Hejka! July here with some stories from Jasmin. Or the other way around. Did you know that in Polish “Lipiec” is July? Croatians also have a similar name. It’s “Lipanj” and it’s June. “What?” – you would probably ask. Yes, it looks like some months are shifted and those would be June, July, October, and I should start talking about what happened this month. Enough chatter about months and their names.
We left off in Warsaw at the end of June. We’ll I’m still here! And something magical happened! I was walking down one of the main streets in Warsaw with my friend. At one crossroad he told me to turn right cause otherwise we would wait at the traffic light going forward. I was alright with that decision but something told me not to rush and observe my surroundings. My gut intuition told me to look across the street and see who is there. Lo and behold, I saw familiar faces. Two girls were standing on the other side of the red light and were waiting for it to turn green. I wasn’t completely sure if my eyes are seeing right. I didn’t believe them. After all, what are the odds of meeting someone in a 2million people city. I know maybe 10 people who live there. I was looking at this girl with a suspicious look on my face and I was waiting for her to recognize me and make the same face and have the same thought process as I had. My wish came true and she recognized me. We both started smiling in disbelief. “Heeeeey, what are you doing here?!?” – We both said. We haven’t seen each other in almost 2 years. We met on another Erasmus plus project before. Haven’t seen each other since. I was overjoyed. Not only was I happy for this rare occurrence to happen but I also liked them as people. Luckily they were taking a stroll through the neighborhood and had time to spend with me until my bus left that evening.
After saying our good byes, I boarded the bus and went to Łódź. I didn’t go home yet. I’ve decided to go and pay a visit to some of the other EVS volunteers that I met in Toruń in April. I see all these pictures on social media where volunteers visit each other and me not. I’ve decided to change that and Łódź seemed like the perfect opportunity. I’m happy that I did. I’ve seen how it works for them, how’s the volunteering going, and how they felt about it. They’ve introduced me to the public city bicycles which I’ve known about but was reluctant to rely on them. And boy was I wrong. Now I have my own account and use the bikes every opportunity I have. Besides that, I’ve also witnessed an apartment that only has warm water. I was flabbergasted. Warm?!? I thought it can only happened with cold water. How can the water get warmer than the room temperature naturally?! The city wasn’t built on hot springs. Using the fridge was mandatory if you want to have a sip of cold water.
had to come back to Zielona Góra. I promised to hold a yoga class for the
public as a part of “Zielony Czerwiec” the project about which you can read in
my last diary installment. It started at 10am. I’ve set the alarm at 7:45 to
give myself enough time to prepare. As the alarm rang, I felt like I’ve been
woken from deep sleep. I turned to the phone and set another alarm at 8:30. I was
lying on my back and slowly trying to come back to my senses. And it felt like
a long time. I enjoyed it very much, this slow passing of time. I knew my alarm
would ring. After a while I turned again to check the time and it was 9:35.
WHAT?!? No time to even think about what went wrong. It takes me 20 minutes by
bike to reach that meadow. That means I have 5 minutes to get out of the
apartment. I did a quick morning routine, put a cookie in my mouth and rushed
towards the yoga place. I still felt groggy. My face was all messed up from
just getting out of bed after a nap. Luckily I reached the place with 3 minutes
to spare. There were at least 20 people waiting for the class. I don’t want to
disappoint them on my debut here. I just need a couple of minutes to set my
mind straight. How can I teach them the peaceful ways of yoga if I’m disrupted
Now, I’m not writing this huge paragraph just to tell you how I almost got late for a yoga class. No. Something happened during those 3 minutes of rest. Regional TV was there to film the yoga class and interview the host. They were asking for the person in charge here. And since the main organizer hasn’t arrived yet, that position came down to me. A zombie-looking over-sleeper who is not fluent in Polish. I agreed to be in the interview but I asked them to give me a minute to grasp the predicament I was in. I sat on the floor, started laughing at my destiny. I rarely oversleep. It really doesn’t happen to me. But when it does, it ends up on TV, I guess. It went decently well. I was asked 2 simple questions and I knew enough Polish to answer them. As I was being interviewed, the main organizer came and she took over the spotlight. I sat back on my mat and waited to do what I was good at and what I came here for, leading a yoga class. You can check out the article here:
In case you’re reading this outside of Poland, you will not be able to play the video. You can ask me personally about where to find the video, in that case. But here are some pictures from the class. I had a blast! It was a fun experience well worth a full page of paragraphs here.
A couple of days after that I went to visit my brother again in Munich. This time I decided to go hitchhiking. After all, it was summer time. The days are long and hitchhiking is fun. I took a very early train down south close to the Czech border to reach a highway that goes into Germany. Not exactly hitchhiking but it was well calculated. From there I was waiting for maybe 2 hours with a cardboard that has “Munich” written on it. No luck. I’ve decided to pick a closer city to increase my chances of someone stopping. After all, why would someone risk 6 hours of drive with a stranger. Risking 1 hour is much easier. So I’ve put “Dresden” and, boom, a car stopped. As we were driving and getting to know each other, I found out that they’re going to Italy. And that they’re passing Munich! After I’ve asked them if they can take me all the way to Munich, they agreed and I had one car ride all the way to my destination. A hitchhikers dream. I’ve spent a nice time with my brother and his family. Saw my nieces school theater play, had some deep discussions about family matters, read some good books, and of course, ate some good old Balkan cuisine.
The hitchhiking back was a bit more convoluted but very fun. It was the first time I’ve been in a Smart car. You know those small cars that are as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shoe. Yeah, that one. It went quite well on the highway. I had a nice chat with some Slovenian junkies (one was so stoned, he looked like Steve Buscemi). They were stopped by the police the day before and they had to wait 24hours for the police to come back with the drug test results and their documents. After that short chat, two older ladies with Polish license plates stopped next to us for a bathroom break. I’ve showed them my (PL) sign and went to them and asked them (in Polish) if I can go with them to Poland. The kind ladies agreed and took me all the way to Poland. During the ride I found out they were working in dog breeding and were coming back from a trip to Belgium where they sold one of the purebred dogs. Interesting life. I liked them.
Back in Zielona Góra I went to visit the kindergarten from the same crew I was volunteering at school. I’ve showed the kids the whole process of patching up a bicycle tire (Because mine had a small hole). I’ve showed them how to take out the wheel, pull out the tire, check for holes by submerging the inflated rubber underwater and look for bubbles, how to clean the area with the hole, how to put a patch and in the end, how to assemble the whole thing back together. I liked how interested the kids were.
Several days later, the school had their open days next to the river where a lot of the crew, families and newcomers gathered to mingle and show what we’re all about. I’ve held a small yoga class there for them as a part of it. We rode on a boat on the river, swam and the kids also had a small garage sale.
In the climbing gym, I’ve noticed my progress and that I’ve climbed almost everything the gym has to offer. So I’ve decided to try myself out in creating new routes. The first one was created quite naturally. You can see the end result in the pictures.
grabbed the starter hold (red circle in the picture) and started moving to
other holds (yellow circles in the picture). My goal was to make it a fun
bolder to do. Easy on the hands, difficult on the rest of the body. And I might
say, it was a success. It was good enough for even smaller and taller climbers
to accomplish with a bit of a struggle. Nobody could find a shortcut to it. I
was happy with my creation.
Also, the classes I held there were going quite nicely.