And I ask myself, What am I doing here?

So, yes, at this moment, it finally seems real that I’m in Poland, and that’s not just because I’m in Poland. I think it has to do with a lack of anxiety re: the upcoming trip (now come) and a lack of a lack of sleep (slept for ten hours last night). It’s still strange, and I ask myself what I plan to accomplish here and whether I can or perhaps this is all just a huge waste of money (perhaps Polish is successfully invading my consciousness… my first instinct was to spell “huge” with a j instead of an h, which is how you would spell it in Polish, if, for example, you were to spell and English word in Polish) and, if it is, whether I can recover.

In other news, driving from the Krakow airport to Krakow proper (the airport used to be Balice, and is now John Paul II) was beautiful, the taxi driving through fog and near deserted areas which looked like the edges of parks, a lone lamppost out in the trees circled in light. After finding my address, however, I was faced with the fact that the 5/140 in my address means number 5 on the street, 140th apartment. Whatever you may think, my Polish is pretty bad (I keep wanting to say, “My Polish is bad” in Polish, but I’m not even that good), and so I entered what is basically a large apartment complex with no clue where to turn. The apartments are separated into staircases, each of which is given a number that, while increasing in number according to the apartments within, has no direct relation to the actual numbers of the enclosed apartments.

The porter (?) security guard type directed me to Klatka 9, but I had to step away from him and in the light of a building sidelamp before taking out my small dictionary and figuring out that klatka could mean, in this case, stairs.

Man, do I need a shower. There was nothing in the apartment, of course, and the stores were closed last night, so it’s now that I have the bathing supplies I need, and I hope you realize that I’m postponing that eventual cleaning to keep you updated on my dirty, stinky travails.

Still, it took me twenty minutes, at least, to isolate the staircase (because I wasn’t sure 9 was right. In fact, it was the first I checked, but there was no 140 listed by any of the doors; there’s no one living there at the moment–of course–so the nameplate outside the communal hallway listed 138-142 without 140) and then figure out how the keys worked (small one for the outer door to the communal hallway, larger one for the top lock in the door to the apartment) and to also, by process of elimination, decide what door I should be putting my keys into.

Did I mention that there was a 9 hour wait in the Frankfurt airport? I was hopeful, upon leaving Houston, that there’d be a delay, because they said there was, and we took off nearly an hour and a half late, but the tailwinds were so strong (goody goody) that the plane made it on time and, perhaps, a little early.

Writing this on a Polish computer means that nearly every word is underlined in red as a misspelling, which is somewhat distracting.

They had these reclined seats in Frankfurt so that you could sleep while you waited. I never got to try one–seating was at a premium–but they looked comfortable, except for the fact that they were all connected, so whenever you moved, all the other chairs moves slightly as well.

Boy, do I feel grody. And how is that even a word?

So, last night, I get into the apartment and it’s warmer in there, but not warm, and the whole thing is not as I expected. What did I expect? I don’t know, but that wasn’t it, which seems to be always the case when heading towards something or someone, an expectation gets in the way which isn’t even necessarily me expecting something “better”, but just expecting something, anything, the picture in the mind already in the way, obstacle-ing (without the e).

After setting everything on the ground and scouting out the amenities I decide to go for a walk to try and find an open store (FAILURE) and use the internet (FAILURE). Before I left, I tried to see if I could steal some internet from the air, and it almost worked. There’s a service that provides internet for the street that I might try and use, as soon as I decrypt the Polish login page. Instead of either/or I found Tequila, a twenty-four hour bar in place of the twenty-four hour internet cafe.

Twenty-four hour bar.

Twenty-four hour bar.

Hello, party people, welcome to Krakow.

There I had a beer with syrup (piwo z sokiem) and talked with the two employees (there was no one else there; it was 10 o’clock). Turns out they just opened last weekend and are still putting everything in order, such as buying all the tequila for their bar (they want to end up with forty tequilas; currently they don’t have Patron. Is that a crime?) and fixing up the third room as a dance floor. The girl working the bar was cute, and both she (Joanna) and Andrew (the other guy) (Not me) were nice and spoke decent English. Since I can’t speak Polish worth any sort of classification, this always amazes me and makes me feel humble. I’ll probably be going back tonight.

POLISH KNOWLEDGE

“According to legend, a golden duck lived under the [Gninski-Ostrogski] palace, guarding its treasures.”

Don’t be surprised if you find this in a poem of mine. Or maybe a screenplay. Now that Beowulf has hit it big, I think it’s time for the legends of other cultures to make their way to the big screen.

QUACK

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One Response to And I ask myself, What am I doing here?

  1. ok says:

    good site snlufz

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