Hospitality Club Winter Camp - Happy New Year
Warsaw Travel Blog› entry 82 of 144 › view all entries
The night train is a long ride and overcrowded, I manage to walk in it and get a place to sit by the end of the train. I bought a student ticket which is reserved only for Polish people, I think nobody would have cared but the place I found was actually a second class car changed to a first class car, so obviously the controller noticed I wasn’t polish. Although they asked me to pay to full fare, I claim I don’t have money and finally they don’t bother and simply tells me to go somewhere else in the train. First I try in the restaurant car, but I got kicked again by the selling man since I’m not buying anything and stick to the queue of the train where I’m alone and have place and access to a toilet to pee, sneeze and drink water quietly as my cold is still quite bad.
After the long all night ride I arrive in Warsaw after 5am, manage to find the bus stop and reach Wojtek’s place (HC:qumpel) by 6am.
I get a short talk with him and finally go to sleep until the afternoon. Later on we all eat something together and move to the registration point in town (which is a little pub located in the centre quite nearby the Train Station: Vasar Club in Chlodna Str). We went there with Pawel (HC:kitek84), it was still early and not the official opening yet. But some members were already in town so it was cool to meet with them… although I didn’t know many of them.
I was still on medication from my jaw inflammation so I didn’t drink and after a while, the smoke in the basement of that pub was a bit bothering me. As I was getting hell tired I didn’t go back too late to sleep. And greatly as I was one of the first guests to arrive (nearly 15 HC members would be staying at qumpel over the week end) I had a place in a bed.
Today was the big day of the opening of the activities and the programme: http://poland.as/FAQ/Winter_Camp_in_Warsaw/Programme/1282,,5,1,0,0-Programme.html
After breakfast and having some of the german guests arriving, we move moved by midday to the registration point to prepare the room and everything and gathered together with the already arrived guests and those arriving afterwards. I met with Ken (HC:uaflyer) immediately and also with Zach (HC:zach) when he arrived. It was great to see him after such a long time.
I also met for the first time with Fabian (HC:fabzgy) and his little sister… which were both pretty cool.
So we ate the tasty dishes, pierogy and other sort of vegetarian kotelett. After that meal it was time to go for the program and join the bowling. We did after a walk and finally arrived at the bowling allee (which is having a funny name in Polish but I don’t remember it) quite in advance.
It was quite cool, the whole 30+ alike group shared 2 bowling lanes and did all these silly thing. Well I score only a 100, so nothing to be proud of :P
I got to talk randomly with some people as well once at the bowling… but nobody whom I really hooked or talked particularly. After the bowling, by evening, we were all heading to different clubs that were in the same area that we were so we happened to be the first one there too (Around Dobra Str).
We waited and gradually during the whole evening, the club got packed to finally be overcrowded by HC member by the late evening. I talked and met with people (HC:ghoti, lourensenm, mkc has arrived…). And also with Florian with whom I joined for some ahoy vodka, which helped my throat at least.
So I stayed there and talked with people as long as I could but later on, with the smoke and the crowd, I also got tired and without energy. So finally Wojtek, made me responsible for the keys and I went back home with some of the last bus. Wojtek was living at the complete western part of the city. Then I could relax, did some email and went to sleep at last. Letting the people come in when they arrived… in the early morning.
Today, the other still left early and I left later with the Russian and Gero (HC:gero82) from Germany, they were going to walk downtown and I went first to find a pharmacy to get some cough, throat caps. Then I was searching the registration point which took me a while… finally I did find the spot and went directly to the Local Volunteer meeting that has just started.
So the local volunteer for HC was quite a success, we had plenty of members who stayed some to get answer to their questions, other out of curiosity. But it was great and to meet with several of them, we did a pretty great group brainstorm which could be use greatly for the future development of the community.
After the meeting, I stayed there with few other member that are also involved in Hcvol (ghoti, fabzgy) to discuss a little bit more about it. The others all went to the Ice Skating, so after that we simply waited that they came back. I went to eat some ‘American Chinese take away… in Warsaw?’ And chilled until the organisator presented the planning for the evening. Usually it was suppose to be in three different bars. People started walking and it got into confusion, we needed to catch several tram (singing in them… and overpacking them!).
It was a rock bar quite Harley alike, not fully friendly at the gate by the bouncer but anyway.
I drank a little anyway (I stopped taking my medication to enjoy the party time…) and ended up dancing like hell as well. Really getting lots of anger and energy away… dancing and sweating in what became alike a sauna with the many friends and Hcers partying around.
I only went back by taxi with Martin, Wojtek and Pawel by early morning.
With the previous night, I slept late and was energyless for a part of the day, so most of the people left anyway to take part of the activities. I did not and stayed relax, keeping my energy for the New Year Eve party of the night. So later some came back to eat something and its only by evening that I went with them to go to the venue where the party was (in Praga)... I missed the singing and other things but still arrived good on time to meet people one after another, having several drinks and exchanging hugs!
I mainly walked and drank the whole evening (did also some volunteering at the registration point).
Then it was more evil, party, champagne, hundreds of hugs with everyone I crossed. All smily, all good mood and all friendly people. And we were above 400 of us over there. Not a single bad moment. Of course some couple as well, but I wasn’t part of that. I more enjoyed myself and kept moving the whole time, so.
That last until the early morning, then back with the public transport and sleep!
Happy New Year!!!
Gelukigge Nieuw Jaar!!
May a decent positive New Year start!
One thing too… the previous night dancing and sauna alike environment had fully killed my cough for the day and the party.
Waaahh so dead of course I slept late and didn’t make it at all to eventually help cleaning the venue, its only later that I moved back in the historic downtown to meet and farewell at the Pizza Hut. Which was the last meeting spot before that many of us left back home.
So it was good food and the sad Au Revoir!
For the remaining people, those who weren’t sprawled over town met again later on, after some difficulty to make a meeting point and after that Ken, me and a little group went for a little city tour. We manage to bump into a part of the people who end up in an Irish pub back where we were near the Pizza Hut.
I met there with some more cool people, talking about our views of Canada with Zach and with other people. Getting some talks with Ukrainians and also sharing talks with Asia (HC:etna) from Lublin which was going to be my next destination.
Then I left later to have a bus back to Wojtek. Arriving back with Gero and Sophie (HC:wiebkesophie), we found Wojtek drunk on vodka with the belarussian-russian couple (whom had been quite unpleasant to us during the week end so mostly we stopped caring about them… but at least they revealed to me on a more positive sign that night).
Since Wojtek had been so overwhelm by the organisation, it was actually the first night he could relax and party while having no responsibilities. Which I could notice then ;)!
They were quite funny and quite drunk, so as we got offered vodka and joined for a while.
It has been quite a dead day at qumpel, relaxing, sleeping and talking… at last being lazy.
The thing though is he smokes a lot indeed… that has quite surprised me, I presume it isn’t such a good thing that cigarettes are so cheap in the east and easily available :S. Well it does go through my bag.
I ended up going to do some grocery at the local shop to have things to eat and finally back in bed for some long sleep.