When Rebecca arrived on Monhegan last summer, she was promptly informed that her presence on the island ensured her a visit to Poland. Everyone who works on Monhegan, she was told, goes to Poland. She insisted that she would be doing no such thing. As we neared the border Rebecca seriously considered jumping out of the car just to prove herself right. But no, the trip to Poland is indeed inevitable.
Our first night in this lovely country was spent at Alex’s house near Katowice. It is my impression that they teach hospitality in Polish schools, because I have never felt more welcome in someone’s house. This trend continued through our entire stay in Poland.
The next day we took the train up to Warsaw to visit Radek, another friend from Monhegan. Basically, if it were not for Rebecca’s Australian family and the island of Monhegan, I would not be able to afford this trip. With Radek as our tour guide, we walked all over the old city, the new city and various other parts of the city which have no age reference. We stood on the roof of his library (a first for all three of us), admired several spectacular fountains and discovered that a new business can not open in Warsaw without Radek’s presence.
Our visit in Warsaw consisted of several joyful reunions: the first being when Molly called to say she was at the sketchiest train station in Warsaw. We then celebrated her birthday (19) by eating so much that we could easily be confused with either pregnant ladies or the presidents of companies. Thank you Chris and Jackie!!
The next day we were joined by Greg, another suave Monhegan employee. As Radek and Greg talked in Polish, us barbaric monolinguals brushed up on our Pig Latin. Then we strolled through another park, of which Warsaw has several, and Greg made friends with a duck. Still exhausted from Molly’s birthday, a brief second wind allowed us to make an appearance in old town where we felt rather special walking between Radek and Greg in their matching coats.
We also had the opportunity to meet Marek, who takes even Polish hospitality to a whole new level, and to meet up with Tomek who is one of the nicest guys I know. And yes, they are all connected through the Monhegan network.
So basically, Polska is a wonderful place. Go there before the US-Zloty exchange rate goes completely to hell.