Poland

I’ve been to Poland a few times now.

It used to be my go-to place when I am out of a job and looking for my next contract. Because you know, London is expensive and Poland is super cheap.

I used to have this impression that Poland is a poor country, the quality of life is bad, etc, etc. Because every other person I come across in London, in the cleaning profession, is from Poland, or Romania. (I know it is not a very smart association)

The first time I was there, I was in Krakow. That was back in 2016. I saw many British ‘lads’ having a ‘good time’ which was honesty, to be a bit appalling. They were loud and causing a scene, desperate for attention.

But the reason why I was there was to hook up with the beautiful Polish women. I had just done a dating course in Budapest and was honing my skills, facing my fears and all that.

I was with friends, we talked to numerous girls, well it was more of them talking and me watching. Mustering up some balls, I managed to talk to a few girls though.

I didn’t get any dates from that. A funny thing happened though. I was swiping on Tinder like crazy. I matched with a few and my friend started talking to this Australian from my phone. She is an opera singer, they talked about opera and Don Giovanni.

At that point, I didn’t even know what a Don Giovanni is.

So here we are, we are sitting opposite each other in this restaurant in the old market square. She thinks I am him. I didn’t mention anything opera wise. But we hit it off. At some point she is asking me questions, mentioning some good singers or something like that, as I remember.

And I told her, that was my Friend. She is a bit surprised. But it didn’t seem to matter. Don’t know what’s happening. Why isn’t she furious? Anyway, I end up going back to her Airbnb.

The next day, I took my friend with me who actually was talking to her and we three went out for dinner. And we both end up going back to her place. She seemed quite relaxed about it, at the end of it all, we are left with a broken bed and some good memories.

That is how I remember Krakow.

Not much sightseeing, no touristy stuff, straight to business.

I have been to other cities as well, Wroclaw, Warsaw, and Gdansk. But once I went to Warsaw, it became my favorite. I tell people, that I prefer Warsaw to Krakow, maybe because it is less touristy and I happen to see more of local living than the tourist shenanigans.

There are two hostels I can recommend for you in Warsaw, the Oki Doki Old Town Hostel and Dreams hostel.

After I landed at the Warsaw Airport, I hailed an uber to Oki Doki hostel. After a quick 20 minutes drive I arrive at the hostel door, and I take the two flights of stairs and I see the reception. Straight opposite to it is a big bar, where people are having fun and socializing, with a friendly upbeat vibe. I instantly like it. I thought to myself – I made a good choice. Clean building, friendly people, even though I am not a big fan of people.

I am ready, I am checking in. And the receptionist says, ‘are you sure you have a booking here?’ I say, “yes, look – pointing to the booking app on the phone. She smiles, and I realize – shit I am at the wrong branch of the hostel. I vaguely remember there being two search results with the same name of the hostel. Now I understand why it was there.

Well, I had to take another uber to get to the correct one.

Just as the uber was approaching the hostel, the driver said he can not get there because of this construction going on at the intersection. I said, fine, got out and walked, the cobblestones were uncomfortable to walk on.

I get to the hostel, the vibe is different. Quiet. A bit cleaner than the other one. Not that the other one was bad.

Anyway, I remember having an argument with the receptionist, can’t really remember what now. Nothing too big, just some unpleasantry.

I ended up staying there for about a month. I really liked the hostel. People I met there were, not party people, rather students moving into the city, looking for a place to stay, and staying at the hostel temporarily. Chris, another student, Australian who I had some good intellectual conversations with. We talked about meditation and other things, things I like.

I met a Cutie from Kosovo, went to dinner. We went to this traditional Polish restaurant to try some local food and ended up feeling sick. I remember having diarrhea for the next few days because of that.

There was this cafe, which is next to the hostel. I went there everyday morning for breakfast, ordered more or less the same thing every day, being a creature of habit. It was this wrap with cheese and meat inside. Delicious, I remember the taste still, the wrap was not made from the traditional tortilla wrap, it seemed to be somewhere in between that and pita bread.

It was also there where I first came into contact with summer tea – sweet tea with a lot of fruit in it, mostly berries and apple with warm water. I became a fan. I liked it so much that  I ended asking for it on numerous other occasions in other countries as well.

I would go there every day, breakfast, spend the whole morning there working on my blog, or something else. In the afternoon I would walk around aimlessly, and explore.

I moved to an Airbnb at some point, because I wanted some privacy, (watching porn I mean) and to also cook in the morning. Also at this point, I scored a freelance job at so I was comfortable spending a bit more money on accommodation. Not that it was super expensive for Airbnb.

The Airbnb cost me £20 a day for an entire apartment in the old town square. Compare that to what I was paying in London £1200 a month. And food on top of that about another £1000, maybe more. By the way, eating satisfactorily in restaurants in Warsaw cost me less than £10 in Warsaw.

Poland is clean. The streets are really clean. Warsaw cleaner than Krakow.

I visited one of the Malls in Krakow. Saw the movie Venom there. Rather a big mall, nicely decorated, nice big garden in the front. Coming back from the cinema, since uber is cheap there, and being my main mode of transportation, I ordered one back to my Airbnb, or the hostel – I can’t remember. Waiter for about an hour, the uber never arrived, but the driver started the trip on his app, so the app was charging me. I had no way of canceling, I was furious.

Though, when I called them up, Uber was more than happy to refund the money. I still don’t know if it was a mistake from the driver’s part, or he intentionally did so. All I could see, after ordering uber was, in the in-app map was the icon of the car moving further and further away from me, 1 mile, 2 miles, 10 miles.

That was Warsaw for me.

 

 

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