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Re: [bukowsko_triangle] Re: Poland Trip Sept. 17-20

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  • Debbie Greenlee
    Justin, Update from me will be slow in coming, however, we are stopping in Zawadka Morochowska, Morochow, Mokre,etc. That s in a few days. do branoc Debbie in
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 25, 2011
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      Update from me will be slow in coming, however, we are stopping in
      Zawadka Morochowska, Morochow, Mokre,etc. That's in a few days.

      do branoc
      Debbie in Krynica

      Justin wrote:
      > Hello Debbie,
      > Good luck on your trip! I hope that there are lots of successful interviews and that you will have the chance to visit in/near my ancestral homeland of Zawadka Morochowska, Morochow, Mokre, etc.
      > Speaking of Zawadka, I've located a US Army Intelligence Report, about 90 pages, speaking about the tragedy there. I've ordered a copy from the National Archives.
      > Please keep us posted on how it's all going, and safe travels to you!!!
      > Yes, it is indeed much more expensive to buy clothing in Eastern Europe!!!!
      > Justin
      > --- In bukowsko_triangle@yahoogroups.com, Debbie Greenlee <daveg@...> wrote:
      >> (Please forgive grammatical errors.)
      >> For the first time, I went to Poland alone though I was met in Warsaw
      >> on Wednesday by Corinna Wengryn Caudill, a young woman who is writing
      >> a book about Lemkos.
    • Susan Udinsky
      Debbie,   I really enjoyed reading about your trip!   Susan From: Debbie Greenlee To: Polish Genius Cc:
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 25, 2011
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        I really enjoyed reading about your trip!

        From: Debbie Greenlee <daveg@...>
        To: Polish Genius <polish_genius@yahoogroups.com>
        Cc: Bukowsko Triangle <bukowsko_triangle@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2011 10:03 AM
        Subject: [bukowsko_triangle] Poland Trip Sept. 17-20

        (Please forgive grammatical errors.)

        For the first time, I went to Poland alone though I was met in Warsaw
        on Wednesday by Corinna Wengryn Caudill, a young woman who is writing
        a book about Lemkos.

        My flight from Dallas on American Airlines left Saturday, September
        17, at 8:30 p.m., 45 minutes late. There was a warning light
        malfunction so apparently the repairmen put a piece of duct tape over
        the light so it wouldn't bother "us." The flight was oversold to
        Heathrow, London, my stop-over.

        I arrived in London on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 5 a.m. U.S. central time. I
        don't sleep well on flights but I think I slept for about 2 hours.
        Though I never actually left the "secured" area in London, I still had
        to go through passport control and a security screening which took a
        long time. I had approximately 3 hours between flights so I was OK.

        The Heathrow and Warsaw airports by the way, are like shopping malls.
        It's really a sight to see.

        My British Airways flight from Heathrow to Warsaw was to leave at 2:00
        p.m. London time. It left about a half-hour late. I arrived in Warsaw
        at 5:40 p.m. Warsaw time (10:40 a.m. U.S. Central time). At this point
        I had been awake for 26 hours.

        At Warsaw I first went through passport control and then picked up my
        luggage. I exited through the "Nothing to Declare" hall and to the
        lower level of the new section of the Warsaw Okecie airport. I stayed
        at the Courtyard Marriott hotel right across the street from the
        airport so I took the escalator to the upper level of the airport
        in order to get to the hotel. First, however, I had to buy a SIM card
        for my telephone so I would be able to make phone calls IN Poland.
        I found a little "store" and asked, "Czy pan mowie po angielsku?"
        "Tak," was the response. I told the man that I needed a SIM card. We
        discussed whether I would only make calls to Poland (yes). I bought a
        SIM card for 10 zl~oty (PLN). The card can be recharged if necessary.

        I walked across the street (not a public street, but the street in
        front of the terminal) to the hotel and checked-in. I have decided
        that the best thing for me to do when coming to Poland is to spend at
        least my first night in this hotel and to do so on a weekend when the
        rates are inexpensive.

