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September 26, 2016

Freedom Bus Experience - Warsaw

I said yes on impulse.

I was working at that time with a Polish girl in my office and after a few questions about Poland, I've decided to say yes to the Freedom Bus Experience. At that time all that mattered was that I was traveling to a new country (to me) for a few euros. I enrolled and forgot about it.

Few weeks later the first newsletter arrived. Something with visual diaries. I remember looking up on Google what is a visual diary and saying that I could do one if I had to.

Then one of my master colleagues, Polish girl, with a background in arts wanted to go, but there were no free places left. I offered to give her my place, but the organisers said that my place was there and I believed them. In my mind, I was still going to visit Poland and nothing else.

I bought all the tickets and checked in on the last minute, because it came after my holiday (one week after it) and I was still trying to figure out how to restart my life. Overall it was the worst planned trip in my life. I never went on the idea "I'll see when I'll get there", but that is exactly what I did in Poland.

Then the day came. I don't even remember how I got to the airport. My husband probably. No, the train. Oh the early train. 4 a.m. or something like that. That is why I must have shoved it on the back of my mind.

After six exhausting hours I was in Warsaw. I would stay in Novotel in the City Centre, just 300 metres from the Central Train Station. No point in taking a cab, I thought.

I almost fainted when I got to the hotel lobby, though. You see, 300 metres together with some underground tunnels with no elevator or escalators. It was a good thing though, because of the exhaustion I was not in a fighting mood and I just surrender in front of a big announcement that on that particular day there will be no hot water.
In front of me people were changing rooms and arguing with the concierge, so when I got there, I just said who am I, and that I have a reservation. He smiled and said that everything was payed for. Of course it was. At the end I managed to ask at what time did he expect the hot water to return. He answered:
"- Because you didn't argue with me, I gave you a room with hot water."

I was in heaven. A big, spacious room all to myself. I wondered when my roommate might show up, as we were supposed to take the same plane from Brussels, but I took a shower and fell asleep. I woke up minutes before the meeting with some of the organisers and participants. I was informed about the project and then we had dinner. I didn't like it, so I went to the city centre together with my colleagues. Of course I got lost and of course I ended up alone, on the streets of Warsaw looking for the old town.

I found it by myself, and I took hundreds of pictures and I went into all the little shops and eventually when the hunger came, I sat at a popular terrace and had a hamburger (chicken hamburger), looking at the crowds.

I managed to get safe to the hotel around midnight and fell asleep instantly. The next day I planned a visit to the Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw and then the train trip to Krakow.

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Raluca

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