Started our day, bittersweet. Leaving the boys behind. Unsure of what lies ahead, different languages, different cultures, a family we have never met. Arrived at the airport, Tims’ luggage burst at the seams, lost his tie somewhere along the way.
The guy at the desk was nice enough to airport tape (their version of duct tape) his luggage shut. Watched 12 year old get searched at security (because you never know who the next terrorist will be).Rode a soon to be retired (hopefully) puddle jumper to DC. I swear we could hear the screws rattling loose from the plane as we landed. Got on a 737, I of course got the broken seat. Could not control the reclining mechanism, so when we took off, I had no choice but to fully recline.You understand the thrust power involved in take off at that moment.
We arrived in Frankfurt, and it was surprising all of the repressed stereotypes about Germans that came to the forefront. I immediately had flashbacks to Indiana Jones, and was terrified of what I would have to go through to get through customs. I think it is just the language. Surprisingly, they don’t even make you take off your shoes.We boarded for Krakow at 8:00 Frankfurt time.At this point we had been up for 21 hours.We arrived at Krakow at 10:30 their time.
Smaller airport than I expected, much like Burlington.A little more lax though, and since they were backed up at customs, they let everyone on our plane just walk through (what did they have to worry about after Germany).It was very exciting to see Jon waiting for us, and we experienced our first taste of Polish driving with Severyn(ulas brother) at the wheel. I took false faith in the fact that he drives trucks for a living, and just didn’t watch as we weaved through Polish traffic.
Ulas’ family was kind enough to understand that we would need some time to catch up on rest (with a 6 hour time change) to leave us be until we were ready to meet them later in the day.When we announced we were ready, we were greeted by a plentiful kitchen of common Polish dishes.As a starter, a large bowl of garlic and egg soup (an American description) and a plate of golabki (go-womb-kee), the one dish Tim had refused to dig into, based on childhood nightmares.However, to the delight of myself and Tim, the soup and the golabki were delicious.Come to find out, Ula’s mother is a professionaly trained chef (thank goodness).This was a wonderful way to come into contact with authentic Polish cuisine.We soon learned that (polish word ) would be a constant question we would need to face.It is a misnomer that Italian mothers insist on full belly’s, as it is the Polish mother that it constantly contemplating how to get the most food into you.
Although it felt like a peasant village, we stayed in a newly built and furnished second house of Ula\’s family. The story goes that the house was originally built for Ula and her husband, but since Ula has moved to the US, perhaps one of her two brothers will move in with their bride. Kinda like the compound back home.Eastern Europe – Day 1 – July 3, 2008