Weronika’s job gave cause to get up and moving besides the constructon workers pounding on the walls next door. We had ignored someone ringing the doorbell around 730 but assumed that it ws the construction workers coming to warn us that power would be cut since we had no electricity. Other than no internet and having to pee in the ark and the possibility of spoiled food in the fridge if it wasnt returned soon there was no problem. I walked Weronika to the door to tell her good bye; when she opened the front door there was a notice from teh power company, “no payment no electriity”. To be fair and save her image, weronika has been traveling lately and hosting us may have distrated her from the realities of life.
Since weronika had a ong day she recommended I take a train to krakow. After waiting in line for 10 minutes the lady “helping” me basically threw up her hands saying she doesnt understand what I need and that she doesnt seak Engish; I wrote, “Krakow TLK” on a piece of paper. I went to the next lady who helped me and goton my trainin a random car and random seat, not able to understand the ticket. Soon a lady boarded and forced me from her seat. All of the seats were pretty full so I just filled an empty piece of floor between the lugage rack and the back of someones seat.
Krakow was rainy but as soon as I got walkng it let up. The roads were barricaded so pedestrians couldnt cross, which I found out is due to a cycling event like the polish version of Tour de France. my main two interests in Krakow were the Wawel Castle and the old Jewish town which is now the cool artsy district.
It’s interesting to see the diferences in how fortifications were designed as you travel. The Wawel Castle’s garrits and tower caught my eye; other than that I wouldn’t know it was a castle. It sits on a cliff overlooking the river that passes by. Really I went to the top to find my bearings but discovered a photographer setting up a shot with a huge telephoto lens and a tripod. I started a conversation, learning that he is a Newyorker-chicagoin now living in Poland with his polish wife who he met in Chicago. Thanks to the “comunist hangover”, as he called it, some personal connections and ligering corruption in government, he was able to get a grant and bought some computer and photography.
I walked through the old jewish quarter but was short on time after ducking into a back alley, drawn in by some interestng industrail setting. I took some pictures, greeting any passers bye with a, “chesht” and a head nod, not lookng back and was never questioned.
Wanting to make it home by 9 to meet Weronika, I headed back to the station to make sure I caught my train. the three hours back to Warsaw passed like honey through a pinhole but eventually the skyscrapers came into view and I was back to her apartment. We planned to meet at 9, she would keep the key incase I miseed my train; luckilly I was able to get into the building, just not the apartment. I waited for about 30 minutes and behind a guy who walked in she came running up to catch the closing door with a huge smile.
Before we could go into the apartment we had to embark on a slightly redicuose adventure; getting candles to light the apartment because she wasnt able to pay the electric bill by phone because she didnt have her account number. The supermarket that was still open disnt have any so we went walking and decided to ask a fancy restaurant if we could buy some from them; they offered up a huge handfull of tea candles for free, and told us don’t worry just come back sometime.
Luckilly Weronik’s apartment has a gas stove so we were able to cook some diner and snacked on everything that hadnt gone bad that would be bad by morning. when i go out to a fancy restaurant with candle light dinner i will be able to say, “this is romantic but have you ever had to eat by candle light out of necessity”?
Losing power makes all of the other sounds around you ten times more prevalent, the ticking of the clock, the passing neighbors, the breath of the other in the room; your senses become heightened or less distracted by the electronics that normally clutter our brains.
Without music or internet to distract we fell asleep to the sputtering light of the few candles left burning, watching the last few grains of sand falling from our hourglass relationship, too big and heavy for me to flip alone, so instead i’ll smash the glass, take a walk on the beach and hope to find her tracing the coastline another day.