Saturday, March 5, 2011

Arctic Temperatures, Peeing, and Polish Grandma's

Arrived in Krakow at 7 am and I easily found my way to my hostel, Ars Hostel and Bar but they couldn't check me in until 11, so I took off exploring.   It was super cold out and I could have used warmer gloves but for the most part I was prepared for the sub arctic temperature.  My mom taught me well....layers, layers, layers.  I found my way down to Coffee Heaven and have a wonderful Vanilla Chai Latte (my new favorite) and warmed up before setting back out.  At the end of my old city center exploration, I ended up at Wawel Royal Castle.  I can just remember how BIG the buildings are.  At 10:15, I headed back to the hostel and they set me up in the commons room with a wonderful cup of Hot Chocolate while I waited to be checked in.  I was just happy to be some place warm.
   After getting settled, I left the hostel for an afternoon walk.  It was a different atmosphere because now the stores are actually opened and tourists are out and about on their adventures.  I followed the flock of people which led me to the mall...bad mistake.  To seek out some warmth, I ventured inside...and after defrosting, I walked out with a new pea coat.....I have been searching ALL over Europe for a pea coat that will fit my freakishly long arms and finally in Poland....success has been reached.  I really need to avoid malls.
    I didn't know it at the time, but the real fun was about to begin.  I stopped into a cafe on the Old Town Square and a couple was preparing to leave their table by the window.  I asked them if they were leaving, they acknowledged yes, so I patiently waited til they gathered their belongings.  Next to the table this old Polish woman and her elderly daughter were sitting at a table...well the Polish grandma thought the table would be hers....she started to make her move.  I said, excuse me, no, I was waiting for the table but she completely ignored me and started taking over.  Luckily I have been trained by years of Church with my grandparents, that I know how to weave like the best of them.  I weaved past the leaving couple and just like musical chairs, I claimed my seat.  The old polish woman wasn't too happy but hey....the music stopped, and she was left without a seat.  Not my finest moment, but it wasn't like it was the ONLY table in the cafe, AND they were ALREADY sitting at a different table.  All that kept going through my mind, is my mom at the movie theater....(she knows what I am talking about).  I have been trained well.  SO I enjoyed my coffee and VIEW.
    Later that night, I ended up buying some groceries and making a peanut butter and jam sandwich (had to go to three different groceries to find peanut butter).  I tried to get some sleep but a group of people from Spain partied in the commons room until 1 am and my room adjoins the commons area.  Finally peace and quiet at 1am only to discover my inaccuracy.  At 4:30 am I was awoken to loud talking from some Australian guys who were returning from the bars.  Apparently they were heavily intoxicated and they didn't care who they woke up in their process of getting home.  My new friend Katherine (also from Australian but not connected with these guys) filled me in on the gross details later in the day.  At the time, all I knew was that I was pissed, tired, and had to go to the bathroom.  I didn't know that they had moved the bathroom to the hallway outside my room but the Australian guy did and proceeded to pee in the hallway.  I unfortunately stepped in the pee on my way to the bathroom.  Katherine later filled me in that he was so drunk that he had peed in the hallway and that his buddy had peed in a corner of their room almost peeing on a French girls jacket but making it on her hat.  They were kicked out during the day...hopefully they are black balled on the underground Hostel network.
Lesson Learned:  wear shoes when going to the bathroom in a hostel and not just your socks


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