It's been about ten years... Give or take.
November 28, 2010
It's been about ten years... Give or take.

I've experienced a lot of random things in Europe, and now I can add "meet up with a childhood friend who is also living in Europe who you haven't seen in 10+ years" to the list. I had a lovely weekend visiting with Hannah, said childhood friend who I haven't seen in about ten years.

Thursday
Hannah came to Warsaw from Germany for Thanksgiving! I met her at Centralny on Thanksgiving day in the midst of the dinner preparation happening at my flat. We successfully met and recognized each other on the platform, I successfully navigated us out of the tunnels to the main hall, then we walked in circles because I kept changing my mind about the most efficient way to get home. We ended up on the 519 bus, which worked like a charm. Back at the flat, Thanksgiving madness was in full swing, and we partied until 3:00am.

Friday
Friday, we needed to find the Deutsche Bank ATM so she could get zloty. I'd never been to the Deutsche Bank in Warsaw. We found a branch in a huge glass building near the Politecknicha Metro station, got her zloty, then rushed to the university so I could make it to my Constitutional History class.

Hannah sat in on class, which had a few great moments. For example: the professor spilled coffee on his netbook, picked it up and started shaking it and wiping at it furiously with a napkin. Then toward the end of class, he ran out of the classroom for some chalk, came walking back in, looked at his watch, grunted, and sort of gallumped to the blackboard. From there he wrote "-Serf" and "-Servant", and started talking until the class told him we couldn't read the board because the projector was still on. So he turned off the projector and argued with one student about serfs and servants for the last five minutes of class. Maybe you had to be there, but it was quirky and entertaining.

After class, we found hot chocolate, then went walking to Old Town where we found the Christmas Market in Market Square. We didn't see too much of Old Town, but we walked around the Christmas Market for an hour, then it got dark and cold, so we bought some hot beer (worst idea in the world, by the way) to warm up, and decided we would hit up the pirogi place before heading back to my flat. Hannah and I split the Brother-in-Law pirogi meal.

I'd been incommunicado with my Warsaw friends since I'd had my phone taken on Wednesday, and when we got back to the flat, I had a Facebook message from Natasha that we must do something that evening. So, we coordinated and decided we would go for Mexican food. Hannah and I headed north toward Natasha's, and we went to "The Mexican".

The Mexican is a horribly politically incorrect restaurant that combines the Wild West (a la Wanted posters with $100,000 rewards) with stereotypical "Mexican" memorabilia. We ordered "nachos" and margaritas from a waitress in a Spanish style skirt and belly shirt with a plastic gun on her hip. When we were trying to figure out the margarita flavors, we called Michael to have him look up the word for arbuz (watermelon). While we were waiting for our nachos, a bandit dressed like Zorro ran up firing his plastic gun, gave the people at the table behind us cake with a sparkler style candle, shouted "Ole!" and ran away again. It was GREAT!! The "nachos" came as a teensy bowl of chips and a teensy bowl of guacamole. Our margaritas were good and colorful (Natasha's "exotic" was bright blue). Sometime during the meal we decided to do a Mexican bar hop.

From The Mexican, we went to La Fiesta. La Fiesta was more expensive, but their nachos and margaritas were much better. This time, Hannah's "cactus" margarita was bright blue. After La Fiesta, we went to Frida, where we had piña coladas (they didn't have margaritas) and split the sampler platter. The piña coladas were kind of weird. Instead of being frozen, they were milk with a vague coconut rum flavor. The sampler platter? Completely delicious! :) At the end of the night we decided that The Mexican had the best atmosphere, La Fiesta had the best margaritas, and Frida had the best food. Hannah and I took the night bus home, then called it a night.

Saturday
Sometime during the planning for the grand Mexican evening, Hannah, Natasha, and I decided to invite the guys and go back to the Christmas Market. The plan was to meet at Natasha's flat at noon, then walk to Old Town. Hannah and I arrive a few minutes early, we wait ten minutes for Fabian to show up, but no one heard from Michael. We waited until 12:30p, and decided he was probably asleep or had forgotten, so the four of us went to Old Town.

On the way, we ran into (almost literally) Robbie, who was showing his family around Warsaw. It's awesome to run into people you know on the street in a foreign country. :D We said hello and introduced ourselves, then continued to Old Town. By the time we got there, Natasha had heard from Michael and he was going to meet us at the Market in a half hour. Awesome!

We walked around a little bit, had some hot wine (absolutely delicious and an awesome idea), and just hung out until Michael got there. When he showed up, we all tried some fried Polish cheese, had more hot wine, and inflicted the hot beer upon Natasha and Fabian. Watching them drink that one beer was super funny because they both lacked ANY sort of enthusiasm/interest in the beer after trying the first sip. After a few hours, we were all cold, and had different things to do. The group split, and Natasha, Hannah, and I went back to Friday to have a meal because all of us were hungry!

After we were well fed, Hannah and I went to find a tram to go to the Warsaw Uprising Museum. I've lived in Warsaw for two months, and I hadn't made it to the museum before I had a guest to take around and show it to. Odd. Anyway, when we got there, we had one hour before the museum closed, and we had to rush through to see the entire museum. It's a very interactive museum, which was cool, and I think if I wasn't feeling rushed, and had time to read all the signs I would have gotten more out of it. Nonetheless, seeing Old Town and visiting the Uprising Museum were the two things Hannah wanted to do, and we did both.

After the museum, the plan was to go back to my flat, have a pajama party and share a bottle of wine. Well, when we got back, I had a message from my friend Patrycja giving me the address for the Thanksgiving party she'd invited me to weeks ago. Right. I felt bad because I'd completely forgotten! Thank goodness we had the reminder. We decided that yes, it was something we wanted to do, so we killed an hour, then went to the party.

They'd started dinner already, and by the time we got there, there was only a little bit of delicious turkey and some salads left. I hadn't been horribly hungry, so it worked out! :) I enjoyed getting to visit with Patrycja, it was only the third time I'd seen her since moving here! She introduced Hannah and I to a bunch of cool people, many of whom had spent time in the US on exchange at Northeastern. I loved it, and Hannah said she had a great time getting to visit with Polish people! I felt extra special for having two Thanksgivings. :) Hannah and I headed back to my flat around midnight and made it home around one.

Sunday
Hannah's alarm went off at 8:30a, and after three nights of parties, I was not particularly bright eyed or bushy tailed. The morning went really fast, and before you knew it, we were on our way back to Centralny. Two buses and forty minutes later we were at the train station. We had about thirty minutes until the train, and we spent the last little bit of the visit talking over how awesome it was that the trip worked out so nicely and un-awkwardly. After ten years, there was a huge possibility for the trip to be awkward and weird, and I am thankful that it went the opposite way trending toward awesome and fun. :)

I have a trip to plan to Madgeburg, Germany sometime in the near future...! Thanks for an awesome weekend, Hannah!