A Scotsman, Englishman and Australian walk into a bar. Seriously. It’s an Irish bar – that’s irrelevant. The Scot wears a hoodie and sling, the Englishman a squash shirt and the Australian a worn out t-shirt – that IS relevant.
Warmed by a mature and sophisticated tasting of the local vodka they set about some beers before they hit the Krakow clubs. Only problem being we had failed to establish the location of said clubs. None the less, after warming our toes for a good while in Ireland from Ireland the wandering commenced. For whatever misguided reason we guessed that the best clubs would just have to be in the medieval square in the heart of the old town and that is where we marched.
Cafe. Cafe. Restaurant. Cafe. See a pattern? Then it came to us: the serenading sound of some dance music that could surely only indicate the presence of a riotous club scene just waiting for our arrival. But where was the damn music coming from??
“Ah it’s up there.” Slurred Englishman Ben as he pointed up several floors at building.
“Then let’s check it out!” Commanded Aussie Matt and he strode through the door and along a corridor.
Now, it is at this point that I should inform you all that I was a little less warmed by Polish Vodka than these two and so with my exquisite powers of observation I noticed the plaques at the side of the door as we all joyfully careered through them.
“Erm guys, I think this is an office, not a club. Sure this is wise?”
“Course it is, we’ll pretend to work here if it is!” Responded the infallibly logical Matt.
Remember what we were wearing? Now those garments become relevant. It’s one thing to try to blend in to an office party in a different country when you speak none of the language – aside from the word “tak” which, confusingly, meant “yes” instead of “thank you” as we had become accustomed to in Sweden; but it is an altogether more difficult task when you are all horrifically under dressed.
We got a good three meters in the door before our painstakingly intricate plan fell apart and some Polish was directed our way. We said we speak only English.
“Where are you from?” We answered. “Who are you here with?” Queried our host – later to be known as Albert, currently called Scary Man – as some hitherto absent security guards flanked us.
An awkward, look at your feet, moment ensued until Ben chips in with…
“ Isn’t this Janak’s party?”
Dear God what is he saying. No, what is he doing?! Ben had simultaneously fished out from his pocked the card of our city tour guide from earlier that day. So this would be how I died, great.
“No, this is my party, I run this company.”
Matt contributed some mumbled apologies, I turned to leave, Ben stood there. Then it happened:
“But you can stay if you want?”
Excuse me? Seriously? Cool.
Thus I bonded with them over tales of Artur Boruc and Majic Zurawski, Glasgow Celtic players current and former of Polish nationality. There was a fridge literally stacked full of vodka, I was to help myself! Although my search for a mixer met with the response: drink it straight, you’re in Poland. Fair enough. We sang some Polish songs, learned some Polish words – all of which I forget now unfortunately – and I even made inroads to getting myself a Polish secretary girlfriend! We were the star attractions of the of the banker’s ball! Ended up being one of the best nights out any of us have had. Until Ben nearly got arrested for moving a sign on our subsequent walk to a club. This resulted in a dash back to the hostel and a regrettable inability to say goodbye to our erstwhile work mates.
Point of this tale? Well it pretty much sums up what has been so good about coming away on Erasmus so far: had some amazing experiences that I’d never have got close to in the UK and realised that culture and even language are no obstacles to having a great time.