Now that I’ve been in Warsaw for 3 weeks I’ve sort of found my pace. I know the time I need to leave my apartment to make it to work on time. I know the right place to go for lunch depending on what I’m craving that day. I know how to use the metro. I know that the escalator in the metro only starts when someone is on them.
While I still don’t know Polish, with exception of a few basics, I’m starting to feel like a local. I sort of realized this when my mom asked me to plan some things to do for when she visits Warsaw in a week and a half and I was able to plan some things without checking TripAdvisor first.
I’ve been finding my bearings at work too. It’s been a lot more of the same work, updating the CRM database, communicating with the incoming grantees from the U.S., and updating the grantee information on the website. It hasn’t been very exciting since I haven’t been able to attend any more events for the Commission. There is a Fourth of July party at the Embassy that I will hopefully be able to go to, but I need to see if I can get my mom an invite.
This weekend brought the most excitement, since I travelled with Alyssa to Stockholm, Sweden. We arrived to learn that it was a holiday in Sweden so many places were closed. We walked around and explored a bit, walking down Queen’s Street which has a lot of shopping including the H&M headquarters and 4 H&M stores. Unfortunately, most of the stores were closed but that didn’t stop us from walking through an IKEA-esqe mall. We got a snack of a waffle and gelato before heading back to our hostel for a nap. Alyssa’s friend Zach, who’s interning in Berlin was supposed to get in around 6, but he was delayed in arriving, so Alyssa and I went to dinner. We were still getting over the shock of the prices, but we each got a burger for about $15 (made much scarier by the fact that exchange rate listed the price as 140 kronas).
Saturday was one of 3 red days (where stores are closed all across Sweden), but we found a free walking tour which took us around Stockholm. I’m a big fan of doing free walking tours because it allows me to learn about the culture and history of the city. We ended the walking tour right outside of old town so we headed in for lunch. Alyssa and I both got Swedish meatballs, which were pretty great. We tried to beat rain to the Vasa Museum, but we failed. Regardless, we made it to the museum. The museum features one of four ships that was commissioned by the king to fight against the Polish and the Russians in 1627. It took them 333 years to recover the ship and it now is in the museum, along with the artifacts and bones that were recovered. I was expecting a lot out of the museum since it’s the number one attraction in Stockholm and it was cool to see the ship, but I quickly learned that it wasn’t a very exciting story, since the ship sank on its maiden voyage in the Stockholm harbor and they don’t know why.
Today was a travel day for us since we had a 1:45pm flight and there was an 90 minute bus ride to the airport. The travel back to Warsaw was uneventful and Alyssa and I headed right from the airport to a gelato festival her boss had told her about. It was $10 to sample 14 gelatos and 2 full sized servings. I didn’t have more than a few bites of the full sized servings, but I still don’t think I can have any gelato for while.