Welcome to Poland- dawn of On-Arrival 5

The next morning Pia and I met in front of Galeria Krakowska. Met in that case means, that I was waiting for her. I don’t know if it is a cultural thing or just me, but if there is an important appointment or meeting, I’m always at least 10 minutes before the agreed meeting time there. It is just to be safe, to get to know the surrounding maybe or to prepare for the next steps. In that way it is already guaranteed that you’re not late and that you won’t have to stress out because the bus is stuck in traffic because you took the Bus 40 min before anyway, in case you will be stuck. Organized through and through, prepared for every situation.

As Pia arrived I saw her the first time wearing glasses and they look amazing but you can tell her that a hundred times (in fact I did), you will always get the answer: “Oh no, I don’t like them”. The next steps were quite easy, I mean everybody should be able to handle the check in for Flixbus. During the trip the sky went from an inviting and calming blue, sometimes interrupted by a flock of cloud which run like sheep over the sky, into a threatening grey. The once so purely white sheep turned now into a grey tsunami which rolled over us, bringing wind and rain within.

Nevertheless, we thought, that the rain won’t get us down and that we just have to keep up a positive attitude. If there is no sun which shines, be the sun and shine. Even though destiny, fate r karma, call it whatever you want, decided to prove if we were worthy of being two suns shining in the midst of rain. To get to Agrikola, the place in which we were about to stay for the next week, we had to go by bus. It is not far away maybe three or four stops, but due to our moral standards and the fear of being caught we decided to get the tickets first before entering the bus. So, we stood in the rain, in front of the automat and waited until the person in front of us finished buying its ticket.

You know those people, who think of the ice cream flavor they want the moment they stand in front of the cashier. In that moment something must go wrong in some people’s heads, maybe an enzyme is released which prevents them from making a quick decision. This leads to a ten minutes showdown of how they don’t know what to take, maybe the same as always or a new flavor, cup or cone, one or two scoops. Yeah, we had a person like that in front of us, but just for the ticket automat. When he finally managed to get his stuff done, we approached the machine, just to be penalized by karma for making jokes about this man and comparing him to that kind of ice-cream-persons. It felt like 15 minutes in which we tried to manage to get our tickets but nope not for us. Standing in the rain, trying to work with this advice gave us the cramps. I mean we laughed a lot, but you are not drying through laughing. In the end we bought the tickets in a small kiosk which sold besides tobacco and small snacks also passes for the buses and trams. Now we started our training. Wet, tired and cold but happy and at least together.

Agrikola is a big sports complex with a soccer field, enclosed by a track cycle for athletes. The building next to it offers besides locker rooms also a whole hostel like part in which we were accommodated. Due to the experiences of the other volunteers which went there before us Pia and I expected to be in shared rooms, with their own shower and toilet.  As we got the keys to our rooms, because we don’t do unisex, we got some instructions how to go there. Being me I only listened to Pia’s description to her room, in case she would forget, leading to the situation that I went to her room and as soon as she entered I tried to figure out where I’d be supposed to go, walking like a lost child in the aisle of Target looking for a grown up to help me. In the end I went downstairs again and asked the receptionist, though I thought I would get a snack like you do when you’re lost at mentioned Target to stop you’re crying, but no apparently with 19 years one is too old for that.

Speaking of snacks. In the On-Arrival training one of the main things you are going to do is to eat. 08:00 am breakfast, 12:00 am lunch, the there are 2 breaks during the afternoon in which you are provided with coffee, fruits and usually some biscuits or cakes and at 06:00 pm there is supper. You might dare to thing that there could be another snack around 08:00pm but well NO. For me as a German it is fine to eat supper at 06:00, though it should be mentioned that we eat supper usually between 07:00 pm and 08:00pm, sometimes 06:30pm. The Spanish and French had more problems with that. Resulting out of their culture they are used to eat supper around way later times, which makes it possible to start sometimes around 10:00pm and finish at 00:00 (an extreme example as I think but yeah go and ask Fabian, he’ll confirm that).

After a quick lunch, in which we already got to know some new people and volunteers from Kielce, Rzeszow and Wroclaw the introduction began. We met in the project room and final got to know our two coordinators which would lead the workshops and accompany the whole training for this Week. Kasia and Wojtek. Wojtek is a tall man with long blond hair, he likes to listen to metal music and sandals are for sure something he enjoys. Saying that without any judgement but just to give you a picture. When he wanted the attention of everybody he always screamed: “Uwaga Uwaga” meaning, attention attention (duh). Kasia was a little bit quiet but definitely not shy. With brown hair which reached until the top of her shoulders.

Welcome in Warsaw.


Pia and me in the Flixbus

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