Carol Bontekoe

This blog has been keeping track of my adventures since 2004. The stories and the adventures have come from my college dorm room to Uganda, Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan, learning Dutch in the Netherlands to living in the wilds of Homer, Alaska. I went back to school in Amsterdam to study Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Science) at University of Amsterdam. And now my adventures as a Fruit Fly, a Sexy Unicorn, and creating a movement with Team Sparkle in Chicago.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

That doesn't come with the room

I am sure that Poznan, Poland is absolutely lovely. I will probably will never know for sure. I spent two days there and only saw a chunk of it.
My first night in Poznan I walked about a mile to Roosevelt street and had to go down Franklin alley to find the Internet cafe recommended to me by the receptionist. That was the farthest I made it from my hotel. That night I wrote my little blog entry about ticks-how I don't know what they do or if I even was bit by one cuz I didn't know what they looked like. Don't worry I have now received more than enough info on ticks. So, please no more. After having spent an hour reassuring Caitlin and Shawn that I was fine I had to get off the computer. My back was hurting like I had only every experienced a few times in my life, I was having spasms in my back, my stomach hurt, and I was starting to sweat-alot for just sitting at a computer. I said goodbye and made the walk home. I was shivering. My jaw was on the verge of locking I was shivering so much. Yet there seemed to be people dressed in t-shirts and shorts and they seemed fine. I thought they are even crazier than me.
When I got back to my hotel roomed I collapsed into my bed. I was unable to stay there long since my body had decided it didn't want anything in it.
at all.
My body decided it was going to try and sweat out everything and if that didn't work more drastic measures going in two opposite directions would be taken.
I honestly don't know why I suddenly became so sick. I think it was the power of suggestion. I was only kinda sick before talking to Caitlin and Shawn and then they were telling me how sick i could become from a tick bite and within the hour I'm crawling from the bathroom floor to my bed. If it's not that than I have to admit I did drank some very questionable water. On a few occasions. But come on I drank tap water in Kyrgyzstan I just thought I could handle all water everywhere.
The next morning I had to force myself to go down stairs at 10:55, to beat the check out time, and ask if I could stay another day. Since the hotel was virtually empty I was allowed to stay.
The cleaning lady was unable to clean my room since I never left. At about 4 in the afternoon I ran out of toilet paper. For a while I would just take a shower after everytime but that got to be too energy consuming. I realized I would have to go down stairs and ask for more toilet paper. I was not looking forward to it. I didn't like admiting I had gone through that much toilet paper and I looked like crap. Despite having had several showers I still didn't look clean. I especially didn't smell it.
The women at reception didn't speak the best English but I felt Toilet Paper was pretty straight forward.
I laid my head on the reception desk
"Can I get some more toilet paper?"
"Toilet paper?"
I decided to stand up striaght and make eye contact.
"Toilet Paper."
"ah, yes. You can go out here to the kiosk and buy some there."
"The kiosk on the corner sells it."
"You don't give it for free?"
"No, you can buy at the kiosk."
I stood there and did that half twist movement when you can't decide if you are going to start walking in another direction or just stand there. My mouth was open and I appeared to be trying to speak but nothing was coming out.
I took a step towards the door and realized I had no money. I also realized that this was kinda of an expensive hotel and it was not that nice and I should get some toilet paper with the room.
"I'm sorry. I'm not going to go buy toilet paper at the kiosk. Doesn't it come with the room?"
We stared at each other for a minute
"No. no... I'm not buying it.... TOILET. PAPER."
I then moved intoa squatting position and motion as if pulling a roll of toilet paper and then tearing it off the roll. We still stared at each other. I had to take it one step further. I showed her the imaginary toilet paper in my hand and then had to motion towards whipping my butt.
"OH, THAT! Toilet paper! Yes, yes of course that come with the room. We can of course get you some."
I was very proud that I didn't cave and just buy some but stood up for my rights for free toilet paper. I had to follow her down a long hallway to get my free toilet paper but it was worse it. All, I could hope was that I got healthy enough to continue on before I had to ask for another roll.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Some photos of me in Poland

My keychain for the hotel I was staying at had a beer bottle openr on it. The Poles know how to party!

