Monday, June 17, 2013

Q. "Don't those kids ever go to class?"

A. No.

Just no. Because today was the last day we had to visit any museums, monuments, malls, trees, benches, towers, etc and EVERY DAMN SCHOOL KID IN POLAND DECIDED THEY WANTED TO GO TO THE ONE AND ONLY MUSEUM WE HAVEN'T SEEN IN WARSAW AND TAKE OVER THE PLACE

We've seriously had this problem EVERYWHERE we've gone. And I know, it doesn't sound like much of a problem but -- Pops and I were talking about this earlier -- kids here are a little different. It's not that they're not kind because I have met many people my age here that were nice but... IT'S LIKE YOU'RE READING AN INFORMATIONAL BOARD IN A MUSEUM AND THEY JUST DON'T CARE THAT YOU'RE THERE AND THEY SWARM YOU UNTIL YOU GET SO NERVOUS THAT YOU RUN AWAY.

I did that.

A bunch of girls swarmed me and I freaked out.

Sooo, while the people here are awesome and such -- don't come to Poland during their school year. I asked one of the kids I made friends with on a bus how long their school year went for. You have a window of early July to late August where you PROBABLY won't run into 5 million school kids.

I've probably seen/met every school kid in Poland.

The thing is -- I took a few pictures today of the museum but not many so I decided not to put them up because everything is packed so wonderfully and I don't want to take my camera out. ;)

I'll have a few pictures tomorrow of my journey back as well.

The museum we went to today was called the Warsaw Uprising Museum, there's a movie-thingy that you can pay for (of course, it's optional) if you'd like to see actual footage of what Warsaw looked like from a plane's view after Warsaw was destroyed. I only recommend it (it's only a few minutes long) because I didn't realize until AFTER the movie that it was actual footage. I thought it was just some computerized movie of what it probably looked like. BUT NO it was actual footage and it was pretty interesting SO if you're going to Poland ever, you should go see it. It's quite interesting to learn about when you see how far Warsaw has come.

Here are a couple pictures of what Warsaw looked like after it was destroyed 70 years ago:

And in one of my other blog posts, I have pictures of what it looks like now. The first picture is of Old Town.

Tomorrow we get up at around 7:30 am (1:30 your time) and fly to Helsinki and then to NY. We get into NY around 4:30 pm and then we get home around 9:30.

Tomorrow will also be my last blog post. :(


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Q. "Where is the Chopin statue?"

A. Right around the corner. Oh, you walked throughout the entire park looking for it? That's because it's right next to the entrance,  You're stupid.

BUT while looking for the Chopin statue to take pictures of/with for our dear friend Barb, we ran into a peacock!

Oh, and we DID see the Chopin statue.

Today we woke up early in the lovely and so very comfortable Marriott Hotel and made our way to Warsaw's Old Town. So here is a little bit of history on Warsaw if you're not familiar with it: In late 1944, early 1945, Old Town was completely destroyed. It was a combination of the war and the uprising. The reconstruction process started around 1947. So unfortunately, Old Town isn't very old and almost nothing in Warsaw is "original" except for expensive belongings and paintings from churches and the palace.

So we walked around Old Town for awhile and visited the reconstructed palace.



 Thaddeus Kosciuszko's heart is in that box.

Look, it's my throne.

After we left the palace, we ate at a place called BrowArmia and decided to go back to being American for a day and give pierogi's and kielbasa a break.

We visited this little antique shop and it had the COOOOOOLEST stuff. It had old documents and newspapers and oh my God, I wish I could have been there for hours but we just didn't have time.

I also wanted to show you how uncreative people are here with graffiti.

And one laaaaast thing before I go to bed and sleep for forever:

Friday, June 14, 2013

Q. "How much will this taxi ride be?"

A. Three dollars.

What? Three dollars? From our hotel to the train station? Are you on some type of drug? I mean, you smell a little funny. Should I argue? Oh, okay. I'll shut up.

Today was a pretty uneventful day. We woke up, checked out of our hotel and said our last goodbyes to Krakow, which I loved with all my heart. After, we took a 3 dollar taxi cab to the train station and set off for a 3 1/2 hour train ride to Warsaw. We got in around 6, ate dinner, and now we're here.

Since I didn't have time to take many pictures and I didn't do much today, I thought I'd blog about the strange things that come into my mind or things I come across or just things... while I've been here.

1) Since we don't live here, we don't know the cost of living. Since we don't drive, we don't know how much gas money adds up, really. But what we do know is that smaller things are realllllly inexpensive. For example, I paid less than 10 dollars for two hand crafted wooden boxes. We bought an enormous margarita pizza for only around 4 dollars. And obviously, we got a cab and paid 10zl which is only about 3 dollars in American money. LIKE WHAAAAAT

2) You know how American restaurants, they give you your bill once you've gotten your food so you can pay and yada yada yada. Well, here, it's almost like they forget about you and hosts/hostesses don't exist. In Prague, we waited FOREVER for our check before we realized that we had to ask for our check. They don't just give it to you when THEY feel like, they give it to you when you're ready. But only if you're lucky enough for them to come by. They don't pester but they almost forget you're there.

3) Now, I know that at some places, you used to have to pay to use the potties in America but NOT ANYMORE AND I'M TIRED OF PAYING 60 CENTS TO PEE

4) If you only know how to say "Thank you" and "Hello", don't even bother using it. Don't greet anyone with "dzien dobry" (Hello) if that's all you know because then they think you know Polish and they'll spew lots and lots of Polish words at you and then you have to tell them you don't understand and then everyone is confused and you just look like a weirdo.

5) There's a shoe store at every corner.

