I moved into this lovely building where my room was attached to another by a bathroom and we had a communal balcony. How many dorms in American have balconies? That's what I thought. The first day I met my roommates and went to the downstairs bar to meet people. Everyone seemed pretty chill but were pretty tired from coming into the dorm that day. The second day I took a placement test and got into level B1, which is for people who can speak but not spell good. We had two teachers per lesson, a vocabulary teacher and a grammar teacher. I also took an afternoon course in Twentieth Century Polish literature. That was fun, I guess. After classes, my roommates and I checked out the Polish night life and did a lot of this:
Mm, yep. That weekend, we went on a rafting tour, which was fun but kind of scary at the same time. This one kid got heat stroke, passed out, and threw up because of food poisoning. Forty-four other people got food poisoning too, which was kind of scary so they closed the dining hall downstairs. I avoided it and got to enjoy this lovely view:
I went exploring the town with my uncle and grandfather (not actually related, of course. I have a strange habit of calling people relatives). But I also started spending a lot of time with this lovely human being:
He is my boyfriend now and we complement each other very well. So I did less partying and more dating. Well, that's not entirely true. I did go out for my roomie's birthday to this fancy club. I still can't decide if I actually liked the club or not, but some things will never be known. That weekend, we went on a hiking trip in further southern Poland in the town of Zakopane. In true TKF form, we arrived an hour and a half late and only go to see the crappy waterfall, not the cool one. Hanging out was fun though.
And then afterwards, my fake family and I went to the absinthe bar to enjoy a few drinks and a few more bars and basically turn into the best shit show of the century. Because that is what cool kids do after hiking and midterms.
The third week was another week of exploring the city, but also kind of melancholy because the three-weekers were leaving so everyone wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. But I also met my boyfriend's brother who came for what we called the three day accelerated course in drinking. He wasn't actually part of the program, but we made him feel like he was.
We also had this cute, course-wide bonfire where there were contests and singing and, of course, kielbasa. The sad part was, it had rained so much that day that it screwed up the fire wood so we didn't have an awesome burning inferno on the dorm quad, but the sausage was good and everyone had a good time.
The last day of the week was the closing ceremony for the three-weekers. My boyfriend and I skipped it to go to a Morrissey concert. It was SO MUCH FUN. I only heard a handful of songs before, but this 50-something-year-old man had true stage presence. And the dubstepper I'm dating liked him, which was totally bizarre. But I had a ton of fun. And then afterwards, we went to the closing ceremony after party, which for many people, was another shit show.
The first day of the last week, we went to a salt mine. It was pretty awesome. It's so bizarre how it's all underground and still really preserved. In addition, there were salt statues there a few decades old and they haven't come apart yet. I got really light-headed and giddy from the lack of oxygen, so my friends had a hey-day with that.
That week was also a cultural excursion for me. My boyfriend took me to an art museum and the next day me and my other friends went to the zoo while he was packing and stuff. The zoo was surprisingly a lot of fun. Polish animals are interesting, mostly kind of slow because of the crappy weather. I've never been to a Polish zoo before and I haven't been to a zoo in general in years. But making jokes and enjoying one of the few good days was a nice experience.
We also had the four-weeker closing ceremony, which was really cute. There was a slide show, musical performances, and the giving out of diplomas. I got an A in both my classes, which made me ecstatic to the point of tears. So we also had an after party and I had a lot of fun with my friends (my boyfriend couldn't be there because he's backpacking for a week and kind of fell off the face of the Earth). But the next day, we went out to a fancy place to get nice deserts and later went out for drinks together for the last time.
Poland this year was an amazing experience. I met a ton of great people, fell in like, learned a language, and started to appreciate my Polish culture a whole lot more.