Traveling alone can be rather nerve-wracking, especially with a total language barrier – the Slavic languages have very few cognates. Today (8.15.10) I decided to take the cheapest way to Wrocław(that’s Vrot-suave, my dears) and this involved a cute border juggle. I’d counted on others departing at my stop and performing the same change but I got off at Lichkov alone. It’s a microscopic town. I had no idea where the train station was from the bus station but luckily I gathered the information after a polish/czech conversation with the owner of the one restaurant. From there I took a nine minute ride across the border to Miedzylesie, for about €0,60. I had exactly 20,80 polish złoty to my name, given me by Mates – and perfectly the train to Wrocław from Miedzylesie cost 21 and the conductor was kind.
I arrived at around nine twenty and was to meet my couchsurfer, Tomek, at ten. As I exited the platform I noticed the perfect barrel vault beneath and I couldn’t resist. I played twenty five minutes, my first tip came from a stumbling drunk and my second from a group of poorer folk who asked where I came from. Every now and then the PA would sound and I’d alternately wait it out or sing over it. Falsetto sounded perfect down there. Two policemen smiled as they passed but after passing turned about and motioned for me to shut my case. They didn’t seem terribly firm about it but three youngsters took the opportunity and emptied their entire change wallets into my case – as a screw you to the police, no doubt. They stuck around a bit and a pair of girls joined the audience but regrettably it was nearing ten and after some Radiohead and some Once I had to head on.
Rather than Tomek, his friend Joanna met me at the station and took me in her car to the center for a tour. Wrocław for a charming tour. Despite it being Sunday and so late the central square, Rynek, was still very much alive, and she bought me a kebab for my supper. We passed a wonderful two hours together walking around the old town. After half an hour we discovered we both speak Spanish and spoke nothing else henceforth. And so in two days I’ve had conversations (in order of complexity) in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Polish, and Czech. I’m not a language adept by any means – so this makes me rather proud.
Earnings: 15.53 PLN, 25 minutes
Song of the Day: Fake Plastic Trees – Radiohead