Major Adventures

Just a bloke's records of how his life unfolds.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bus Trip 1: Katowice - Auschwitz, POLAND

Happy Birthday Froggie!
Rise at 8h30, thinking it was 7h30 so already running late, without starting. Shower and packing time, then breakfast.
  • Soft boiled eggs with a curry mayonnaise
  • hams, sausages, cheeses and pickles.
  • breads, pastries oh and muesli.
  • Whole pieces of fruit, orange and grapefruit juice.
Stupidly assumin all buses leave from the same depot as last night's arrived at, I headed to the ticket booth and asked for a one way tickent to Auschwitz. Only to be greeted by alovely lady with a pained expression on her face, I obviously was in the wrong depot. It didn't matter how slow her Polish was or my English was, we were never going to understand each other's words. I recognised one word, "Mc Donald's", I replied with a jubilant smirk upon my face TAK!! OK!! we had established communication. But ... what about McDonald's? She then started her routine which I originally thought she was reenacting and comentin on the latest backstroke finals held a tthe olympic pools last night. I came to the conclusion that this lady should not attempt to enter any pool for fear of drowning nor enter a theatre sports competition in miming.
I had the visual idea of where McDonald's was from last night, as it was the only place open to eat when I arrived in town oh and the only place I understood the menu! ... From McDonalds, keep going and going and going, finally turning left (not the turn at the end of the pool) and the buses should be there. It was on my return journey from where I had come from this morning that the correct terminous became apparent, it was only 5 minutes from my hotel, "The Katiwice Hotel" which jumpedstraight out of from the functional building era from the iron curtain époque.
Arriving at the bus terminous, I entered an office that was very aptly labelled, 'BILLETS' (tickets) only to be told that she wasnt ready and that my bus was not until 10h00, its 9h21 thus far. The day hasn't started and already I am exhausted and worried because I wanted to be in Auschwitz for the 11h00 English tour.
I had the bright idea in the plane last night, albeit cowardly, to write out all the phrases I needed in polish on cards - then just look dumb (literally) at least - It worked! Thanks Lonley Planet Poland Guide, you have saved me once again!
Finally I bought my ticket and boarded the bus with an over excited bus driver who communicated by saying Auschwitz - Australianenski: "Tak Tak" I said, we smiled, lauhed, I boarded the bus, read my book to arrive at 10h50 with the driver saying "Australianensky - Auschwitz - Tak?!" Then he continued talking to me, very clearly in Polish, its a pity that I dont speak 10 words. He tried to explain to me how I could get to the museums, I thought I understood, but I was just in deep rooted denial that my French and English could actually help here. I went through the doors that he pointed to, then went out to the bus stop he had mentioned when I hear "Australianensky - Auchwitz" to turn around then see my personal chauffeur bus driver motioning to me that I was not at the right stop and that I follow him. So that I did. He then stopped another bus which was in midst of leaving, spoke to the drive, they smiled qt me, I got on the bus, all too trustingly, waving good bye to my new found friend who was waving me off oh so enthusiastically, the bus headed from the depot along roads I kept gazing along to find signs to indicate I was on the right bus. The bus stopped some 15 minutes later, the driver came up to me, takes my bag off the bus and shows me where to walk to ... thanks! Friendly people these Poles.


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