Witamy! Do widzenia!

In case you can’t guess, “witamy” means “Welcome” and “Do widzenia” means goodbye.

I would never imagine going to Poland. I might have thought about Krakow or Warsaw, but never Poznan and never in 2013. This was totally unexpected. How I got there is a different story. What I did there was an adventure the first two days and settled down in the last 24 hours.

We left Berlin on around 9:30am June 14 and arrived in Poznan only around 12:30pm. It’s that close. At the train station, my dad and I were picked up by my cousin who is studying at Poznan University of Medicine and Science and his friend who had just graduated from the same school. They took us to a student dorm room that was rented out as guest rooms. This room has two bedrooms in suite that contains shared bathroom and toilet. Good idea because it is cheap and near my cousin’s dorm. Bad idea because (1) it was Friday night during finals week and students were partying to blow off steam; (2) it was on the first floor with plenty of ambient street noise; and (3) at 1:30am, guests arrive to stay in the other room in the suite. The next morning, after much apologies to my cousin who had set it up, we moved out and into a nice hotel room.

For Friday lunch, my cousin took us to a very authentic Chinese restaurant where the cooks made us a nice lunch. Image

On the left is a dish that had pig stomach lining, chicken gizzard, and spring onions. On the right is pork and eggplant. Not picture: pork in a szechuan style soup and a plate of noodles. It was awesome.

Afterwards, we went to this square named “the Bank Square” where all the banks were located. There is an interesting fountain that is worth noting; in the high summer, people cooled off near this fountain:


Here is a closer look:


Saturday morning, we were back in the old town hall square where each day at noon, two mechanical goats appeared and butt heads twelve times. At that time, a troop of Polish cavalry troopers appeared. Either they were reenactors or the real deal.


Because of the tragedies that happened to Poland in both world wars, Poland has much to remember and honor those who gave their lives for their country. Interestingly, they also erected one monument to the Soviet Red Army. Image

Just behind the memorial for the Red Army is an army museum full of Warsaw Pact weapons. I even saw a Scud missile there. Located on the Citadel, it is a long walk uphill from the town center. My dad and I made the long walk up. On the way down, we passed by two churches. There was a wedding at one of the churches and it so happened a taxi dropped off two guests. My dad and I hopped on that taxi for the trip back to the hotel.

For dinner, I had the most interesting thing: a döner burger. Near the hotel, there is a small shop that sold chicken and what they call döner. Döner is basically a very large Greek gyro sandwich – pita bread with shaved meat and vegetables. What then is a burger? Well, advertised at the small chicken shack is a picture of an American burger – beef patty on a sesame bun. I thought that’s what I was getting. Instead, I got a döner with a beef patty. Image

How did it taste? It was awesome!

The food in Poland was very similar to Germany – lots of sausage, beef, pork, and even duck served over potatoes. For Saturday lunch, I had a roulade – bacon wrapped around pork tenderloin. For Sunday lunch, it was a church barbeque with very international flavors: Indian rice, curry salmon and chicken, bratwursts, and salad. What a mix! But then so were the people at the church: Polish, Taiwanese, Nigerians, British, and Swedes!

We left Poland Monday morning. What happens next is another story.

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