Me looking beautiful(only in the face so too bad it gt cropped out) in one of the beautiful parks in warsaw

Me near old town. Really beautiful I just missed it in this photo.

Treating myself to some sushi.

And a Margarita(Note for Hondo people it was not a virgin Margarita... note for everyone else I appologize for this blatant inside joke)

Liked that the name of this town looks like Lazy and I was rockin' out to Bohemian Rhapsody when I rolled in.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Worst first day of work ever...

One of the nice things about bicycling through the Baltics and Poland was they aren't that developed of countries. I don't mean in any kind of backwards sense. I mean that they have trees and even sometimes enough trees together to constitute what I would call woods-also known as forest. After living in what is probably the most developed country in the world it was nice to go cycling a long treelined roads. The Netherlands really doesn't have a lot in the way of woods. In fact wildernis is so precious here that they publish several books on where to find it.
One day while cycling along a highway that cut through some of these elusive woods I saw a girl standing near the road and crying. Though this would be an odd sight regardless I found it particularly weird since I was about 15kms from any town in either direction. She had on what would barely be considered clothing and was wearing high boots with a high heel... often reffered to affectionately as hooker boots. She really did appear to be in some kind of trouble. I figured she must have had a fight with the boyfriend or whatever and he was like, "fine walk your ass home," and then let her out of the car.
I stopped and tried to speak to her. She was saying something, but I really didn't understand. Hell, for all I know it wasn't even Polish. All I know is I didn't understand her and she did understand me. I tried to explain I could bike into town and get her some help or if she was going to walk and didn't want to walk alone I could walk with her. Whatever, I was just trying to help. She was waving me off. The tears becoming more rapid. I really didn't know what to do and since nothing that I said was making her stop crying I gestured that I would be leaving. She gave me a look that seemed to say, "It's for the best."
While cycling I thought how odd that was. I wondered if even if we could have spoken to each other if she would have let me help her. Who did she piss off to get left in the middle of the woods next to a highway? When was she left there since that didn't seem like day time clothing to me. I then spotted another girl a couple kilometers down. She was also very skantly clad. She wasn't crying or anything. She appeared to just be chilling on a stump and texting. But why was she in the woods? Why was she dressed like a skank? Maybe that's just how Polish girls are.
I dind't pull over for the second girl cuz what could I say? Also, she seemed to be fine with whatever her situation was. I continued biking and then saw another girl about a kilometer away. This girl had the least clothing on of the three girls that I had seen. I started to grow suspicous and started thinking all of these girls were some how linked. By the 4th, 5th, and 6th girls dressed in near nothing sitting next to the road I realized these were in fact prostitutes. They must be there for truckers on the highway because they aren't near any towns. Also, how odd to have your job be in the woods. I guess when it's nice out it's not too bad of a location. You can do what prostitutes 2-6 were doing: sitting looking bored and texting.
It began to dawn that it might ahve been girl #1s first day of work. That would explain the crying and the genral look of disspear where as all the other girls appeared to be pros. I couldn't help thinking, "Man your first day on the job as a prostitute in the woods for truckers. That is one hell of a first day."
I'm glad I was on my bicycle because if I had seen the girl next to the road crying I would have really freaked her out. I would have insisted she get in my car, ushering her to it. I would have then pointed as to where we should go and would have been really bubbly and cheery to try and get her to calm down. She probably would have become very panicked and really freaked out and since we don't speak the same language I would have thought she was crying about the jerk boyfriend that left her on the side of the road while she would have thought I was making some kind of list of demands. So, yeah good thing I was on the bike... or I would have made an already bad first day of work worse.... just by trying to have some midwestern hospitality.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nun down

