My last night in Warszawa pretty much sucked. We got a couple of beers in us at the hostel and proceeded to find dance clubs. We tried about five different ones and none would let us in. I was rather pissed off. Oh well. One bad experience would not ruin the other good ones.
Got on the train to Krakow
. I had the fortune of riding with a bunch of kids that just finished their military duty. Damn, they were loud. They drank a lot of beers and sang all the way from Warszawa to Krakow, about a 5 hours trip. Essentially, roughly translated, the song was "We are finally free, sha la la la la la." It was sung to the tune of Boney M's "Brown Girl In The Ring," if any of y'all know that song.
I slept a bit and after waking up, one of them came into my cabin and invited me to theirs. Of course I accepted. I wish I spoke Polish because these would have been a great bunch of individuals to indulge in my favourite pastime with, bullshiting. Anyhoo, I sang a little with them, took some pictures and before you knew it, we were in Krakow. After we alit in Krakow, some random dude from the train invited me for a beer. No thanks, I need to find my hostel.
Today, I went to Auschwitz
and Birkenau. A surreal experience. It reenforced the depth of human cruelty to one another. Auschwitz was actually intended to be a Polish barracks.
But the Nazis turned it into a concentration camp after invading Poland. Birkenau, on the other hand, was built with the intention of being a death camp. Auschwitz was about 30 times smaller than Birkenau but it wasn't as destroyed as Birkenau was when the Nazis were fleeing. So, we got to see a lot more. They had huge exhibits that contained actual luggage, shoes, prosthetics, hair, etc of the victims. We saw a carpet that was made from human hair, mostly women's. We also went to the notorious Block 11 a.k.a. the death block. The Nazis had some sick ways of torturing people to death. They had the starvation and suffocation cells. Also the standing cell, where you stand all night in a tiny space with 3 other people, then work all day the following day.
This could go on for 7 days. Needless to say, a lot of people died in Block 11. Rather depressing. We weren't allowed to take pictures of the exhibits, so, sorry y'all.
Krakow has been an excellent adventure. When I first arrived, I stayed at arshostel. Very nice hostel but it was too quiet for me. After my 2nd night, I switched to zodiakus hostel. Very good move. I met a bunch of rowdy people and we had us a great time. The first night, we played a card game called kuku. I don't really remember the rules. But whoever lost had to take quests from some of the other players. Paul (a Brit) lost the first time. His quest was simple enough. Go buy some beers. Then it got worse.
Andre (a Brazilian) lost the second game. His quest was to take off his jeans, put it on his head and try to convince some anti social girls to dance with him for 30 secs. He didn't succeed but a good sport chick redeemed him and danced with him. Paul lost the third one and he had to take off his pants, get down on all fours, crawl to the window, and post his ass cheeks on the window for 15 seconds. The fourth loser (don't remember his name), had to do 7 pushups with someone lying on top of him and a trash can under his crotch. By now, you've probably realized that most of these quests were imposed by girls. Then we went clubbing, about 15 of us. Myself and Andre were getting brews in a really crowded bar and it took us about 30 minutes.
When we looked around for the rest, they were gone. We were so pissed. Anyhoo, we had no idea where we were and it took us about 1.5 hours to find the hostel. I bet it should have been at most 15 minutes. Doesn't matter though. It's all part of the experience.
Yesterday, we went to the salt mines. Yes, I paid about 47 zl (zloty) to see salt and another 10 zl to take pictures of salt. I went with Andre and Carlos, another Brazilian. There we met Rocio, Macarena (yes, just like the song) and Serena, nice Spanish/Italian girls. They were with a group of other Spanish folks. They are all studying in Prague and thought to spend a weekend in Krakow. We were glad they did. When we got back to Krakow, we (me, Andre, Carlos) had a run in with the tram police.
When you buy a ticket and get on a tram, you're supposed to validate so that you can't reuse the ticket. Now, we decided not to validate, so that we could use the tickets as many times as possible. Bad idea. We were specifically targeted by the tram police. They seized our passports and told us we had to pay 75 zl each. We pled ignorance
and said we had no idea what validation was. We'd only been in Krakow for a day. They kept insisting. We already knew that these people were just looking for bribes because other people in the hostel had a similar experience with the city police for jaywalking. They threatened to call the confrontation police. We told them to go ahead and do that. They then lowered the price to 200 zl for all of us.
Still we refused. Then 100 zl and still no from us. Finally after wasting about 20 minutes, we got tired of them and gave them 60 zl total. Keep in mind that a ticket costs 2.5 zl. Still, it was worth it to get rid of the asswipes.
Last night was yet another night of clubbing. We met back up with Rocio and the gang. We went to some samba place that wanted us to pay 15 zl to get in. Hell no. So, we went to another club that only wanted 5 zl. That price was good enough, so we paid and went in. I must have been out of my bloody mind. I was dancing to "Living la vida loca" and "YMCA." That club had the cheesiest music. But who cared? I danced the night away anyways. After about 2 hours, Rocio and the others left.
So, it was just myself, Andre, Carlos and Carlos (yet another Brazilian). Carlos #2 left soon enough too, so it was three of us left. We started dancing and talking to these 3 nice Hungarians. Me and Andre were having a good time but it was quite obvious that Carlos and his girl were not hitting it off. After a while, she wanted to leave. Well, that cut our night short. Damn 3rd wheels.
Now I have to mention Alicja (pronounced Alicia). She is the best hostel attendant ever. She went out clubbing with us both nights and she is too cute. She lived in Washington for a little while but moved back to Krakow because she wasn't liking it.
I'm blowing out of Krakow tonight at 10:25 with Andre and Carlos #1.
We're all going to Prague. Poland has been really good but sometimes I didn't feel secure in the city for whatever reason. As with most other places, there are people here that don't like you because you're a foreigner or not white. The other day, I was just walking around when some chick called me makamba. Now, I'm guessing that's some kind of slur but I really didn't care. Just kept walking. To be fair though, most Polish are actually nice and have absolutely no problem with you. I was at the mall the other day and this chick started singing "Cho-co-la-te." I turned around and smiled at her. She smiled right back. Almost anywhere I go, I'm greeted with smiles. Rather nice.