I didn’t plan on going to Warsaw. I hadn’t heard anyone actually say that they had enjoyed Poland’s capital city, and although that in itself isn’t usually enough to put me off a place, I didn’t have a lot of time to spend in Poland and so I’d decided to give it a miss.
Until I met Joanna that is.
Joanna was one of the students I met when I took part in the Just Speak English language immersion programme as one of the teachers, and we really hit it off, so much so that she invited me to visit her in her home town, Warsaw.
Right from the beginning, Joanna was adamant that I needn’t worry about finding a place to sleep, and assured me that she would sort everything out as a way of showing me that she was happy I was coming to visit.
Sure enough, I didn’t have to worry about planning a single thing. When my bus arrived in Warsaw at 5pm, Joanna was already waiting at my stop. She drove me to her auntie’s vacant apartment, and told me that we would be staying the night there, before handing me a beer and waiting patiently while I dumped my bags and freshened up.
When I’d finished, Joanna took me to the apartment that she lives in with her father and two sons. After meeting everyone, and after Joanna had given me a gorgeous maxi-dress that she said didn’t fit her, we were off to explore Warsaw.
As we wandered around the old town, Joanna took me to the church that she got married in, as well as to some cool viewpoints around the town and a bridge full of love locks. We then headed to Fontanna restaurant where Joanna had made dinner reservations. She told me that it was somewhere she had always wanted to go but had never got around to visiting, and so we sat in the sun, sipping cold raspberry beers and eating spaghetti with mussels and clams, soaked in olive oil and garlic. We spent hours chatting about everything, before deciding that it was time to explore the city a bit more. Much to my dismay, Joanna insisted on paying the bill, and even though it’s not in my nature to let people pay my way (genuinely, I have a hard time even letting a guy buy me a drink), it was a lovely gesture and I really appreciated it.
We left the restaurant, full of pasta and excited to continue the night, and so Joanna took me on a long walk by the river and through the city. Our walk ended at a cluster of bars on the river. Joanna told me to pick my favourite, and so I chose the one with the nicest view and the cosiest atmosphere and we settled into our seats for more beer and conversation.
When we started to get cold, we decided to continue our walk, and my god, we must have walked at least 15km by the time we were almost home! All of this walking and talking had left us really hungry, and although it was past 1am and Joanna had to be up at 5 for work, she suggested that we grab a McDonald’s on the way back, and I didn’t need much persuasion! After we were suitably stuffed, we dragged ourselves back to the apartment and fell asleep almost instantly.
Unfortunately I had to leave Warsaw the next morning as I was meeting another friend in Krakow (it’s a hard life), but I can’t wait to return next month to visit Joanna again and see what else the city has to offer!