Friday, May 27, 2011

No cutting corners!

So I spent the last day in Warsaw, Poland with some wonderful hosts that treated me like family. The hot shower and being able to wash and DRY my clothes (WITH A DRYER!) was awesome.
I spent yesterday touring the city of Warsaw.  Particularly Old Town as my hosts suggested.
It almost brought a tear to my eye thinking how it was all destroyed and remembering back to the films like Saving Private Ryan where there were families stuck in all of that hell.

So after seeing the NEW old town (it was rebuilt in about 10-15 years after it's destruction) I decided to call it a day. I went to McDonalds, my favorite Wifi spot and sent some requests before taking a tram to the edge of the city.

TRAVEL TIP: If you aren't a student don't even THINK about getting the 50% off tickets for public transport!

I figured I'd just take a short tram ride and be out of the city. But about 2 stops from my destination a guy came in checking tickets. I didn't have a student ID nor could I pay the 80cl which is a $22 fine so he took me off the tram and told me that he was going to take me to the police.  Uh - Oh!  Think fast.  So I told him the truth.   I was pick-pocketed two days earlier and have just the $20 I had stashed in my backpack. I actually had $40 stashed but that would have been able to pay the fine. They asked where I'm staying..I said I hitch-hike and I have my tent..or if people let me stay in their home I do. So he just shook his head and wagged his finger at me and said "this ticket is for STUDENTS only..if you haven't started your semester and don't have an ID you can't buy this ticket. Don't do it again."    I'll take his advice.   Crisis averted.
I should have really interned for a crisis management was my favorite communications class.

Anyways...I took a tram to Odecia which is the last stop. From there I ended up walking for 8km, stopping now and then to try and hitch but to no success. After I finally made it past 3 towns and found a place with a very nice shoulder and far enough out of warsaw and definately on the way to JUST Krakow..I stopped. It took me about 30minutes and 2 cars. The first was a car full of guys and children...gypsies I presume. He put a golden ring in my hand and asked if I spoke English or Deutsch and then said  "Muuuhhney Muuuuhney" in the most childish voice I ever heard."   Holy hell did that piss me off.   I was like..."YOU have a car..I don't. Why do you think I'm hitch-hiking?! Because i don't have money."  I gave him the ring back and they left.

The second car was a couple and their baby. Luck woudl have it that they are also affiliated with couchsurfing and have hitch-hiked themselves. In fact..the girl who is Polish met her husband who is Lithuanian when he showed her around his city during her studies. haha   They were such a funny couple to observe. When they argued they'd Kiss...then say "no no no" (about who would drive or whether he/she should have a bite/etc) and then kiss again and then the other would say "yes yes yes."  It was the sweetest thing ever..what a cool way to argue :)
We had some dumplings for dinner and they went to a store and bought me a small sack lunch for the next day. They then contacted the person in Krakow that would host me (we were going to be arriving after midnight) and she came to the car and it was just..What a lucky car to hitch with!

Monika, my current host has been really cool. We chatted a bit and she showed me her house which is currently being renovated. We chatted about music and life before going to bed as she'd have to work in the morning. This morning she prepared some food from the sack lunch, gave me a map and public transport ticket (just in case).
I didn't do much today. I walked around the main square and observed all the many people and events going on. Taking in the history of the old buildings and the frescoes and gargoyles that were on them. I found a nice shaded spot as it was really sunny and sat around chatting to two locals.
Tonight I'll spend a relaxing evening with my host..over some good music and great conversation.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow so Im' thinking I'll stay in Krakow until Tuesday so I can visit Auschwitz on Monday and then head for Worclaw on Tuesday.

Note: Sorry for sending that message on facebook, I should have sent some private messages first. My thinking was if I received a dollar from some friends then I'd be fine. I finally did contact family as many people thought I was being hacked and I'll get an early b-day advance that will see me through until I get my replacement card and my trip will resume with adequate funds. So friends don't worry as I'm not in dire straights..I should have thought of more avenues. 

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