An American girl in a Polish world
September 27, 2010
An American girl in a Polish world 

I found the university! I felt very pleased with myself for getting there without getting lost or confused.

At the university, I walked into the bookstore/gift shop place and asked where to find the building I was looking for. It was an awkward exchange in broken English, but she knew where it was and pointed at the building. Yay! When I got to the Casmir Place, I couldn't find the room, and had mimed conversation with the general consensus of, "Up two floors on the other side". When I found the room, office hours were over, but there were still people working. I asked to see Anna, and was told it would be her decision since office hours were over. When she had a break from the people she was working with, she said hi and seemed glad that I was there. :) When it was my turn, Anna gave me information for the ID cards, class registration system, and verified whether or not I would be at the orientation tomorrow. When we were done, I left to take care of business.

Next on my list was to get an electronic photo for my ID card. I walked into the Kodak store, was greeted in Polish, and asked a few questions which were received with a blank stare. I finally managed, "no polski", and the guy said, "Ah. Speak." I was asking for a university ID photo, and he understood. "University electronic ID." YES! :) He invited me behind the counter to the photo-taking area, and took my picture. 10 minutes, 25zl later, I was done. 

After getting my photo, I had a bite to eat. There is a restaurant called Pepe right across the street from the university, and the pictures in the window looked good, so I went to see what they had
. I was super excited when I saw a separate English menu, I could really decide what to get instead of pointing at something! I decided on a chicken wrap. When I ordered, I asked, "English?" She said, "A little." I said, "Chicken wrap?" She smiled and said, "Ok!" Phew! :) This chicken wrap was delicious, and so huge! It was definitely a good choice for my first meal of the day. 

After lunch, I had one last errand before heading home. I needed to exchange my currency. On my way to a Kantor store, I found a vendor selling fresh fruit and bought some DELICIOUS raspberries for 8zl! Oh my goodness, so sweet and fresh, I've never had raspberries so good! A few blocks later, I found a Kantor store, where I exchanged the US currency I brought with into zloty, then found the 195 bus to go back to the flat.

The rest of my afternoon was uneventful until I started feeling hungry. I decided a trip to the grocery store was in order. I had virtual directions from my flatmate, who said the grocery store was across the street. I was half way across the street and saw a little building that did not resemble any sort of grocery store I'd previously seen, and was a little apprehensive that I'd gone the wrong way. But, when I got closer, I saw the IGA sign in the window (which made me think about Ohio), and knew I was in the right place. 

Shopping was an experience. I found most things because the packaging had pictures, but I had a hell of a time finding facial cleanser. Which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't bad. Not speaking Polish at the check out was interesting because I couldn't tell how much money to give. I was also confused not receiving a shopping bag, so I mimed "carrying" and the clerk said "Ah!" and wrote down the fee for the plastic bag. Since I am not terribly familiar with the money, she had to show me which coins to look for. It was frustrating, but not bad. 

Back at the flat I made some dinner, and in the process realized the only mix-up I'd made was in getting garlic flavored olive oil instead of regular. I really don't like garlic, but it's not the end of the world... 

Now I am off to bed. I have orientation to look forward to in the morning! :) Maybe I'll get some cool university schwag! :)