6 things learnt in Poland

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near main square, Krakow

1. There is a ton of nuns. I’ve tried to figure out why the country is still so catholic despite its oppression during the Communist regime. Of course, to do with Poland’s history and the church replacing governmental structures, being a place of coming together. Judaism is on the rise, however, as many people find back to their routes.

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Schindler’s Factory, Krakow

2. Schindler in real life: wasn’t just like in the movie but there were pots involved. The factory is one of the best museums with interactive installations makes history feel alive for you.

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Park Chopin, Warsaw

3. There is a free Chopin Concert in Warsaw every Sunday. Go there. It’s super cool. Don’t try the waffles sold in the small stall located centrally in the park.

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Cloth Hall, Krakow

4. You can meet a lot of amazing people in Poland. Despite the population not being overly international, people are open-minded and lots of travellers pass through. Couchsurfing’s new Hangout-feature really helped finding amazing people in the area.

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Warsw

5. You’ll always end up in one place when in Warsaw: Pawilony. It’s basically like the same bar over and over again with hallways inbetween. It’s amazing. I especially recommend Comix Bar (super-hero themed shots)!

6. Political opinions: I learnt that the Communist Party is forbidden there and young people are less prone to feeling left-wing.

P.S.: Contrary to its reputation Poland’s cities are a Paradise for vegan food!

Unfinished

Because people tell us to run or relax we never quite find our own speed.

But I think, we should stop being the dogs chasing cars or being on a leash.

Because people tell us to finish things and hang in there we often feel frustrated.

But I think, we should leave some things unfinished. What happened to god old “The journey is its own reward?”

Because people tell us how amazing they are we often feel inferior.

But I think, we can stop that.

You already started a silent loud revolution

You’re getting tired of it

Today, we had yet another class on intercultural communication.

Our lecturer assumed that we will be tired of talking about globalization. But the only people who can get tired of it are the ones who don’t understand what it means. Globalization is what changes everything, what makes our generation the most travelling and open one. And whether you are for or against that, it is a fact.

So, this globalization makes us encounter people from other countries. Be it on the street, in professional life or in lectures. And that is what we need to be prepared for. So far, so good.

Of course, there are a lot of hot buttons and culture clashes when we talk to foreign people. But my problem is: is it really because of another culture or are we only reinforcing stereotypes by attributing these problems to different nationalities?

Because clashes do not only happen between cultures. In my eyes, clashes happen between people. Of course, since we are taught to use logic, it makes sense to find out rules for interpersonal relationships. But one thing is important to keep in mind here: no two people are the same. Therefore we have to find our own recipe in every single societal encounter.

I personally I am not happy to be treated differently or with more caution when I am in another country – that automatically excludes me. Of course, I would like others to accept my quirks and be careful. But still, I would rather try and treat people with as much respect as I treat people from my own country and nothing should go wrong.

And I will never get tired of talking about that.

(The only group of people I don’t like are Physics teachers. I would have needed a course on how to understand them)

I’ll keep my Oyster

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So I’m sitting here in my room in London (if you count Leytonstone as such), nothing’s packed and I have tears in my eyes.

This day marks the end of a chapter in my life, a real good chapter with lots of favourite passages.

Not only does it end the chapter London actually, it marks the end of my ERASMUS period and the international life that I’ve been leading over the last 12 months.

I want to hereby thank all the people that made this experience so unique and inspiring to me, people that helped me and people that entertained me.

Thanks to Tobias, my brother, for letting me sleep on your floor. It was hopefully the most inconvenient way of living, having to hide from the mean Polish woman and not being able to use a kitchen – but it enabled me to start my life here and get on my own feet.

Cheers Mark, my brother from another mother. You are just great and you know it.

Thank you, Mel who let me sleep at her place when the Polish woman found out about me and I got kicked out.

And pineapply love to Stanley, who taught me a lot about British culture (Essex girl jokes).

A big shout also to my Zebrano’s people, I loved socializing with so many of you so superfast. And the free drinks were an extra bonus.

Goodbye, London. What I’ll miss the most in 7 Haikus

Friends of the Earth

Goodbye, FoE, my job,

I loved press office and helping

And always got tea.

Wandering around

Small alley and traffic lights

Always discovering more

Small café or thrift store

Camden Town

See you, Camden Town,

I love shopping and the food

Got no money left.

Tottenham Court Road

La’er, Tottenham Court Road,

Google house and Denmark Street.

A mixture of glee.

The river and bridges

Sky by day, bright night,

When walking over the Thames

My little heart is pleased.

The tube

We were not always

In the best of harmony

Tube I’ll even miss thee.

International people

From here, other town,

Weird country or continent

I hope we stay friends.

That’s it. The sky outside turned black. Thank you for everything, London. You taught me a lot.

And it won’t be long – I promise. I’ll keep my Oyster.

Hope you enjoyed, I’ll go and eat an unreasonable amount of chocolate now.