Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Excursion with a Friend

Today I had a good time exploring with Gosia, a companion I met last night at the English Language Exchange Club.  She wanted to expand my self-imposed boundaries, so we went into Kazimierz, the old Jewish district.  The Old Synagogue was a good place to learn about Jewish culture, and we both learned quite a lot.  I had no idea that the Krakow Jews had their own version of the YMCA.  It was a sports club named after the Maccabees.  It is very nice to have a Polish native with you to ask questions!

By this time, I was hungry, so Gosia showed me the place to get the best zapiekanka in town: the Plac Nowy.  From there, we went to the church of the Corpus Christi, a Gothic-turned-Baroque church that again had amazing guilded altars and lofty ceilings.  Churches back home are going to look so weird.

I also started the process of fixing my passport at the U.S. Consulate today.  I was late to the appointment I had made on the website last night, because Gosia and I were farther from the city center than I had thought, but that didn't seem to matter.  After I went through security, I was just another number in the line (which thankfully was very short).  I was told that my passport was too old to be just amended to my new name; I had to get a whole new one.  If that's what it takes, that's what I'm doing.  The only thing I was missing for my application was a photo.  The consulate employees directed me outside and across the street.  There, I found a small-business photographer who makes a killing on all the travelers who need a passport photo.  (I should mention here that the street has quite a few consulate offices, including France and Germany.)  So, after about ten minutes and $9, I scurried back across the street to the consulate.  I was promised a new passport in ten days.  Deal.


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