Friday, January 14, 2011

Goodbye, London! Hello, Poland...and CZ!

Well, we made our first visit to POLAND!  I got a passport stamp to prove it!  I also ate a meal there, which of course makes it even more official.   I should step back for a second though and mention the events leading up to our arrival to Eastern Europe…

 Nathan and I had a good last half day in London.  We gave away all the foods stuff that we had left as well as some paper towels and cleaning spray by putting them outside our door with a sign that read: “Leaving London tomorrow.  All items are free.  Please take them.  Please!  FREE!”  They took everything but the bag of coffee, which, honestly, was a good option b/c that coffee was wretched.

A high point of yesterday was that we got to see our sweet and dear friend from Boston for breakfast.  It was a joy to see her happy and settled here in Europe.  It’s also fun to hear about her various adventures, etc.  Loved every minute, and it was only about an hour. Sad day.  Anyway, below was my croissant with Gruyere and tomato.  Indulgence.  And a pot of coffee.  Necessity.   

My last class we had a guest speaker that was pretty boring until the last 45 minutes (of a 2.5 hr total talk) when they shared their own stories of how they acquired HIV and their lives now as a result.  It went 30 minutes longer than planned which meant that everyone was fidgety and wanted to kill the girl who asked FIVE questions in a row (per usual) at the very end when we wanted to ship out.  Argh.

After class, Nathan and I met up and hopped on the Tube to the Liverpool Station and caught the Stansted Express to the airport.  We made it with a perfect amount of time to spare.  I’m proud to report that we were UNDER the weight restrictions for our two bags on Ryanair which is really a feat.  We also managed to only have one carry-on each (that’s also a strict Ryanair rule).  Thankfully, Arup agreed to hold onto our larger suitcases for this next week of travel so we didn’t have to pay to store them.  When we land in Heathrow, Nathan will go fetch our bags before we fly out to NY.  Anyway, we grabbed Pret for lunch and went through security. 

I’m not sure what to say about our flying experience other than to say that it was like flying on Hulu or something…an advertisement every 10 minutes.  Seriously.  There were automated messages that came on and the flight attendants had various motions and actions to perform each time an announcement was played.  For food purchase, Duty Free items, discounted phone plans and SIM cards, and my personal favorite…. lottery tickets!  Here’s our flight attendant showing off the special lottery cards:

I have to say that all these things were a good distraction from one of the most turbulent flights I’ve been on in a while.  Thankfully it was a short 1 hour and 40 minute hop over to Katawice (Cat-ah-Vee-CHey).  We deplaned and got onto one of those shuttle buses with everyone from the plane, only to drive a could hundred feet to the arrival terminal.  It was hilarious.  An older Polish couple sitting next to us laughed and said well, this is Poland!  It was cute.  A passport stamp and bag grab later, we were with Jonny and Lisa, bumping along the Polish highway toward the Czech Republic!  Only one stop for petrol and a bite at a Polish McDonald’s made us realize that Poland is certainly not how I ever imagined.  Maybe more on that later…dunno. 

So, we’re here.  It’s awesome.  Today will be fantastic.  Signing off. 

(It’s now after the whole day is through that I’m actually posting this online, so more posts later in the day. J  Lucky you, reader!)


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