I can't describe how hard the wind was in Poland. I took some photos that I hoped would show it but they aren't even worth posting now. When I was getting some groceries before leaving Konin I wasn't sure if it was actually as windy as I thought or if I was a big wuss. It wasn't till a few days later when I finally got an English Channel (Sky News... It blows... only thing worse than CNN Headlines)that I knew. The weather man was all happy and giggles and as he scanned over the European Continent, "Oh, and it is extremely windy in Central Poland... and in Belarus...."
I stood up and grabbed the television.
I sat waiting for them to go back to the weather. When it eventually came back on I was on the edge of the bed about a half a foot away from the television, ignoring the fact that my mother had always told me to sit at least 3 feet from the television. Any closer and I would go blind... That is what I believed for a very long time.... But back to the weather.... Blah blah blah rain over all of England blah blah rain in Scotland too...blah blah of yeah Ireland has rain too... blah... to the continent it is really hot in the south blah... and then he laughed and said, "There are some gale force winds going on in Central Poland right now." back to blah blahing. I don't know what a gale force is, wait let me wikipedia it....
They didn't have anything.
I'll google it...
Found it on

A very strong wind.
Any of four winds with speeds of from 32 to 63 miles (51 to 102 kilometers) per hour, according to the Beaufort scale.

Well, now I know what a gale is but I didn't when I heard it on the news. I only had heard it from Owen Wilson in like every movie he has ever been in... look for it.. he likes to mention a gale blowing in a lot of movies....
It was nice to know my struggle against the wind was a very really one. These winds were so strong and I was going the completely wrong direction. If I had been biking from Berlin to Warsaw I would have claimed it was the best biking of my life. Since I was gong the wrong direction it became some of the most challenging. I had to peddle going down hill.
Down Hill.
Had to.
The bike would have come to a complete stop if I didn't keep peddling. I would be struggling to go down hill while I watched old ladies on bikes whipping up the hills in the other direction, big smiles on their faces. I believe there are few things in life that are more frustrating than that.
So, when leaving Konin I stood at a an intersection with my bike walking for a little bit- at least until I got some cover to get back on the thing. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a nun walking. Poland has lots of nuns and they are everywhere, just walking around, doing God's work. I have to say I don't have any memories of ever seeing a nun in the flesh in America, especially not with the outfit. So, naturally when I see a nun it grabs my attention. I could see that she was blocked from a majority of the wind by a building. I thought when she gets past this building that wind is going to hit her hard. And the gale did not fail me. The wind knocked the nun right to the ground.
I just stared on. It was one of my worst humanitarian moments but I was across the road, shocked to see a nun in the first place, and I went into an even greater shock to see a nun on rolling around on the ground. There were about nine of us who were in the general area looking on. No one moved. Were the others also Americans not used to seeing nuns and had been thrown into a temporary shock? Or was this a normal site for the Polish-a nun on the ground? Either way it took her sometime to regain herself and get back up, this time bracing herself against objects that could stand up to the wind.
If you ever question if it is windy and you see a nun rolling by like tumbleweed in the prairie the answer is: yes. Yes it is windy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Naked Truth

I arrived in Konin, Poland incrediably tired and warn out from facing some of the strongest winds I have ever seen. There was also a lot more hills than I had faced before on my trip. Not only had the quantity increased but the height. Tired, hot and sweaty all I could think about was getting all my sticky clothes off of me and hopping into the shower. So, natutrally that is the first thing I did after arriving at my hotel. Okay, well actually the first thing I did was check if there was an English channel. When I realized there was I settled for King of Queens in Polish. I then hopped in the shower.
Because I had my own private room I decided to just enojy not having clothes on for a while and was walking around my room naked. I also did some stretching naked, hung up my laundry naked, and sat watching the second half of King of Queens naked. The entire time I was in Poland it was incrediably windy. I heard my bathroom door getting bang around from the wind, I even looked back and only saw the bathroom door open. So, of course I thought nothing of the continuous bang door sounds behind me.
While during some naked Channel Surfing I heard some very loud Polish people talking. It seemed as if the voices were in my room. It was a man and a women and they seemed to be yelling about something I ignored it and continued to look for my next American show to watch in poorly dubbed Polish. When the voices stopped I heard my door bang shut. I looked back my door was shut... so why did I hear it bang shut? Must be the bathroom door. Continued on with my naked activities: naked, naked, naked...
I turned to go grab a bottle of water for some naked water drinking when I saw the door to my room was wide open. I hadn't locked it but had assumed when I shut it it would stay shut. I hadn't even considered that the wind was so strong that it would blow my door open. That's when I realized the voices that sounded like they were in my room... must have been in my room! Though I didn't understand what they were saying before I realized it must have been Polish for, "Hey Dumbass your door has been blown open and you are totally naked! Put on some close or lock the door. Hey! Hey are you deaf? You go talk to her. NO you! Let just shut the door!"
This is why I don't make it a habit to walk around naked. I always say its cuz I grew up with too many people in my house- you never knew who was going to come in. But now thousands of miles from home, while embracing the European spirit of nakedness, I completely showed my ass. At least I was doing some calf stretches.... I mean there are worse pstretches that Polish couple could have seen me doing... Standing hamstring stretch is one that comes to mind.

