Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 2

A good night's sleep does wonders.  I'm going to try to record some of the additional items I've been seeing around today.  A lot of this is brand new to me, so this may be a long post.

Last night, I went to the Krakow Language Exchange Club general meeting.  It was a nice opportunity to socialize, plus I found a new beer I like: Cornelius Grapefruitowy.  How on earth "grapefruit" got translated as a cognate from English, I'll never know, but I'm glad it did.  In addition to the beer, I got to see some of the Kazimierz district, which is very charming.  It reminds me a lot of Mexico; a lot of older buildings with small stores.  At first you think it might be an unkempt or dangerous neighborhood, but then you quickly realize it's just fine.

Today is exploration day.  It started with breakfast at my hotel.  Much like many American hotels, the Sheraton has a free breakfast in the morning.  However, it was much nicer than most American breakfasts.  They had stuff I was used to, such as scrambled eggs and bacon, but there were also some nice touches like lox and other cold meats, as well as a healthy selection of breads to choose from.  Also, next time you make waffles, just skip the syrup and use some warm chocolate sauce.  So good!  I may never go back!

I've been eating horribly because I've been doing tons of walking; I also discovered that my hotel has a fitness center sufficient to do a nice bit of weight lifting, so I took advantage of that.  Walking around in seemingly meaningless patterns is the best way to build an internal map in my head.  I've already found two McDonalds, two KFCs, and one Subway.  KFC seems really popular, and that confuses me.

I also scouted out one gym (siłownia) in Kazimierz today.  It's close to a tram stop, but otherwise a little bit far from my apartment.  The gym is pretty small, though, so I think I'll keep scouting.  Methinks that one squat rack will not cut it if more than one person wants to do squats.

I met a couple of Argentine tourists randomly.  I was taking a break on a bench and they sat down next to me and started reading their tour book aloud in Spanish.  I remember Spanish well enough to hold a conversation with a couple of patient, older Argentines, so that's a good sign.  However, it thoroughly confused the part of my brain that handles language for the next hour.

For dinner, I had my first zapiekanka.  For those of you that aren't familiar with the dish, remember those Stouffers french bread pizzas?  They're a lot like that, only larger and with ketchup (not as bad as it sounds). The kielbasa is better, though.

I get to move to the apartment tomorrow!  The connections have been set up, so it should be pretty straightforward.  Someone from my company is helping to move me tomorrow at noon.  That gives me plenty of time to have a free breakfast buffet and get re-packed up before transitioning to my new home for the next three months.  It will be kind of nice not to have a mile-long hike to the main square, but I'm going to miss the air conditioning as long as the temperatures are up there.

I leave you with a photo of Krakow's second-most-famous feature, Wawel ("vavel") castle.  This castle is very close (nearly across the street) from my hotel, so I've been seeing a lot of it.  Also, there was a renaissance fair there today which I randomly ran into.  It was nice to walk around, but I didn't buy anything largely because it would be yet another item to haul over to the apartment.

And now, a selection of miscellaneous observances:
  • There's a lot of stuff in English here.  I guess I expected that when I studied in Mexico, being close to the US, but here it seems out of place.
  • Fortunately, though, a lot of people speak English.  I know enough Polish to ask if the person speaks English and a few other phrases beyond that.  Still learning new words.
  • The pigeons here are way too tame.
  • First song I heard on the radio (driving from the airport to the hotel): "Call me Maybe"
  • The internet is spotty here.  It will be fine for 20 minutes and then slow to a crawl for like 5.  I'm hoping it's a hotel thing.  I'm on the end of a hallway, so I may be further away from the router.
  • My company-issued Blackberry is currently a brick (pending investigating network issues and costs), so I need to start wearing a watch again.  Fortunately, I brought one for running!
  • Maybe it's just because it's hot, but ladies don't seem to mind if their bra (or lack thereof) is very apparent.
  • PDAs (not the electronic kind) are very accepted here.
  • Traffic seems to be respectful of pedestrians, but only brave pedestrians. 
  • Beer and water have a negligible price difference.
  • I've had a few people come up to me and randomly ask me something in Polish.  I guess that's good, right?  As long as I keep my mouth shut, I'm not sticking out so much as to instantly say I don't speak the language.


DanielleRae87 said...

I am very happy to hear that Call Me Maybe is represented in Poland.

Post a Comment

Design by Wordpress Theme | Bloggerized by Free Blogger Templates | free samples without surveys