The next morning we met up in the city center with one of our coordinators, Asia, which is Joanna. Emelyn and I went into the tram, hoping to reach the planned destination. Going by tram is actually nothing special, but it suddenly becomes more exciting when you are in a new city, not knowing any of the stops and the very least if you are not able to read them without breaking your tongue. I mean Czerwone Maki (which is “Red Poppy) is an easy one but try to read out Rzmeslnicza was impossible.
Reaching the station, we could already see a tall guy, breaking through the crowds of pedestrians like a lighthouse, accompanied by a woman who introduced herself as Asia later on. Our lighthouse turned out to be Theo, 1,90m and from Germany, more in particular out of a city which is maybe 2 hours away from my city. To understand the German culture a little bit more let me explain to you something. Usually, when abroad, people tend to stick together when they meet somebody out of their country, but this does not count for Germans. We try to avoid each other as much as possible because if there is another German than this place must be quite touristic. Though that natural habit, which seems to be in the in the genes of the Germans, we got along well. Theo is not a man of many words thus, he was hardly speaking which made it quite difficult to establish a conversation at first, but we got slowly into it, cracking open that shell.
Last but not least Dylan arrived. He had some trouble finding the stop, so we had to look for him, but we made it. By now we were two French and two Germans on the way to discover the city and getting our monthly ticket. Ironically only I and Theo got the monthly ticket because we had all the documents which were required for it (perfectly German I know).
If one does an ESC (European Solidarity Corps), one always gets a mentor, which is usually a person, who already did an ESC and now wants to accompany new volunteers leading them to treasures the former volunteers achieved, thus making the stay here more pleasant. Also, they help you to get to know the culture better and how everything works. My mentor is Tiago from Portugal, living and working here in Krakow for several years, but this is a topic for a different time. We want to focus now more on Emelyns mentor, Fernando, also from Portugal, who invited us the next day to an all you can eat breakfast. We gladly took that opportunity and met the next day at Plac Nowy to enter that restaurant.
Fernando is a livable, joyful partygoer who loves showing the new volunteers around, presenting places in which one can enjoy a cold one together with one’s friends for a good price as well as which clubs are worth it to be checked out. As we entered that place Dylan arrived with somebody nobody knew. Her coppery hair made me ask myself first if this is a natural color or not. While I was thinking about that her hazelnut colored eyes were running over every face on the table and she introduced herself as Pia. Pia from Spai… I’m sorry it is not Spain it is Catalonia!
Sitting together while having breakfast, getting to know more about each other. Or let’s put it that way getting to know about me and Fernando because we were the only ones who talked. Pia joined us sometimes but due to the fact that she just arrived late in the evening the day before, she was not really in the state of talking much. Theo did not say a word, always listening but not commenting on anything.
Finishing the breakfast and starting to walk around in Kazimierz, the former Jewish quarter of Krakow we discovered several restaurants and bars which waited to be checked out, places we wanted to go and clubs we planned to discover but anything at its time. Fernando brought us to one of the many Kopiec of Krakow, hills which function as viewing points, but you got to walk a little bit to get up there and let me tell you that the shoes Emelyn wore elevated her nearly to the Hight of Theos forehead, making them rather suboptimal for walking up this kind of mountain. In the end we made it and had a nice view over the city, though I have to admit, that Krakow is a city which one has to walk through to discover its beauty, from above its rather boring. While being up there we talked and randomly spoke about our age. That was the moment Pia said that she is 17 years old….