The philosopher

To be honest despite all my travels I had never truly traveled alone. I always wanted someone there to experience all the new things with me, someone to take photos of me, and most importantly someone to talk to about... whatever...just be there so I wouldn't forget how to carry on a conversation.
Most of the time during my bike ride I would stay in these little towns where I had to stay at the one hotel in town. I might do a little chit chatty with the receptionist or maybe with a couple people around town. However, for the most part these interactions would not have been considered conversations.
In the Baltics I occasionally stayed in hostels. The crowds were a bit different than the usual crowds at hostels I stayed at before. To begin with they were considerably older and almost always all men. On a few occasions I got an entire women's dorm to myself because I was the only woman.
When I arrived in Warsaw it seemed the perfect place to strike up a conversation. It was by far the most cosmopolitan place I had been since Helsinki. Also, the hostel I stayed at the people seemed a bit younger.
At the hostel there was a bar that at the assigned happy hour has ridiculously cheap beer. This was the place to have a conversation. I took a book with me just in case but I could feel conversations filling up in my head that I was going to have with people. The book would just become a prop for my dialogue. I knew it...
I went into the bar and ordered a beer. Was told it is even cheaper if I ordered two, so I made plans to come back and get one after the one in my hands was done. There were four tables in the bar, 3 of them full of people from all over discussing their recent travels. There was also one empty table. I took a spot on the edge of the empty table and sat near a group of young Brits laughing and joking very loudly. I sat with my beer and would laugh at their little quips. Nod in acknowledgement of some place that I had also been and would also refer to as a "shit hole". There was the hope that someone would notice how cool and interesting I looked, despite being really sweaty and in clothes that hadn't been washed in a week. When no one noticed I got another beer, did a little chit chat with the barman so that maybe one of the little groups would notice I speak English. When I sat back down with my second beer I realized no one was going to include me and I didn't have the initiative to include myself. So, I slammed the beer and went and watched a Zombie movie in the park by myself. And I got a Doner Kebab... It was actually a pretty good night.
My second night in Warsaw after spending the entire day trying to get my bike fixed and than back to the hostel(for the record you take the wrong way in Warsaw and you are suddenly facing some mighty big hills to climb in order to get home) I knew that it was now or never for ever having a conversation again. If I didn't have one today I would never speak with anyone again. I don't know why my mother always tells me I'm a tad dramatic...
I entered the happy hour with the exact amount of money for two beers. I made the same deal with the barman that I had made the night before. I took my one beer and my book and turned to find a seat. The same three tables had people chatting and laughing and the table that had been empty the day before had someone sitting at it. Nice looking guy, looked about my age, sitting alone with a beer and a book... he officially had a red bulleye on him as my conversation target.
"Can I sit here?"
He looked up and had a big smile on his face. It was that kind of smile that says, "Yes, Yes thank god I don't have to sit alone any longer."
"Ah, yeah... sure."
He closed his book as I sat down he wiped one hand on his jeans, grabbed his beer with the other hand, smiled, and inquired, "So, see anything interesting today?"
"Ugh, I guess but I had to run all over town trying to get my bike fixed...." I said it in a gruff never speak to me again voice. I than picked up my book and started reading it.
Not actually reading it of course. More holding a book in my hands, having an intent look on my face, while thinking, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! HE CLEARLY WANTS A CONVERSATION! GEEZ PERFECT INTRO!!!! COULD HAVE TOLD HIM ABOUT THE PHOTO EXHIBIT I SAW!!!!! AHHHH SO STUPID!!!!!!"
He waited for the conversation to start for a long uncomfortably long time. He took some pulls on his beer, looked around, sighed made it clear he wasn't that into his "Europe on a shoestring" book. After a while he looked me up and down(this is how not reading I was I totally knew what he was doing the entire time) and went back to his book. After 15 minutes of silence between us, both of us only looking up from our books to look at the people laughing at other tables, I decided to just stop being such a lame wussy and say something.
"So, ah... did you see anything interesting today. Or, ah, do anything fun?"
There was that smile again, but I noticed this time when he shut his book he left his finger in it in case he needed to come back to reading the book quickly.
"Oh, ya know Warsaw is just another big European city, they are all kinda the same aren't they?"
"Yeah, but with little differences you gotta go looking for what makes the cities unique."
"Well, I'm thinking I'm going to have to head back up to Estonia because each city there was unique."
"Oh, yeah ?I loved Estonia."
"Oh, you have been there..."
Houston we have lift off...
I was engaged in a conversation. We chatted for an hour or so by ourselves. Than eventually a woman from the table next to our interrupted because she had heard me speaking to the receptionist earlier about where to put my bike. The girl from the next table wanted to know how it was going on a bike and did I like the book "along way around" by Ewan McGregor. It took a while for us to get on the same page that I was on a bicycle, not a motor bike.
This revelation that I had pedal biked from Helsinki suddenly gave me street cred. The crowd in the Warsaw hostel was considerably different from a crowd you would find in a western Europe hostel. Most of us had traveled through the Baltics. Some had come up from the Balkans. Others had seen all of Poland. It was an interesting group. However, they had all come by train or bus so my bicycle some how made me that much more ambitious and courageous and interesting. Most of all I found some how it made me in there eyes a much deeper person. I'm not deep, I'm not philosophical and before that night in Warsaw I had never been confused as being deep. For reasons beyond me I went with it. I took my new role as this deeply philosophical woman that they will have met in Warsaw.
It was all going well until I found myself say, "Yeah, ya know in a bus or train you see the places. But on a bicycle... oh, man on a bicycle you feel these places. Ya know what I mean?"
They all nodded that they recognized what I was saying. The problem with that is in my head I was thinking, "No. no I don't know what you mean? How are you feeling the road Carol? Is it in the sore butt or the sweat rashes, or the tick bites, or the random rashes from random plants you have never seen before? what are you feeling?"
This is when I knew it was time to get to bed. It took me another hour to pull myself out of the conversation that was now involving about 10 people. It was fun playing the philosopher, but it's not me. I could only hope that someday these people would have a friend who tells them what I will tell you all now:
Just because someone is on a bike it doesn't make them any deeper than the next person. It just means they're an a-hole who can ignore huge amounts of pain in their a-hole...
See if I were deep I would have found a better way of saying that.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rappers or Republicans

