Thursday, July 19, 2012

Now It's My Turn

Greetings, everyone!  I think it's about time I posted on this blog.  If you're not familiar with why I haven't been posting, that's because I didn't get here until yesterday evening.

Writing about getting here could be chapters and chapters all by itself, but I'll stick to the main ideas of my journey.  I was supposed to have arrived Tuesday evening, not Wednesday evening, but the vogons at the Ft. Wayne airport were kind enough to alert me that my passport did not match my ticket reservations.  Apparently, one must have one's passport amended when one's name changes.  So, ladies who are either recently married or getting married soon: if you are changing your name, change it on your passport too!  Moving on.

Panic.  I was lucky enough to be able to reschedule my flights for the very next day, with the same itinerary I had before.  I also confirmed with the airline helpdesk that my marriage certificate would let me bypass the name difference problem.  Let's just say it was a difficult night.

The next evening, I was back, armed with marriage certificate and SS cards with both my old name and my new name.  The vogons almost stopped me again!  They called two other people to see if letting me go through was, in fact, possible.  Finally, the right person gave the go-ahead, and I was on my way!  Although I didn't get much sleep on the flight over the Atlantic and the bathrooms in the Frankfurt airport were horrible, no one--not even the steel-faced German customs agent--gave me any grief about my passport.   !?!?!!?!? 

I arrived without a hitch in my schedule and met Andy earlier than expected on the train platform. God is merciful.

So.  Today has had many adventures of its own.  Andy helped me return my computer cord at the mall, as it was the wrong type of plug to fit my power supply.  Then, I navigated my first purchase with a Polish-speaking cashier.  Nothing like jumping right in.  I mostly fumbled around until she told me the amount I still needed to pay in English.  As the day has gone on I've gotten better at just starting everything with, "Prosze, czy mowi pan/pani po angielsku?"

The next task of my day was buying a used mobile phone.  I tried a place from a list that a friend had suggested (which was in a little hole-in-the-wall and very small), and they sent me to another place that would have a wider selection.  Unfortunately, when I followed their directions, I didn't see the other store where I expected it.  I had to muster up the guts to ask someone on the street, who as it turns out, didn't know English at all.  But she still helped me because she pointed me toward a tourist and info center, and I saw the sign for the store I was looking for on my way.  Perfect, yet again!  The clerk in this phone store didn't speak much English, either, but I got what I needed.  Now if I can just switch the phone to English...

Then, it was time to explore.  I decided that Puffer, the beanie-baby Puffin, should accompany me on my travels to Poland, and so he and I did several photo shoots around some of the Old Town's famous landmarks.

As you can see, he even made friends with the pigeons.  More photos of Puffer's adventures will be on Facebook.

And then, I had my first Polish kebab for lunch.  I can't WAIT to do more, and actually fully explore inside these places with Andy.


Justin Bilby said...

Haha, I love the Puffer pics! Glad you made it safely.

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