“Espresso doppio, proszę.” “Yes, anything else?”

(Written in the Old Town this afternoon, between rainstorms)

I kinda feel like I’m on that school trip to Quebec City in grade 7; even when I try to use a word in the local language, I get a reply in English.

Sitting in a café (my second of the day) listening to seemingly the only accordion-playing busker who isn’t a) a 14-year-old girl, b) sour-faced, and c) in possession of a tiny, apparently dead (but actually just exhausted) puppy.

After a couple of days spent primarily sitting on patios, enjoying local brews (although, I did make it to the EXCELLENT Solidarity Museum yesterday), I decided to make use of my Karta Turysty and hit up some more educational haunts, which, it turns out, is quite tricky. The archaeology museum was great, but several exhibits/displays offered no English descriptions at all. (This is fine, really. I am not so arrogant as to be think that there should be English everywhere, but, yeah, bewilderment was at maximum a few times when facing endless pots of who-knows-what origin.)

Ditto at the Maritime Museum (though English descriptions were more available there), which had the additional complication of being one way only. So, despite being exhausted (have I mentioned the sinus-y, mucous situation I have going on in my head?) and wanting to head out early, I had to go through ALL of the exhibitions since I got shouted at in Polish by little old ladies if I tried to turn around. Everything on the third floor and above got pretty cursory glances, I’m afraid. Apologies to 20th century shipbuilders.
As I can’t drink vodka, my souvenirs so far are the nearly-as-stereotypical mead (which is more like wine than liqueur here) and amber.

I am really digging Poland. I hope I can make it back before Piotr and Chelsea leave (Euro 2012, maybe?). Tomorrow, I embark on my journey West to Berlin, then on to Paris. It will be sweet relief to have at least a primary school reading level (in Germany). Still haven’t made a single decision on what to see there yet, though. The dream of renting a bike and exploring has been quashed by five days of torrential rain in the forecast. Ack. Must buy an umbrella. OK, jetzt habe ich einen Plan für Berlin.

(Photos of Gdansk will be posted here am Morgen, or maybe the day after.)

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