I had an early bus back to Warsaw, but there was enough time to stroll around town before breakfast. On the top of my list was to find the Edward Jancarz statue. The streets were so quiet and empty, but then again, it was only 7.30am or so.
It didn’t take too long to find the statue and because it was super quiet, it was a great opportunity to have a photoshoot with Eddy….
I arrived back back at the hotel just as breakfast was being served and wow what an impressive spread! Was it the norm for this out of the way hotel? Or was it because a lot of guests seemed to be in town for the race last night and they were aiming to put on the best post-hangover spread ever? Either way, it was amazing with several different cheeses, an array of mixed meats, salad vegetable dishes, toasts, cereals, yoghurts, eggs and amazing grilled kielbasa sausages. It was perfect ahead of my long journey home.
The local bus stop was just at the end of the road and this would take me to a giant Tesco on the outskirts of town where I could catch the Flix bus back to Warsaw. I am someone who hates being late, and am always on time if not ahead of schedule but sometimes this is not a great thing. I wasn’t alone at the bus stop for long before a local drunk appeared and started a conversation with me. Or tried to, my limited Polish being the stumbling block. I am super wary of strangers, and nervous to speak to people I know at the best of times, so my guard was up. But I also try to challenge myself (which is the whole purpose of travelling) so I thought ‘c’mon, just have a chat to this harmless local, it’ll be a good opportunity to practice your Polish conversation skills’. A young guy also appeared, nice and clean cut, which made me feel a bit less nervous.
So we continued small chat, until we hit a stumbling block. He had reached out to stroke my arm once or twice and I was blocking him, slowly moving away whilst willing the bus to appear. He looked to the young guy, telling him to ask me something. The young guy shook his head, looking a bit awkward and I began to understand what the conversation was about. I could feel myself getting more and more anxious. Where the f@#$ was the bus? Just then another older gent arrived at the bus stop. He understood the situation straight away and told the guy to move it along. I have never been more thankful. We also chatted a while, about why I was in town, where I was from erc. I told him my grandparents were from Poland and that I had been to visit their hometowns.
Finally the bus arrived, so I said goodbye to the gent and climbed on board. The bus was filled with questionable passengers so I summoned my courage, put on my best f@#$ you face and proceeded to out-stare them for the remaining journey.
Thankfully the Tesco wasn’t too far down the road but there were more questionable people outside the Tesco and even more inside. I still had about 20 minutes until the Flix Bus was due to arrive, so I hid around the corner of the Tesco outside the office, away from the people I didn’t want to see me but near the people I did, in case I was accosted.
This is the only time I don’t like travelling by myself, that horrible gnawing ‘protect yourself ‘ feeling which probably quite often prevents me from meeting new people, and also quite possibly why I’ve never run into trouble while travelling.
About ten minutes before the bus was due, people started to accumulate at the bus stop, so I came out of hiding and took my place in the unorderly queue.
The bus was nice and new with spacious seats and an on-board toilet. It continued back towards Warsaw picking up passengers along the way until one by one, the seats were all filled up. It was a long journey but I filled it by enjoying the countryside and listening to my iPod, rediscovering old favourite songs.
Wiesław and Paula collect me from the bus station and we share dinner back at home with Dorotka and Maja before they drop me at home. I am so grateful to my cousins for making me feel at home and for their generosity of time.