Sitting in the train that’ll take us from Krakow, Poland, to Praha, Czech Republic. Am enjoying the endless whiteness outside and wonder if I ever saw so much snow over so many miles. Looking back on two good days in Poland, which started in Warszaw on Monday. Think that I spent most of that day in a zombified state of being, since the lack of sleep was working pretty much against me. At the airport we meet up with Hubert, who organized the gig in Plan B. First place he took us was the Oki Doki Hostel (in which we got the “Africa room” … tigerprints on the beds etc.) and shortly thereafter we went on to grab a bite. Tried out a falafel that looked like little donuts and were fluffy in texture and taste; quite different from the ones I knew. After the meal we headed back to the hostel; Hubert had to give some lectures at his school and before heading off to the venue we tried out some local beers…
Plan B is a bar with a separate little venue space and seems to be quite a hip place: lots of young people looking lots of pretty. The amount of people already sitting inside, gave us some kind of confidence for the gig of tonight. Didn’t really work out in the end though as most people stayed in the bar space… well, it wasn’t that bad really. People that showed up were interested and that’s what counts in the end. Think I wasn’t too happy with my set: too much fiddling around in the first 10 minutes, which weren’t necessary at all and didn’t make a point. Sindre and Hubert did a duo set. Guess Sindre had a few beers too many already by the time he had to play… throughout the set he was rambling into the microphone like a little troll. It was funny though.
While smoking a cigarette in the bar I started to get the feeling that I could pass out any minute, so it was becoming time to return to the hostel.
Next morning I wake up almost reborn. Apart from a little remained weariness in my head I’m feeling top-notch. Not much time to hang around in Warszawa though, as we have a long train trip ahead to Krakow. While shopping for breakfast I discover that the Polish have a certain love for cherries; found a little bag of dried cherries covered with chocolate and couldn’t leave them on the shelf.
By the time we get to Krakow I start to remember that I have been here before. Must have been at least ten years ago or a little more. In that time I used to spend my holidays all over Europe, working at social/constructive projects for a few weeks, every summer. Guess it was somewhere during the mid-nineties that I was in Poland (helping to build an elderly home) and that I spend a weekend in Krakow. It all comes back to me when Simon guides us through the city center towards the venue, which is in the middle of the Jewish quarter. More memories popping up: in that same weekend in the mid-nineties my friends decided to bring a visit to nearby Auschwitz, while I passed for that idea and chose to spend a day in Krakow on my own. Most of it hanging around in the Jewish quarter: visiting cemeteries, drinking tea and eating pastry in bars etc.
Simon is another great host, treating us on fine beers and a nice warm meal. The Kawiarnia Naukowa is pretty little venue housed in an ancient building; constructed entirely out of natural stones and wood. Tonight I changed the order of my set that I have been playing for quite a while now. Guess it wasn’t that bad, but I’d better return to the original order and just cut out the fiddling in the beginning that I started to add in some time ago. After Nils’ and Sindre’s solo-sets me and Sindre finish with a duo set that worked out quite well; more satisfied with it then my solo-set to be quite frank. Later on I try out several flavored vodka’s. Apparently the Polish chose to spend their time on inventing all kinds of vodka’s since they don’t produce wine in Poland… In a rather pleasant state we end up in the house of Simon’s friend where we can stay the night. I sleep on the floor and will find out about that in the morning.