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PolandPoland

Atheism in Poland- let's talk about it

Atheism in Poland.  Contemplation of the day.   On Saturday October 10th, 2009, the Polish group Mlodzi Wolnomysliciele (unofficially translated as “Young Freethinkers”), in partnership with the Polish Society of Rationalists (Polskie Stowarzyszenie Racjonalistów), organized the first-ever Atheists and Agnostics March (Marszu Ateistów i Agnostyków, or MAiA).  The Krakow Post reported that ... read more

PolandPoland

One nie sa stad - They are not from here

One day in class last week I learned something interesting about the Polish psyche.   The following example came up in a workbook while going over a basic exercise using the proper conjugation of by? (beech,"to be").   10.  One nie ....... stad.  Answer? sa One nie sa stad. They are not from ... read more

PolandPoland

Eeeny... meeeny.... mineee... BAR MLECZNY!

  The Milk Bar.  Bar Mleczny   *Polish cultural institution.      *Stunningly well-preserved example of Slow Food.    *A positive cultural remnant of communism? The ultimate oxymoron? *Setting for my weekly games of “eeny meeny minee bar mleczny” – where I point dumbly to random items on the extensive menu ... read more

PolandPoland

"Everyone visiting Poland has to try to speak the language." - Norman Davies

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PolandPoland

Art or eyesore?: subtle remembrances of war in Krakow's urban landscape

If I wasn't the type of intrepid urban explorer that believes in The Guide Book as the ultimate launch pad to begin exploring a new city, I never would have skimmed the paragraph mentioning the "Plaque to the Underground Heroes of 1944" and learned about the plottings of the Polish Underground to ... read more

PolandPoland

I Prefer the Term "Frugal": Laundry Day at Piast

It’s true.  Students do crazy things to save money, minor sacrifices to make their limited college budgets stretch further (or to allocate more money to sensory indulgences but that’s neither here nor there).  And these money worries don’t stop during a semester abroad.  To the contrary, a number of us ... read more

C. Joelle Groshek

PolandPoland

Oh, Alright... One Post: The Captive Mind

Kraków, Poland (in my temporary home at the Piast) Life is forever played to the rhythms of the soundtracks locked inside our hearts. The sensory uploads surroundings that evoke memories and melodies. And how often life feels caught in a still frame moment. There you are, walking along cobbled streets ... read more

C. Joelle Groshek

PolandPoland

For Your Ease and Mine

I request that, for the time being, you follow my adventures, thoughts, and reflections (the good and the bad) at my current blog.  Much work, writing, and formatting has already gone into that small space of mine.  Thank you. http://cjoinkrakow.blogspot.com read more

C. Joelle Groshek

PolandPoland

What two days worth of walking has shown me

Kathy’s dad told me that my throat would hurt a little bit as I got used to the sharper air.  I said sure as if I believed him.  Sure enough, I woke today with a slight sore throat.  It wasn’t pleasant.  The air is much too sharp.  So I took off for an afternoon walk.  I ... read more

Russell Evatt

PolandPoland

My first day in Krakow

Kraków I found Kraków cold and rainy.  My friend's cousin Karol picked me up from the airport and showed me around the city.  As expected, I know nothing.  My Polish is very poor but I have already picked up a few things.  My hostel (which has old fashioned keys that take some ... read more

Russell Evatt

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Getting Around

Where oh where to buy tram tickets?

Caroline Mailloux

22 Nov 2009

Poland

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Most Polish cities are very walkable, but they also offer great public transport via tram and bus. As a tourist visiting Krakow, you should know that only SOME tram and bus lines offer a machine to purchase a ticket on the vehicle itself, and of those, most only accept exact change. Because most locals have monthly/yearly passes and city ticket enforcers are so diligent about random checks, I don’t recommend ever riding without a ticket! What to do? Buy your tram and bus tickets at one of the countless kiosks selling drinks, snacks, cigarettes, and magazines located on nearly every street corner. Same price, less hassle! And while you’re there you can try a Polish obwarzanek (bagel).

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Must Do

Massolit – just the place to cozy up for an afternoon

Caroline Mailloux

22 Nov 2009

Poland

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One of the greatest joys of traveling is uncovering the hidden gems of a city and Massolit is just one of those places. It is so much more than a cafe or used bookstore. The entrancing maze of small rooms and hallways are packed floor to ceiling with an impressive variety of titles. One instantly feels at home as he/she wanders through the dark wood-paneled halls and then is welcomed to grab a book and settle into a cozy armchair by the window sipping a cappuccino and nibbling on American-style baked goods. Charming antiqued interior. Hot spot for meeting Erasmus students from all over Europe. And fantastic events -- poetry readings, lectures, children's story time, etc.

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Etiquette

Paying in zloty? Don’t forget the groszy!

Caroline Mailloux

21 Nov 2009

Poland

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I was warned ahead of time that Polish storekeepers prefer exact "groszy" (change) when paying for an item in "zloty" (cash), but I seriously underestimated just how much! Poles will patiently queue behind a counter, whether at an outdoor kiosk or at the grocery store, waiting the extra 15 seconds it takes for each customer to dig through his/her change purse or wallet scrounging for every 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 groszy piece needed to give exact change. The process seemed cumbersome and inefficient at first, but I’ve come to adore the extra few seconds to practice some Polish and receive an extra sincere "dziekuje" (thank you) from the storekeeper. So save your groszy to practice some Polish and avoid annoyed glances from across the counter!

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Packing

Use your head -- bring a headlamp!

Caroline Mailloux

20 Nov 2009

Poland

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From navigating evening power outages in rural Ghana to reading before bed at a hostel, few travel investments have proved to be as worthwhile as my headlamp! Both Princeton Tec and Black Diamond make a great product and provide notable customer service.

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