John in Poland

One of my closest friends John Leonard visited here in Warsaw last week, the only one from the States that has had the opportunity to come visit while we’ve been here. It was great to see him here as we really haven’t been able to spend any significant time together in years. As in the old days we got to play a number of games of chess and had ample time to chat about all manor of topics from politics to life in general. It was also quite nice for me to show someone I know a bit of my life here in Poland, to show all the places which I enjoy as well as to share stories and experiences that have happened here.

We did have a nice opportunity to take a train down to Krakow to visit Wawel, the Main Market Square, a walk around the Planty, as well as just wander all around the town hitting most of the cafes and restaurants that I have enjoyed in the past.  We also went to see Auschwitz-Birkenau: it was my second time there and it was just as horrifying an experience as the first time. The first time I went it was dark and gray and raining, this time the weather bright and even beautiful.  I think the experience this time was in some ways even more insane as I could imagine such a weather must have happened when the camps were in operation, highlighting in my mind even more the senselessness of it all.  That such a beautiful world could exist yet such horrors could occur…

Coming back to Warsaw after Krakow, I was somewhat surprised to realize that I found myself much more interested in life in Warsaw now than Krakow, as my past experiences in Krakow were so nice.  I noticed Warsaw has a much more urban feel to it in terms of lifestyle and the people seem somewhat kinder here (which may not seem to be the case at first glance as people generally wear a somewhat colder expression as a baseline here, but beyond it is generally a genuinely warm person I’ve found).

It was nice to spend a good amount of time with John which only highlighted how little time we’ve gotten to spend visiting each other.  Just how life goes I guess when people move to different parts of the country and the world.  It’d be nice to get to see more of my friends more often, so perhaps some plans will have to be made to make trips to visit each other more regularly.

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