Here is the thing about Europe. From the tiny town I am living in, you can drive 30 mins one way and be in Poland. You can also drive thirty minutes another way and be in The Czech Republic. I am sure Australians will agree that one of the most annoying things about Australia (aside from our
terrible controversial government and deadly spiders) is its isolation. You have to fly for a good number of hours if you want to get anywhere.
In Europe, you can just pop over to another country to get some eggs.
A quiet Saturday afternoon found us piled into a friends car on our way to the great country of Polska. At the wheel was a real live Polish man (Pole? Polack? I don’t know). From the back of his car, a polish flag fluttered in the wind.
Apparently, we were going to “the Greatest Country in the world”.
Driving through the countryside on the German side of the border, our polish friend was quick to point out the failings of the country. He pointed out that nobody in Germany walks the streets or plays in the parks. He boasted how cheap everything was in comparison and how much more charm the streets of Poland held than its bland neighbour.
As we unceremoniously crossed the border into Germany, I noticed that the streets were filled with people. A wedding was spilling out of a courthouse and women in high heels gossiped in the streets. Gorlitz, the town we planned to spend the afternoon certainly seemed more alive than the sleepy german streets.
The first stop in Poland was the supermarket. Watch out guys, this is a true cultural experience. We bought some groceries (so cheap!) and browsed a zany bookstore. Our polish friend, keen for us to experience some true Polish food bought us to “Przy Jakubie”, a tiny ivy covered restaurant not the shores of a beautiful river. From the restaurant you could see a beautiful Polish church. This little restaurant was cheap, adorable and had a some delicious food.
The restaurant walls were covered in knickknacks and photos giving the place a bit of a hipster vibe. We sampled polish soup and dumplings (pierogi) and for a main course I had a plate of Raclette. Raclette is a cheese which is served melted, usually with a side of potatoes, bread or gherkins. Let’s just say, I’m a big fan.
Mind you, our polish friend declined to partake in the polish food and unapologetically stopped at McDonalds on the way home.
Although I only spent one afternoon in Poland, the country did have a special charisma about the place. It was a little rougher around the edges, a little cheaper and a little bit more lively. Frankly, I would go back just to sample that Raclette again. Yum!
Have you ever spent just an afternoon in a country? It makes you appreciate the little things doesn’t it! Leave me a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.