        The clerk told me that breakfast (included in my room price) was from
        6:00 - 10:30 a.m. Great! I could sleep in. I took my things to my room
        and then went back to the front desk to have the clerk put the SIM
        card into my phone (I really am technologically challenged) and get it
        going. It was easy! LOL

        Having eaten three meals since I left home I was not hungry so I
        unpacked and settled-in. I called Onna (moderator of Polish Genius)
        and set-up a tentative meeting for Monday, Sept. 19. I emailed my
        husband and then went to bed. I didn't sleep well. The room was hot
        even though it was air conditioned and I think I was suffering from

        Sept. 19 Monday
        I awoke at about 7:44, a minute before the alarm was to go off. I got
        ready and went down to the restaurant for a buffet breakfast. This is
        really a businessman's hotel though I think a lot of people use it as
        their first or last stop in/out of Warsaw.

        Breakfast consisted of the typical Polish sniadanie foods: meats,
        cheeses, fish, yogurt, cereals, croissants, prepared salads and
        breads. More "American" food was included though; scrambled eggs,
        potatoes, sausages, small pancakes, muffins, sweet rolls and
        omelettes. A condensed English "newspaper" was available when I walked
        into the restaurant so I took one to read, thinking I could at
        least stay somewhat in-touch with home. Headline; "Minimum wage in
        Poland to increase to 1500.00 zloty per month. To put this in
        perspective, see my "Trip to the mall" later today.

        After breakfast I decided to take a taxi into the center of town. I
        needed to replace my Polish curling iron, buy postcards, updated city
        maps of Warsaw and Krakow and visit the kantor. The weather was warm
        enough that I did not need a jacket or sweater.

        I had the address of a mall in the center of the city. It is the Zlote
        Teresy. It has four floors and is quite impressive from both the
        inside and the outside. I knew I needed an electronics store for the
        curling iron so I located it on the mall's directory, went up two
        flights on the escalator and found exactly what I needed and for only
        24 zloty ($8.00). In the Saturn store they sell all sorts of large and
        small appliances as well as computers. When I was checking out I
        noticed that the cashier gave me brand new zloty so I said, "Oh,
        nowy!" Oops. She replied to me but I had no idea what she was saying
        so I had to say, "Nie mowie dobrze po polsku." That wasn't the last
        time I'd say that.

        I spotted a "Levis" store and decided to price a pair. Boot-cut jeans
        were 319 zloty! That's over $100.00. The clerk asked, in Polish, if he
        could help me. I responded, "Nie." He persisted so I had to bring out
        my phrase, "Nie mowie dobrze po polsku." He knew enough English to
        understand when I explained that I only paid about $40 for the jeans I
        was wearing and that I didn't understand how anyone could afford the
        jeans in his store. He agreed. (See above for the new minimum wage in

        Next stop, the book store (ksiegarnia) for maps. No problem! The
        little Polish I know helped though. But I have to say that up to this
        point almost everyone, including the taxi driver spoke at least a
        little English. A big difference than when I first came to Poland in

        Then the kantor. Again he was easy to find. The exchange rate at the
        airport on Sunday was 2.20 zloty per $1.00 US. At the mall it was 3.20
        zloty per $1.00 US. This was a much better rate for me!

        At about this time Onna called me and we agreed to meet near the food
        court at the top of the mall. McDonalds, Burger King, KFC with the
        "Grander Texas" chicken meal. There were other fast food restaurants
        as well. I found Onna and although we had originally decided to have
        coffee, her son (9) had called her to say he had fallen out of a tree
        and had hurt his arm. It wasn't swollen but Onna thought she needed to
        make sure her son was OK.

        We walked to the metro (my _first_ time on the subway) and I was
        excited to try something new. I paid close attention to what Onna did
        when she bought the tickets from the machine. What I didn't know was
        that sometimes these machines act like slot machines. Today we
        received two tickets and all the money back. We waited only a short
        time for the subway, boarded and took it to the end of the line. It
        was only a short walk from that point to Onna's flat. Onna's daughter
        (11) was already home and she opened the door for us. We were also
        greeted by a very happy Beagle. Onna's son appeared to be fine though
        he was still complaining that his arm hurt. We visited for awhile in
        the family's condo and then decided to go to dinner at a nearby
        Italian restaurant. The food was very good. Onna and I talked for a
        long time about kids, family, life and, of course, "the list."