I know I should be writing more about my trip, but this is so freakin' funny. You need to check this out.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Walk away

I saw a guy today listening to a walkman. Like a proper Walkman. Remember those? With a tape cassette and everything. He was just standing there. Doing a little knee jiggle with the music but otherwise not aknowledging this archaiac music listening device. I would talk more about this but my record is skipping and I should go take care of that.

So I don't forget...

I did my best job chatting with people in my hostel. I ended up talking with an interesting Irish girl who didn't realize that without my trying I was totally impersonating her accent. She told me that she can't stand reading Irish history because it is so bitter. Irish history is like sucking on 10 lemons. "ooooo I hate the british suck on a lemon!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I know I need to write more. There got to be so many stories and internet costs a lot and it wasn't always available so I just stopped writing. Story of my life. I'm back in the Netherlands ow enjoying the last few days of my holiday. I'm down on a beach in Noordwijk. I thought, "Oh, I'll chill on the beach and go swimming and read... That'll be nice after a really crazy trip across the baltics..." Well, the wind here is insane... The sand was actually cutting into my leg. So, I guess I'll be taking the cheap shuttle up to Amsterdam tomorrow and seeing how it is Friday. I really do have some crazy stories from Poland and Berlin... PS I know most people dog on Berlin but I like Totally loved it! I did stop by Hamburg, another crazy story. Took a picture of me eating a Hamburger in Hamburg but there is nothing that shows it is Hamburg... so you'll just ahve to take my word on it. It was a crazy but good trip, glad I made it in relatively one piece...even if my bike is in two.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Let me know...