6) Why are there buttons to flush the toilet? And why are there two of them? Which button do I push? Why is this so hard?

7) Those are not light switches. What happened to normal lights witches?

8) Why must everything be in a glass bottle?


10) This washing machine right next to the toilet really puts a damper on things. I mean I have to pretty much lean on the washing machine in order to pee.

11) Who builds these malls? Are they building it so every person in Europe can fit into it? What's happening here? I'm lost.

12) No, I do not want duck.

13) "You're American?" "No."

14) Polish boys act like they've never seen an American girl before. Well, THOSE Polish boys did.

15) If you're nice enough, you get away with things better. Oh, you think I'm talking about drinking? No, I was nice to the driver of a horse and buggy and she let me touch her horse. It was awesome.

16) Birds.


18) Why is it getting light outside? It's 3:30am.

19) What in the hell is that? Who eats a baguette with onions, garlic, mushrooms, cheese and ketchup? It has a NAME? Oh, do tell. Zapiekanki...

20) Of course I'll give you money, homeless man. Have all my money.

21) Don't tell a waiter that doesn't speak your language what you DON'T want on your sandwich/burger. Just don't.

22) Okay, okay, okay, okay. So you're telling me that a W makes a V sound and an L with a slash through it makes a W sound and cz makes a CH sound? WHAT

23) Hi. I'm going to force you to talk to me because I'm American and I love making new friends and you look like you hate me because I'm loud. Am I loud? Am I annoying to you? Would you like me to go away? No.


25) Well, it's been an adventure. Only a few more days left in the ever entertaining Poland.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Q. "How high can a bird fly?"

A. I don't know. But birds are the devil. I mean, they're the only animals that poop white. So they're obviously spawns of the devil at the very least. Here are some pictures of a whole group of ruthless and disgusting creatures creeping up on a little girl.

I hate birds.

So today was our last full day in Krakow. We went to a cathedral (I forgot the name of it. We've gone to so many) and took a whole bunch of pictures but left quickly because tour groups were taking over the world.

The coolest thing about this cathedral was all of the artwork and carvings are painted wood. Once we left the cathedral, we went to an underground museum that I didn't enjoy as much because it was like information overload so this is the only picture I got which doesn't really have anything to do with anything. It's Medieval Poland!

We decided to eat lunch at a cafe on the top of the Cloth Hall. And my apologies, I believe I may have called it the Cloth Shop previously.

In 1241, the Tatars invaded Poland and came to Krakow. A bugler was up in the clock tower and saw the Tatars and to warn the city, he started to blow the bugle. He only was able to get halfway through the song he was playing before a Tatar shot him through the throat so he was never able to finish the song. So tradition was that there was always someone in the clock tower to blow the bugle every hour. The song is only played halfway through (Or at the place the original bugler stopped) in remembrance. The buglers now are 12 firemen that switch off days and go to the top and do the song every hour for 24 hours.

Here is the inside of the Cloth Hall.

Later in the day, we just ate at Poland's Hard Rock Cafe and explored through the night. Not as eventful as other days have been but relaxing and fun nonetheless.

Next stop: Warsaw!

Q. "How many liters are in a gallon?"

A. Who cares? Gas is expensive here and everyone loves riding buses.

So last night I fell asleep and forgot to blog. My most sincere apologies. The original question of the day was going to be, "What adjective describes today?" and the answer was going to be, "Well, there isn't one." But I saw this yesterday.

We took a bus to Auschwitz. It had been raining throughout our stay and the rain held off while we were there. We arrived at Auschwitz, joined our English tour group and set off for an *insert adjective here* day.

Since this is such a touchy topic and emotions are a little different if say, you have family who were killed here or you saw it in real life, I'm going to let this blog post consist of mainly pictures and a few comments so you can try to imagine Auschwitz-Birkenau the way it is today, how it was before, and if you were to see it with your own eyes.

I did not take any pictures of the gas chambers or any pictures of the amount of hair from the men, women, and children that is still displayed today.

If anyone is curious, as most of you are, and would like to look up your family name in the Archives of Auschwitz-Birkenau and see if you had family there, you can click here for the link.

Now, I do have more pictures that you're able to find on Facebook. If you're not on Facebook, you can email me ( if you want to see more.

But before we get to the touchier subjects. Here is a picture of Papa:

Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration and Death Camps

I believe the correct translation is, "Labor makes you free"


 Guard tower.

Everyday there was roll call where the prisoners had to stand until everyone was verified and checked. The longest recorded roll call was 19 hours long. It was this long because a prisoner had escaped and it was punishment. Only 144 prisoners escaped successfully. This is where they stood.

 Hydrogen cyanide in the form of Zyklon B, used in the gas chambers.




 Death wall.

 Birkenau. Birkenau was strictly a death camp. People would usually get off of the train and go straight to execution. The tower in the far background is original, of course, and is seen in many famous pictures taken during the Holocaust.

 "For ever let the place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity where the Nazis murdered about one and a half million men, women, and children, mainly Jews from various countries of Europe. Auschwitz-Birkenau. 1940 - 1945"

 The Nazis attempted to blow up gas chambers to "hide" their criminal activity.

 Latrines. Huge groups of people were let into these areas to relieve themselves with only 10 seconds to maybe a minute before they had to rush out so they wouldn't be shot or punished.

 This was able to heat an entire bunker and in the picture below, you can see how it would do so. Unfortunately, they didn't have any fuel.

An estimated 11 million people were killed in the Holocaust.

6 million of those were Jews.

1.1 million were children.

For more of a perspective of what you've seen in the pictures, here are a few (non-gruesome) pictures from the Holocaust:

 Men were separated from women and children once they had gotten off the trains.