I began my first full day in Warsaw with a walking tour. Free walking tours are not only a great way to see the city and get oriented, but also an awesome way to meet other backpackers. On this walking tour I met yet another nice Asian girl named Sarah to hang with and a German guy. Surprisingly on my trip I made friends with an overwhelming number of female Asian travelers when they make up a low percentage of backpackers. After the tour we got perogies, which are my new favorite food.
In many places in Eastern Europe you have to be prepared to wait a while for any service and to wave and make eye contact as much as you can. Dining can take a while. Which is why when we sat down at a shisha bar we didn’t think twice that no one came to check on us. We had asked the guy inside if it was fine if we smoked outside and he said yes. Then he never came out. We went inside and he was behind the hookah bar. We asked him about flavors, and then picked one. We told him what we wanted and he stared at us like we were crazy. He finally told us we had to go to the other bar to order. We did and they gave us the head of the hookah in tupperware to bring to the first man we had seen. It was the most confusing process I have ever seen in a shisha bar. We finally sat down to smoke. The place was worn down and sketchy in the way that I love. It felt like a real middle eastern shisha bar. After the shisha bar we headed out to get Vietnamese soup. This was at the Sarah’s demands. Luckily she helped us order because everything was in Polish or Vietnamese. I guess they didn’t expect a lot of Western tourists eating Vietnamese in Poland.
Sarah made me scared to ever do couch surfing though. She didn’t want to go home because her host was a young man who was getting a bit too handsy and who kept asking her to smoke weed with him. She told me most of her male hosts always say something to the affect of, “Here’s the couch, but you’re welcome to sleep in my bed.” I don’t want someone putting me up that’s just trying to get in my pants. So we brought her back to our hostel as we prepared for the night. There we met Lisa and her boyfriend Joshua and we all headed out for a night of fun. The night included a stop at the Pulp Fiction Shot Bar (not as awesome as it sounds), seeing a giant rainbow art piece (that apparently many people have tried to destroy because it is an LGBT art piece), a fancy cocktail bar, and finally a wine bar. By the end of the night I was ready for bed and we grabbed a cab back to our hostel. One reason I love Lisa is because she shares my let’s share a cab notion. I’m lazy, and with a bunch of people it’s cheap.
The next day German guy, Lisa, Joshua, and I all went to the Warsaw Uprising Museum. It’s about the uprising during World War Two against the Germans. The museum has a bad layout though so you never know which way to go. LIsa and I zipped through it. Afterwards we all had lost German guy. We tried finding him in this maze of a place, but had no luck. To leave the museum you have to go back all the way through to the beginning. Worst museum planning ever. We went outside and looked at the tanks in the backyard, and realized the museum had this very cool tower we didn’t get to go up. We saw a back door that seemed right under the tower and tried it. Voila! It opened and we found an elevator next to it that led us to the top of the tower. This museum should get better security since we basically broke in. If you are short on cash and want to see the museum all you need to do is go to the unlocked back door and enter.
We finally gave up hope of ever finding German guy. We grabbed a cab to head toward this beach by the river that the hostel worker told us had fun bars and stuff. A few seconds into the cab ride we see German guy walking by. We open the door and start screaming and waving at him. He jumps in right before traffic starts to move. When we get to this beach we realize that there is almost nothing there. There is one bar type thing, and something setting up. We later realize the thing setting up is a fashion show. We grab drink and go to the top outdoor area of this bar and take up a bunch of empty couches. It turned out to be a nice time, but hunger was setting in. We decided to cross the bridge and find a Milk Bar.
A Milk Bar is a cheap Polish canteen. Upon entering one we realize this is going to be really difficult for us. The menu is on the wall and it is entirely in Polish. And it is a lot of old people. Old people don’t tend to speak english. Lisa and Joshua are also vegetarians which makes what they order that much more crucial. We almost leave, but then I go to a young woman eating something that looks good and say, “Can you tell me what you’re eating?” She ends up helping us. Once she finishes her meal she describes the different food and writes down all our orders for us so all we have to do is hand it to the cashier. The food was great. I had borsch and some sort of schnitzel for a very cheap price.
That night Lisa and Joshua were out having a romantic evening. I decided to round up some troops to go to some cool bars I had heard of. I started hassling guys into coming out. I rounded up a decent crew and started what I like to call Milo’s Pub Crawl. I took them to a bar called Klaps that is genitalia themed. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. There are fake boobs on the wall, penis artwork, and vaginas painted on a myriad of places. It made for some great photos. From there we went to the Polish shot bar. Shot bars are my downfall, and soon I was drunker than I intended to be. A German man in our group, not the same as my earlier Warsaw stories started bugging me. He was getting close and asking why I wouldn’t kiss him. Me telling him I had a boyfriend did not seem a good enough excuse for him. Luckily a nice guy in our group who I had barely spoken a word to offered to walk me all the way home, even though he planned to come right back. It was a twenty minute walk and I thanked him the whole way. There are a lot of jerks out there while you travel, but there are also some gentleman. I thank the gentleman out there who always make sure ladies get home safe.
P.S. I also got to meet the street performer Sad Panda. It is a Panda in the main square that just cries with some sort of microphone in his suit. He is possibly the creepiest thing I have ever met. Give him money. It is worth it.