A journey has to begin with a bang and in my case, bang usually means something bad happening to me. This time, two incidents happened
- I was super hungry at the airport. So went into a store and bought some cake and came back and sat near the boarding gate. Some lady was announcing something in the loudspeaker at the airport and I was like, who the hell even listens to that. Then comes Raksheet who said he heard my name being called in a very bad pronunciation over the speaker and that I was supposed to visit the information centre. Well, that can’t be good. I quickly went through the checklist – Passport, check; Residence permit – check, boarding pass – check, debit card –check.. oh wait.. no check. Can’t find it. I run back to the information centre the poor lady had already announced my name three times by that time. I apologized took my card and came back.
- Well that wasn’t the only airport incident. The next one happened in Krakow while exiting the airport, I left my second bag at a place where we were standing for a while. So I entered through the exit gate, running in full speed (obviously I didn’t want someone to steal it) and the security ran towards me and stopped me. It took me a second before I realized what must be going on their minds and I assured that I wasn’t a bad person, showed them my boarding pass and explained that I forgot my bag. They were kind enough to be understanding.
We got our cars, drove towards the salt mines which were amazing. At 130 meters deep, I was reminded of Assasin’s creed game and the hobbit movie. The tour guide was a cute polish girl, trust me, polish people are beautiful. And one other thing I remember here was that Daniel and I had a tough time explaining Jera how 65 divided by 2 was approximately 32.
Next we went to the hotel, checked in and then went out to the oldest restaurant in Krakow (built in 1600s I think) where we had a super expensive meal. Jun wanted vodka with nothing less than 100% alcohol in it and someone had to convince him that drinking ethyl alcohol (C2H6OH) was deadly. After that we walked towards the city centre and at 2 am in the night, the area was bustling with activity with food stalls, couples walking in arms etc. While we were already full, Jun bought some street food and I loved it.
I managed to wake up on time and was feeling proud that I was up so early despite sleeping so late when I get a whatsapp text that everyone was already ready and waiting for me. I quickly shower, go down, grab some food, steal some apples for lunch (it was a buffet and the apples were just lying around there) and then we drove out towards Auschwitz.
Stephan, Raksheet and I got into one car and we enjoyed a very manly drive (no talking, just sitting and staring at the road) with an occasional joke or two. I loved it, yep, sometimes you need peace. And as usual with me, by the time we reached the place, the tickets were sold out for the morning entry and we could only go there in the afternoon at 3.
Okay, we decided to go to the home town of Pope John Paul and eat his favourite dessert there. It was an okayish dessert and the most amazing part of the trip was Jera feeling nauseous because of the long road journey and still eating ice-cream, coffee and dessert together.
We headed back to Auschwitz and I don’t want to talk much about this except that it was a very depressing place.
And yea, at some point before now, Nidhi, Saby’s wife joined as well. Now we drove towards Zakopane, where we had to trek. The road was super foggy and at one point I couldn’t see more than 10 meters ahead of me. Then we reached our hotel and boy was it a hotel. The easiest way to describe how amazing the hotel was by the number of “Oh my God”s that Binita said when she looked at it. I think I counted 23.
After checking in, we went to a restaurant to eat. One thing about these restaurants, there are people playing music, it’s warm and the food is amazing.
The funniest part was when we ordered food. I found a meat platter which contained fish, pork, beef, chicken, eggs and almost every daily animal you could think of. I asked how many wanted to share and I counted 6 people. So I was going to order the 6 people one, when Federico in his Italian style, said “COMMON….. Order the 8 people one”. Well, here goes nothing, I thought and ordered and boy was it a meal.
More amazing than the meal itself was the fact that we cleaned it. And more amazing than that was a look at Raksheet’s plate once he finished his turkey. Someone said, “that dead turkey can be proud of itself” and I couldn’t agree more. Only bones remained and they were squeaky clean.
That night we didn’t buy enough beers – only about 4 big cans for everyone and the obvious happened, we ran out of beer. Stephan called a taxi service on phone and told them we wanted beer. The lady on the other end politely told us that it was a taxi service and not a beer shop before hanging up. We looked around and found some more cans in the fridge which we finished before heading for bed.
The next day we went trekking. The long trek made us sweat a lot. I had to remove my jacket about half way through and carry it though it was very cold outside. Daniel saw an opportunity here – Binita hadn’t got her jacket and she was slightly cold. So he offered his jacket to her like a gentleman while the true story was that he was sweating too and wanted to get rid of the jacket. Damn, why didn’t I think of that first.
Unfortunately it was way too foggy and I couldn’t see the beautiful view that would be otherwise there. Now, if you are thinking no misadventure happened this day, you were wrong again. Saby, left the car lights on and it was dead by the time we reached back. Some friendly Polish tourists helped us kick-start the engine and for many of us this was the first time seeing it.
We headed back to the hotel and then walked to another restaurant. This time it was vodka shots. We managed to find 75% alchohol and went crazy about it. But we weren’t the crazy ones. There was another group of girls who were extremely drunk and three girls were trying to lift one of their friends who wished to sleep on the pavement that day. I told Saby that maybe I should go help before he dragged me away. We walked back and we were walking in the middle talking loudly and making a lot of jokes. We were told that the “Police people arrest only the Polish people” so we didn’t calm down.
This time we had more than enough beer and I feel ashamed to admit that we couldn’t finish them all. Again, I couldn’t find my card holder (a small box which contains all my cards – debit, residence permit, license etc) and I was pretty sure I left it at a McDonalds where we stopped for a coffee the day before. But yea, the next day I found the box on the window pane. I swear there is a naughty ghost that stays beside and does all these things invisibily.
Well, on the final day, we finished our journey and headed back towards Rotterdam and if I remember correctly, by some amazing karmic intervention, nothing bad happened.