Tag Archives: second-hand smoke

Poland – Part 12: Getting Sick, To Poznan, and A Sketchy Hostel

June 25, 11:25AM

It seems like we just got to Krakow, and now we’re leaving again.  We’re taking a 7 hour bus ride today to Poznan for the 2009 Malta Festival.

Originally, the plan was to wake up around 8:30AM this morning and go on a walking tour of Krakow.  But when 8:30AM rolled around, and people started getting up, my throat was absolutely killing me.  I was getting sick.  It wasn’t a surprise – Ryan and Jiv had been sick the night before, and all of the second-hand cigarette smoke I was inhaling probably wasn’t helping either.

So I thought it’d be best if I sacrificed seeing more of Krakow for my health.  I went back to bed.

I woke up just after 11AM.  It turns out that Una and Linn opted out too, and now we’re sitting outside of the hostel at the first floor restaurant.  We’re about to get breakfast, and then it’s 7 hours to Poznan.


Still sitting outside the restaurant.  We’re really taking it easy this morning…I had a “Polish Breakfast” (bread, ham, cheese, scrambled eggs), orange juice, and a lemon sorbet for my throat.  It looks like either Linn or Una got pirogies:


Our waiter found out we were from Canada, and says that our rugby team is really rough and tumble, but “never gets anywhere”.  Hm.  I didn’t even know we had a team.

Everybody came back from the walking tour (or from their own separate morning adventures) at pretty much the same time.


And then we were off!

3:00PM – On the Bus to Poznan

We’re on our way to Poznan.  We left about 40 minutes ago.  I’m trying to read Guns, Germs and Steel.  Even by itself, it’s a pretty hard book to read.  Now try doing it on a bumpy bus with people talking all over the place.  Not exactly ideal.  I found myself rereading paragraphs over and over again without really absorbing anything.  Eventually I gave up and just looked at the countryside.


You can barely see them in the second shot, but there are wind turbines in the background.  Wind turbines seem to be pretty common out here.  It’d probably be more common in Southern Ontario if we didn’t have the Hydro system to rely on.


Still en route to Poznan.  Apparently another hour and a half to go.  We’ve driven through a pretty brutal thunder/rain storm.  Rain flooded an entire section of the street, but our bus driver, Pan (Mr.) Stephan, just plowed right on through it.

Now the sun is setting, and it’s overcast, but at least the rain has stopped.  We’re all getting pretty stir-crazy in the bus.  We’ve all been reading, sleeping, playing word games, making jokes, telling stories… this long trip has reminded us of how brutal our flight home will be (20+ hours!!).  We also joked about the garbage strike (which was still on at that point).

We’ve been eating chips, popcorn, and other junkfood from gas stations and rest stops along the way.  I feel pretty trashy.  Everybody is restless.


We’ve arrived at the hostel.  Feeling like trash.  We couldn’t find the place at first, and then found out we had to walk down a sketchy alleyway to get there.

To top it off, between us and the door was a veritable lake of foul smelling liquid.  We grit our teeth, and Tamara visibly shuddered as we walked through our personal oasis of filth to the hostel door.

This hostel really doesn’t feel secure at all.  And the shower doesn’t drain.  And the bathroom door doesn’t close properly.  The beds aren’t comfy.  A whole host of complaints.  Our long journey probably didn’t help our mood.

And I was hungry.  So after dumping my stuff at the hostel, I walked back through the putrid lake, and found an all-night grocery.  I got some fruit, some yogurt, and some soup.  I showered (most unpleasant, with the soapy water not draining), and then I went to sleep on my lumpy mattress on the creaky bunkbed in the sketchy hostel.

Click here to go to Part 13: First Day in Poznan, Still Sick, and LA MENZOGNA

Click here to go back to Part 11.5:  Back to the Hostel