What do you know about ticks?
Cuz I don't know anything. But I got bit by like two bug lookingish things. and like they were like stuck to my leg tight and I ahd to pry them off and then where they bit wouldn't stop bleeding for a long time. I didn't think anything of it till I read ion a Lonely Planet there are lots of ticks ion Lithuania and that is where I got bit while walking near some woods.
so, ah let me know...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The ride must go on...

I just got my bike back from the shop... it's still making a LOT of noise....but not quite(my face is squished when I say that) a much as it was. I have decided to keep going. I want to ride into Berlin and I have less than two weeks in which to do it now. I gotta keep trying. however, if it breaks down again I don't know what to do Warsaw was my best hope of getting my bike fixed. hmmmm... oh, well I'll just keep on pedaling.

Friday, August 1, 2008

WAR...SAW ugh what is it good for?

I am in Warsaw, Poland right now. I have been here since the wee hours of the morning. I had no choice, my bike needed to be brought to the city for immediate attention.
Yesterday when I went to buy a ticket I went from window to window asking if anyone spoke English or Russian.
No one. Seriously? Do these people never leave Poland?
I finally was reduced to trying to get the ticket that I needed with no language between me and the ticket agent. I was genuinely hurt... I have put in the effort to learn two different languages and I speak the international language of the world and these women couldn't be bothered to learn a little English or at least a little Russian? What were they doing during those Soviet Block years? Unless they are younger than they look... I mean... Lets just say whatever one is thinks... Slavs don't age well...
"ONE!" 'I held up my index finger... in case you aren't the world traveler that I am -holding up your index finger while shouting, "one" is the international code for... one. I'm just trying to make your future travels easier.
I kept shouting and waving my index finger about so it looked like I was doing the jitterbug. "PLEEAASE. ONE for WARSAW!" "BILET!!! Oden! Moshna..."
something in Polish blah something in Polish.
"Ya know... War(act like bombs are being dropped over head) Saw(act out sawing motion)"
blah blah blah Polish Blah blah Blah
I point to a sign that shows the ticket I want the over night bus to Warsaw that ends at 6 the next morning.
some more polish.
Just one." i do a side step and wave my arms in one direction... That's the international sign for one way.... although sometimes this looks like the hula. She eventually tapped something into the computer and then said 40 in Russian. I gave her a look... Could the Bitch speak Russian this whole time..?.. Either way I paid the price and got my ticket.It could be a return for all I know.
I had the rest of the day to kill. Everything in the town kinda shut down a round 8pm My bus wasn't leaving till 10:40pm, but with a lack of places to go I decided to wait at the bus stop with my bike. No one else really showed up till about 10 minutes before the bus came. They were all being seen off by family, friends, boy/girlfriends. I was alone with my bike. I didn't feel alone though I felt I had a mission. I felt like I had a sick child who needed urgent help but the only place we could get help for her disease was in the capital city.
I pictured myself with a babushka scarf tied around my head, barefoot(mostly cuz I was barefoot cuz my boots made my feet hurt), clutching my poor sick dying bike. We would ride across the country if that is what it took to get help.
Blah blah blah polish blah blah
"Does anyone speak English? Pa-Ruski? ENGLISH?"
"Where are you from?"
I didn't know why the man had to ask that... what does it matter where I'm from I still need someone to help me in some language other than Polish.
"America... tell him the bike is coming with me. I can't leave the bike I'm going to Warsaw for the bike. Please, tell him."
Long blank stare
blah polish blah
even longer blank stare
awkward standing around time
me looking away slowly but shaking the bike at the men.
look back slowly
eye contact
the driver gestures me to follow him.
He opens up a compartment area for me to put the bike into. I tried. Didn't fit. tried again. didn't fit. just as I was about to freak out and smash the bike against the bus and yell, "IT HAS TO FIT!" the guy who"spoke English" grabbed it from me and jammed it in. fine. can't hardly break it more than it is already broken.
The bus ride was terrifying. And I'm saying this even though my first time in a mini bus in Uganda, called a Matatu, we hit a cyclist and kept driving. This was so much scarier. The bus driver was going insanely fast and I watched as every semi went just a breath past my window.
Even though the driver was going insanely fast I didn't even connect in my brain that we might show up early. We pulled up to a stop that looked like it must be the center of Warsaw, there were all these big buildings with names of hotels that I recognized. I figured it couldn't be. It was only 4 in the morning. My ticket said I would arrive in Warsaw at 6. I figured we must be like in another town or near the airport or something. I figured I would just wait for the final stop. Pretty quickly after we left the stop I realized that was in fact the center and we were now heading out to the airport.
When the bus pulled up to the airport and everyone got off I still stayed on the bus. I had an hour and forty more minutes on the bus. They owed me that time. And no one ever mentioned airports... they didn't even do the international sign of holding out their arms while humming mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
I waited then kind of wandered over to the door and stuck my head out
"Is this the last stop?"
"Yes, it is," replied a man who never bothered to speak up in English before that moment.
"So... I like gotta get off."
nod of the head.
I got my bike and bags and tried to figure out what i should do. Well, getting out of the departure zone would be a start. There was no direct route to the arrivals which was directly below the departures so I had to walk against traffic, fortunately at that hour there wasn't much, and go all the way around the terminal and down. In total it took about an hour and a half for me to get back into not a big deal but I still felt stupid. I took a bus where the whole time it seemed like the bus driver was trying to knock me off my feet. Thank God my legs don't straighten out anymore and my quads are really strong. I was able to remain standing the whole time, while holding my bike in place that was trying to roll off. I still haven't slept... maybe I should go and do that... maybe this whole weird ride to Warsaw was some weird dream...maybe...

