Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day One: In a Strange Land

The instructions on my blog are in Polish. That's helpful.
So I arrived here ok, slept most of both of the flights. I'm not really digging this no English thing. What happens is in a shop I say "English?" and every time it's that same reaction, the girl shrugs her shoulders and rolls her eyes. Then we laugh and laugh!

This is a market near by hostel. There's lots of cool markets around. Women pick lilacs and stand at the side of the market holding them, waiting for someone to buy some.

This is the town square. Inside is another market seen below. In all the postcards I've seen from this place this building is newly painted and looks fantastic. Now... not so much.

This I believe St Mary's church. Amazing inside and an extra $2.50 to take pictures for some reason.

This is inside the yellow building, a bunch of cool shops selling soldiers made out of wood and stuff like that.

This is the outside of St. Mary's. The top was built in like the 1300's. I tried to get someone to take my picture in front of it, so no one would. No one speaks English in this place. I held the camera up to the guy, pointed at me, pointed at the building and he looked around like he was on Candid Camera and walked away.
I think I might be over my going to Russia/Egypt thing as they probably don't speak English there either. We'll see how things go in the next 2 weeks. Like I tried to buy my train ticket to Auschwitz for tomorrow and I someone got a train for $11 that runs 3 times a day and takes 1.5 hours instead of a bus that runs 10 times a day and takes 1 hour for $7. Oh, well. There's lots of packages here, they try to get you to take the Auschwitz tour for like $50. The place is free to get in, don't understand that.

This is the view from the top of the castle here. Pretty cool. I only got to see the Monestary part as by the time I got back the castle part was sold out. Maybe I can see that on Friday. There's a $50 package to go to the Salt Mines too but it says you can just catch the minibus outside the post office. How hard can that be when you can't ask anyone for help?
Some guy in my room is taking off his pants right now. He's yummy. I could get used to communal living. Now the shirt! Don't look Adam, don't look!

Here's the only picture of me in existence as I asked some kid dressed up like a guard to take it as he spoke some English and looked like he had lost his pride long ago. No maybe that would be the guy I saw wearing a traditional dress and long socks selling a bird caller thing for $1.50.

This is how they park here, they just cover the sidewalk with their Volkswagens. A lot of people bike here too, and there's a lot of cool trails.

I looked up gay bars here and was told this country isn't really good for gays. They had a "Be yourself" parade last year about 5 minutes from where I'm staying, not even a gay parade, and people threw vegetables and feces and there were about 500 police. So the guide called this one the best in town (The guide also said Krakow is more liberal than Warsaw!) and it looks like a jail. Do you knock to get in or run for your life? Maybe it's because it was only 7 pm. The bars don't stop serving here so I imagine things go pretty late here.
My hostel is in an excellent location, right across from a huge 3 story mall and the main train station and a block away from the historic town.
Gotta catch up on my sleep, I have a 9:15 train to Auschwitz tomorrow. At least I think she said 9:15.... maybe thats why people use the guide. My step father says I should send everyone I know a postcard "Greetings from SUNNY Auschwitz!"


Speak English! said...

Suddenly, I can't stop thinking about this Kids in the Hall sketch:

Scott: I speak English. Believe or not, there's a lot of people out there who don't. I find that sad. Why . . . why don't they speak English? Is it `cause they find it too difficult? That's ridiculous -- it's easy. I spoke it my whole life and I never had any problems. Is it because they don't like it? That's ludicrous. It's a great language. Whyyyy . . . Shakespeare's in English . . . barely. Maybe they don't speak it `cause it's not their first language. So? I mean, where were their parents? Why, why did they teach `em a language that nobody speaks?

And, and it's not like they speak just one other language -- no, no, there's tons of `em like Spanish, or German, or check this one out: Hindi. In France, everyone speaks French `cause they think it's cool. Gives `em, gives `em an excuse to smoke.

I was in this country, I don't want to say its name cause I don't want to be called racist, so let me just call `em . . . "they." Anyways, my theory is they don't even understand each other, they just run around jabberin' away in gibberish pretendin' to understand each other just to make you feel like a jerk! You know? This happened to me. I'm in this little store in Holland and I asked the guy behind the counter for razor blades. He looks at me real funny like I'm a fag or somethin' and says, "Donna speakah eenglaize" in this really weird accent. I . . . I don't know what to do, I mean, what's wrong with this clown? So, so, I repeat it real slowly like I would to a dog and then he says it again, "Donna speakah eenglaize." So I don't know what to do, so I reach over the counter, grab the blades and walk out. Uh, what would you do? The guy overreacts, you know, Europeans. Runs after me yelling at me in some weird accent, Hollandaise, I guess, and an old woman in wooden shoes comes clompin' up to see what the problem is. So I tell her to go back to dipping candles or whatever it is they do. She pretends not to understand me. So I hit her. She overreacts. Dies. You know, Europeans.

Voice over: Lights out, _____.

Scott: What did he say? Why doesn't he speak English? See what I'm tellin' ya?

dunnadam said...

Did I mention the deodorant problem? Namely they don't wear any. The scented tradition has not yet passed on here. The towels and sheets smell bad.