Oh what a night. I woke up more tired than I was when going to bed last evening. Our room was crowded with around seven Polish female students and they were all somehow very busy with plastic bags (brr, that sound), getting in and out the bed, shining with lights in our faces and styling themselves to the max. Not to mention the mix of sweat aroma’s seamlessly accompanied by the smell of cheap sweet perfume. Interesting, since they were all asleep when Yi and I entered the room around 23.30. Not sure why they were doing all this around 02.00. Maybe I don’t want to know. It continued the whole night and it didn’t really seem they were going out for a party or so. At least around 06.30 they were all gone so I enjoyed 10 minutes of sleep and a long shower in the only shower available for over 25 people.
Outside it was extremely cold, snowy and windy. We ended up in yet another church where at thatmoment a service was taking place. I felt like the only one not knowing what to do when but nevertheless it was quite fascinating to see what was all going on. Once we were ready for another few hundred meters in the cold we headed towards the bus/train station. In Kaunas we weren’t able to buy a ticket back home so we had to arrange that in Bialystok. Unfortunately we are a bit spoiled by the Lithuanian opening hours and forgot about the fact that in Poland most places are closed on Sundays. A few friendly locals tried to help us out, but no, there were no bus tickets to Kaunas to be sold today. We gave it a try at the train station where we had some more luck, even though the lady behind the glass had difficulties understanding what we wanted. A young Polish woman tried to help us but she started to articulate every single word of her Polish explanation thinking we would understand in that way. No. When the railway employee finally got we wanted to go to Lithuania Jun desperately started to ask for student discount by showing all his student cards (and even his Maxima shopping card) like a wizard. He didn’t succeed in getting any though.
With the knowledge there would be a Decathlon (nice sports store) a few blocks away from the railway station we decided to skip visiting some more special buildings because of the cold. It was such a delight. It felt like being in France with a huge complex of hypermarché’s like Auchan, Leroy Merlin and Decathlon. I guess we spent at least 1,5 hours in the sports shop having a lot of fun. Jun found himself a nice red jacket and at a certain moment we were walking through Decathlon like models showing the nicely colored outdoor clothes on a catwalk. The locals seemed to enjoy it. I found a nice orange pullover which I decided to buy. No spring in sight here with temperatures around -15.
Also in the supermarket Auchan we had a good time. The prices are so extremely low. It was hard to withstand the temptation to buy a huge amount of chocolate bars. ‘I can satisfy my chocolate hunger for three months with this’, knowing that honestly the stock would disappear within one week already. So, I’m happy I bought only three small bars (which I finished in two days already by the way). Chocolate stocks don’t work with me. I did find some tasty ‘knäckebröd’, ‘beschuit’ and Dutch peanut butter though. I gladly took that home with me. Packed with tasty food we entered one of Bialystok’s suburbs were obviously not a lot was going on. It was getting dark already a bit and I didn’t feel too good about this little adventure. Hindsight it was definitely worth it since nothing bad happened and we visited a magnificent looking orthodox church. That was a good way to end our little trip.
Back in the hostel we finally prepared the pasta we wanted to make already the day before. Furthermore there we met some Polish guys having a business in devotional pictures (you could absolutely not have guessed that by their looks) and a Polish girl working on the farm of her parents, never having been outside of Poland. The nice thing of these kind of random trips is that if you want, you can meet so many diverse people. If there is one thing I’ve realized once again during my stay in Poland is that people can’t be judged by the way they look. Everybody has its own life story accompanied by some inspiring motives and good characteristics. But… some healthy suspicion might also be quite useful from time to time.