World of Possiblities...

I like seeing a wall full of Lonely Planets it makes me think of all the potential places I could go :)


Sometimes it takes me a while to learn. It took me a while to realize that people in Poland don't stand in line. I have heard many jokes over time about how Americans will stand in line for anything. Although, I have to say I have never seen a culture so willing to stand in lines as the Dutch. The Polish on the other hand...
After being second in line for about 15 minutes and about every minute or two second to a new person I started to realize I was going to have throw my weight around if I wanted to get some service. I'm not good at it... seriously you would think I would be but I get all panicked. Can't we just make a nice neat line and I gradually move up when I'm in the front it's my turn.
Today I did get a little annoyed by the constant cutting and had to retaliate a little bit. I took my frustration out on a woman who didn't even do it very smoothly. She first stood behind me, ya know like a how you do normally in a check out line, and then right as the guy was grabbing his stuff and leaving...she...I can barely type it... she.she side stepped me and threw her stuff on the counter and put her money in the little money trey.
I was shocked.. I did some loud exhausted puffs of air and out of no where stated very loudly, "OH, THIS BITCH IS CRAZY!"
This caught her attention when she stared back at me I decided to go back to my old stand by move. When people get pushy with me or cut me I like to stand uncomfortably close to the. She could feel my presence and I could feel her tense up. Now all of a sudden she could scootch over. I scootched too. And with a huff put my stuff on the counter. I even held standing uncomfortably close to her for a second or two after she got her receipt.
I have to admit I am always surprised when people get pushy with me. I mean I won't actually do something, but it is the potential of me doing something that should make people not be pushy with me. It's like at bars in college and sorority girls started getting all attitudy with me I was always extremely surprised. Really all 5'2" 105 pounds of you is going to give me 'tude? Nothing every came to blows with the sorority girls since I could get out of any problem with them with my superior wit and sarcasm.
I guess all I think is that if I saw me I would go, my that is a big girl...maybe I'll just wait in line. So, Pols get in line... or get prepared for me to be literally breathing down your neck.

This pic is actually from Latvia I just like my stars and bars hat :)It should say don't push me around