myself back in the square where I proceeded to etch a few thoughts on the postcard to all my polish counterparts who had wished me well before my off. More Żywiec and a near perfect postcard later I went for a walk, to where I believe is "small market square" where I seen a few boards in the square which contained doublesided short pieces of polish history. (I cant remember exactly what was on it but I did google some of it when I got home). And went home for a power nap and shower.
Later that night I went to sample some food I was urged to try before I went. Upon entering the eateria I was confronted by a most pleasent woman, who laughed as I tried to ask "do you have a table for one person, please", in polish, in a near empty place. Pierogi and bigos where my choice of fancy, (although I had thought that bigos was a soup, I got it mixed up with another food). But as a warm up I was presented with a couple of slices of bread, a bowl of lard with some hard bits of meat and some other brown pate. After the food I was given a nice rose liquor and sent on my way.
So off to some pub I went and drank and smoked my little heart out, (I found I liked sitting in smokey bars again, as opposed to smoking outside in Irish bars). At the end of my table I was listening to two people talking who after 10 minutes of me staring and trying to understand what they were saying (I could just about undersatnd but I was about four sentences behind). They got a bit pissed off with me staring at them and asked me was I the police. "No no I am not, Im Irish and Im here on holiday, Im only learning polish" was my only answer. And we got talking and kept on talking till the wee hours. Me in my best polish, her in drunken slur polish and him in drunken slur english/polish/and later that night french. We went to a lovely place called the "Stary Port" where we drank and talked till the wee hours.Saturday
This was to be the day when I got some culture into me.
After checking out of my room and finding a new bed in the "Hostel Brama" for 100pln a night I went to Wawel Castle. I dont like the whole follow the masses around so I only went around the outside. I was impressed but not blown away, I thought it looked more impressive from the street. And i just generally rambled around the the outskirts of the town and back into the square.
After my walk thirst had driven me to ignore food and head straight to the pub, where I stayed and brought an abrupt end to my day of culture, although I found the Irish bar was the best place for me to speak polish cos the barmaids understood me best, and gave me a few lessons on grammer. McDonalds was the choice cuisine "w Sobata", and after a quick fill off went Poor Edward to "Prozac", a niteclub. Not dressed in my "Sunday best" I didnt feel too confident to go into the depths of the club and stayed in the bar part where I consumed vast amounts of wódka and redbull/burn. On the way back and feeling brave I decided to go on a pub crawl drinkind nothing but vodka and maybe a mixer.The Saturday night story ends here cos I was too drunk to recall tha best part. I rang two friends one in Ireland, the other from from Poland living in Ireland who went to Poland for a trip. And woke up with a bottle of vodka beside me in the bed.Sunday
This was a disaster day, I had a foul hangover and misread the tickets for the plane. So I thought I was running a little late, when I found my way to the airport I realised I was about five hours early for check in, so out into the beautiful sunny day with a few "piwos" and a read of my book. Then I got back to my mundane life in Ireland which Im not happy about at all :(
In finishing, I had assumed my trip was going to be more polish than it was. Im supposed to be going back in Christmas so hopefully it wont be so english speaking. Alot of the topics I read here I never noticed in Poland and I didnt find anyone stinking of sweat, except for some drunk Geordie guy. But I really enjoyed myself.
I also have pictures but they're not going to be posted yet until I can learn to do it.