After an unexpected weekend (really only 30 hours) in Poland, I’ve decided I like it but have no strong desire to go back. I will explain from the beginning.
There is no direct flight from Marseille to Katowice, the airport closest to Rybnik where my boyfriend, Alex, is, placed for work, which in itself is annoying. With only 60 minutes connecting time from flight to flight, my first flight decided to be late. After working all day, and heading to the airport in the evening only to deal with a great amount of stress at delayed flights, I was pretty exhausted and unable to function. Luckily, the connecting time was still enough despite the delay and I made my second flight.
Anyone who knows me from childhood/teenagehood will know that I used to be extremely terrified of flying. Even on my trip to Greece in August with Eilidh, I was petrified (I remember the flight back being particularly bad and genuinely thinking I was going to die, reminding myself of all my memories with my loved ones… thank you Eilidh for being too good a friend for those four hours). However, I have somehow managed to overcome my fear of flying in the short four and a half months I have lived in France. I am unsure whether this is due to the fact that I have had the opportunity to fly a lot or simply because my brain is a lot happier than it has ever been and I’m just not really scared of much anymore.
As I got off the flight, I was so relieved to be at my final destination and just happy to be with my boyfriend, who had been gone for two weeks. During the car ride back to his apartment, I couldn’t help but think how much Poland was like Russia (or the Russia that I had seen in films) which was pretty cool.
One of the thoughts that has filled my head when I have travelled recently is how bizarre it is to be on a completely different currency and language, a language that I cannot even say a simple ‘hello’ or ‘thank you’ in. My parents would always take us to the same places year after year, and it was always France or Spain. Because of that, I’ve always been on the euro when I travel, which I understand and am completely used to now (returning to the Pound in December when I was home was a complete nightmare). I also have always had a bank of words that I have built up from these years and it’s normal for me to be able to make the tiniest of conversation in Spain and now, of course, full conversation in French.
However, as I go to different places and explore a little more, I find myself unable to say even one word in the given language and the currency is so bizarre that I cannot understand it (the Krone in Denmark had holes in it!!). Having both of these difficulties make life very disorientating and I realise just how much I have left to explore.
The problem with Poland, however, is that noone speaks English. The people in the airport do and that is pretty much it. To be honest, it baffled me a little bit that they don’t even care to learn the primary language in the world.
We went to a restaurant for lunch on Saturday, and it was probably the weirdest restaurant I’ve ever set foot in. It was midday on Saturday and there was nobody eating in the restaurant (apparently restaurants are always empty, as in the evening of Saturday night, the towns main restaurant was even empty!) and there was only one woman to greet us, who spoke practically no English. The decor was terribly old fashioned and creepy and the whole thing was a struggle. The woman even gave me a straw to drink my beer, but not to Alex. The only conclusion I can come up with is that it is because I am a woman that I need a straw to drink beer.
However, we spent the day shopping in the ‘city centre’ of Rybnik which is practically one square, but a pretty one at that.
We then headed out to a shopping centre nearby that we had spotted near the airport. I was uncontrollably excited to see a Tesco, and I had to go in and explore! It was very strange to see as we don’t have them anywhere in France (however,there is a Marks & Spencer’s in Paris which I also made use of whilst there).
By the time we arrived back to Rybnik, the whole town was covered in four or five inches of snow. I cannot describe my happiness to be surrounded with snow, I wanted to run and jump around and make snow angels and have snowball fights but my body isn’t used to the cold temperatures of Poland so we opted for the heat of the apartment instead. Oh how I missed snow.
After that, we headed for a lovely dinner with a backdrop of what could have been Lap Land and had a lovely meal for a quarter of the price we would have in Aix! Pas mal.
One of my favourite parts of the day was the bar that we went to after the meal, right across the ‘city centre’ or the square that is Rybnik. The bar was cosy, with old rock’n’roll tunes and cheap beer. Absolutely nothing beats a cosy, cheap pub. Heading home in the warmth of the beer jacket and hearing the sound of snow under my feet topped the whole night off.
Then it was a snap back to reality the next morning as me and Alex woke up too early to mention just to spend a few more hours together before I had to get on a plane back to Aix. Saying goodbye was horrible. The four hour delay in Frankfurt was horrible. Having a headache was horrible. But it is fine because I needed some time to be away and with Alex, and I had a great time in Rybnik. I do hope I never have to go back because I would prefer that my boyfriend stays with me in France, but only time will tell.
A+ (See you later)
P.s. I can no longer use prepositions in English, my brain is used to the French prepositions, I apologise sincerely for that.