        It was dark by the time we left the restaurant but I noticed a lot of
        people around so I felt quite safe. Back at the condo Onna gave me two
        books and two magnets as gifts. Both were in Polish but were reference
        books. Polish or not, I always enjoy reference books! I had to ask
        Onna to hang onto the books until I returned to Warsaw in early
        October just prior to my trip home. I had to fly to Krakow and I was
        concerned about the weight limits of my suitcase and carry-on (diaper
        bag - I will have to take a photo of it and place it on Polish
        Genius). I had a suitcase of Christmas presents and a roll of "barn
        wood" bulletin board paper for Onna but I had left them at the hotel.
        I did manage to bring a bag of Hershey bars though.

        After more visiting Onna called a taxi for me and I returned to my
        hotel at the airport. We agreed that we'd get together the next day as
        soon as she could get away from work. When I checked my email that
        evening I found that Michal Marciniak had replied to my request to
        meet him. I was quite pleased about this since he and I had tried to
        meet once before but our schedules did not coincide.

        I went to bed exhausted.

        September 20
        I awoke at 7:45 a.m. The room was too hot for me. I went to breakfast
        and afterwards stopped at the front desk and asked them to send
        someone up to fix the air conditioner as well as the hose which
        connected the faucet to the shower head. The connection was broken and
        the water sprayed all over the place but on me. I didn't have to wait
        long for the repairmen who changed the air conditioner filter and took
        things apart. The thermostat was set at 15 C however, the temperature
        never went below 22 C my whole stay.

        Michal Marciniak called and he said he'd pick me up at the hotel and
        we could have coffee near the Powa~czki cemetery which was where Onna
        and I were going to go when she got off work. I spent the time prior
        to meeting with Michal, checking emails.

        Michal arrived at 12:30 p.m. He didn't know what I looked like nor I
        him. I told him to just look for an "American" and I'd be waiting in
        front of the hotel.

        Michal and I had no problem recognizing each other. We drove into the
        city and had coffee and tea in a restaurant less than a block from the
        cemetery. We talked mostly about ... genealogy research! I was very
        impressed with Michal. Rather than recommending him based on others'
        experiences, I could now feel comfortable suggesting him to people who
        needed a researcher in Poland.

        Onna arrived at the restaurant (arranged via phone calls) at about
        2:00 p.m. All three of us talked for a short time and then we said
        goodbye to Michal and walked over to the cemetery.

        Powa~czki cemetery is the oldest in Warsaw and contains the graves of
        many famous Poles. The monuments and headstones were very impressive.
        If I remember correctly the cemetery had over 2 million graves!

        After we'd walked around for awhile, Onna and I took a tram (new
        experience) a short distance to the metro station to head back to her
        place. Interestingly, we did not buy me a ticket for the tram and no
        one came around asking for my ticket. At the metro station we bought
        tickets again (no jackpot this time) and boarded the subway for the
        end of the line which was at one end of Warsaw. I was enjoying taking
        public transportation and might even try it by myself next time.

        Once at Onna's place we visited more and she checked her kids'
        homework as she had done the night before. Onna decided we would eat
        at a family restaurant which was decorated sort of like an old Polish
        house. Pierogi for everyone! For some reason I didn't bring my camera
        but I used Onna's to take photos of the plates of pierogi. Onna's son
        fell asleep at the table without eating much. After dinner we walked
        home. I didn't stay long but asked Onna to call me a taxi once again.

        It only took about 15 minutes to get back to the hotel. I went
        straight upstairs, checked my email and hit the sack. My plan for the
        next day was to take the suitcase of gifts and the paper to Onna's
        flat. I had to do this before Thursday because that's when I would be
        leaving for Krakow and I couldn't take any of that with me. I had
        bought the suitcase at a second-hand store and was going to leave it
        for Onna.


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Debbie Greenlee
        Thanks, Susan. Trying to find time to continue writing. ;) Debbie
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 26, 2011
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          Thanks, Susan.

          Trying to find time to continue writing. ;)


          Susan Udinsky wrote:
          > Debbie,
          > I really enjoyed reading about your trip!
          > Susan
          > From: Debbie Greenlee <daveg@...>

          > For the first time, I went to Poland alone though I was met in Warsaw
          > on Wednesday by Corinna Wengryn Caudill, a young woman who is writing
          > a book about Lemkos. . .
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