This weekend, I had one of my first big adventures. Traveling alone made me experience all sorts of emotions. I had plenty of time to realize that I'm in a foreign country and by this time, I have successfully (independently) traveled more in places I can't communicate than I had in the US. There was so much pleasant silence which was much needed after experiencing a couple of weeks in a dorm room with paper-thin walls and my hallmates discovering 1 euro wine for the first time. **For future reference** wine found that cheap, in a box or bag, is not used here for "Slap the Bag" it is actually used for cooking.
With a 2am wake up call, finding a taxi driver, a layover in Germany and a friendly guy named "Peter" on the plane to Gdansk--arriving at noon felt like an entire day's worth of travel. I loved seeing Ada and meeting her family for the first time. Even though it's only been a couple weeks, it is safe to say I miss my family, so this weekend was perfect timing!
Ada's mom welcomed me with open arms and a warm heart to mask the -17 degree celcius temperature outside (It is still much warmer here than in Chicago--mi dispiace--I'm sorry). We were able to see the colorful buildings and well known landmarks of the city which were euro-breathtaking. If it wasn't so chilly outside, I would have watched and admired for hours! After our adventures in the city and the Baltic Sea, we went to ada's grandparent's place for an authentic Polish meal!! (Happy birthday to her Grandpa).
That was my first experience of truly not understanding a single word of the conversations around me. As much as I hated that I could not chime in and share in the laughter becuase of an obscene topic change or a "slip up in words" --I only know THESE details because of Ada's periodic play-by-plays-- it gave me the opportunity to be visualent. I do not remember the last time I admired such laughter and happiness in this amount of sincerity.
I'm so glad I got to spend the weekend with people so kind and welcoming! Also, I got to experience my first (and probably last) POLISH PROM. I never thought I would go back to do such a thing, so it was a blast! Ada and I were her best friend Filip's dates. We danced all night long to polish, and sometimes American, music. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and welcomed me even though they found it impossible to say my name correctly.
The prom began with a traditional Polish dance, which was very cool! A champaign toast followed with continuous food, desserts, and dancing! Although it had its moments of differentiation from proms in the US, the highschoolers still snuck in booze---what's the drinking age, again?--- and wore American prom dresses! Ending at 5 in the morning, it was a night and morning I'm sure I will never forget.
Now for the funny stuff--
At the dinner, served formally and complete with appetizers, I saw a plate in the middle had rectangles of cheese and immediately dove in. I attempted stabbing it with a fork, but I couldn't pick it up! I shoveled it onto the fork and with no hesitation bit half of it and started to chew... It was that moment that I figured out this little cheese lover just put a nice chunk of butter in my mouth.
I had an instant flashback of my butter eating habits at a child and couldn't tell if I was in complete misery or (b)utter happiness. --Sto scherzando (I'm joking). But, I now know to ask what is on the plate before impatiently chowing down.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, more to come soon! Vi amo!