Re: [bukowsko_triangle] Re: Poland Trip Sept. 17-20
Update from me will be slow in coming, however, we are stopping in
Zawadka Morochowska, Morochow, Mokre,etc. That's in a few days.
Debbie in Krynica
> 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!!!!
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
I really enjoyed reading about your trip!
From: Debbie Greenlee <daveg@...>
To: Polish Genius <email@example.com>
Cc: Bukowsko Triangle <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
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
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Thanks, Susan.
Trying to find time to continue writing. ;)
Susan Udinsky wrote:
> I really enjoyed reading about your trip!
> 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. . .