11 July 2008

All The World's A Stage

Dzien Dobry,

Today was another amazing day. I think that the first week of being here was hard because there were so many new things to get used to: the food, language, people, places, sounds, and especially smells. I feel like I'm finally starting to figure things out, and today when someone tried to hand me a flyer (people pass out flyers for everything here, at all times of the day) I told them "Dziekuje Nie" (No Thanks) without batting an eyelash. I was so proud of myself. haha It sounds like such a minor accomplishment, but it's so very exciting to feel the culture and language taking root inside of you.

Friday is a field trip day, but due to some last-minute budget cuts the field trip for my "Jews in Poland" class was cancelled. Dr. Powell offered to let us come along with her class for their trip, and I'm so glad I did. We left early this morning and walked to the oldest market place in all of Poland. People from all over the state come to sell fruits, vegetables, cheeses, pastries, meats, and other handmade items. It was fascinating to walk around and sample all the different things that were there, especially since we had Dr. Powell to order for us.

After the market we walked to the Krakow National Museum. The museum is a conglomeration of many different items. Their current main exhibit is a large exhibition of modern art-- which even includes some portraits of famous Jewish people that Andy Warhol was commissioned to draw. But, the coolest part was their permanent collection of armor, swords, guns, and cavalry paraphernalia that has been donated/collected from the Germans, Polish, French, and Italians. I can't say enough about how cool this place was. They started in the 13th century and went all the way up to WWII items. They even has clothes and a large collection of antique furniture. I'm a geek, and for me this place was pretty close to perfect. I could have stayed all day, but I suppose 3 hours was okay too.

Tonight we actually stayed out late and hung around the theatre festival in the old square. There are tons of actors, comedians, and dancers that have traveled from all over the world to show Krakow just what they've got. We watched this guy from Canada who does a comedy routine by involving people from the audience. He was like a modern-day Charlie Chaplin. I don't think I've laughed as hard as I did tonight in a long time. Sarah, Liz, and I are planning on going back tomorrow night to watch him again, so I will try to video some of his routine. He is too funny not to share with everyone. After his routine we went and watched some fire jugglers/eaters for a little while and then we went to see a Ukrainian theatre troop do their hour-long presentation. It was very odd to say the least, and mostly involved people on stilts in nude body suits throwing paper at each other. Don't ask! The coolest part about that was meeting a younger couple, their children, and their adorable golden retriever, Charlie. They lived in New York City for eight years and moved back to Krakow one year ago. The woman is originally from Krakow and her husband is from the states. Charlie made the evening much more enjoyable, and I think seeing him made me miss Fletcher and Tobie even more. (Mom, Dad, Olivia, you better be taking good care of my kids!)

Obviously, today was a much better day than the past few have been, and we even got our bus passes! (This is quite a big deal...) So, I figured, since I'm writing this terribly long e-mail I could take a few moments to answer some of the questions that y'all have been asking...

No, there is not a Wal-Mart in Poland. They don't really do super-stores/all-in-one shops like that here. There are a few chain-style grocery stores, but most people go to the market or the huge mall to get whatever they may need. Speaking of the mall, it is so incredibly AWESOME! It's like the Polish version of the Mall of America.

The only American restaurants that we've seen here are: McDonalds (of course!), KFC, and Subway. Everything else is locally owned. There are a total of two laundries in this city, both of which are outrageously expensive, and most people don't have washers, much less, dryers in their flats. So, hand-washing and line-drying it is! It's considered rude to smile at people when you walk past them on the streets, especially the older people-- they think you're laughing at them.

When I think of more interesting tidbits I'll try to remember to put them in here. This country and everything about it is wonderful, and I hope that someday after this trip I'll be able to come back. Love you all. Goodnight.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home