Day 84: Paris -> Poland!

8/17 - Paris, France to Warsaw, Poland

Today we unfortunately had to say goodbye to Paris and France and we got on a plane to start our next adventure in Warsaw, Poland! Why Poland? Because it was supposed to be beautiful, cheap, and filled with great people and food! We also had rented an apartment there for a little over three weeks to get back to the projects and work that we were doing in Chiang Mai. We came to Paris to celebrate our anniversary and to station ourselves in Europe for the rest of the year for future travels, but after a little under two weeks of play-time, it was back to work for us. 

Our flight out from Charles de Gaulle was at 11:45, but we still needed to get to the airport two hours early in order to ensure that there were no travel issues. From where we were in Bussy Saint Georges, we could get to the airport two different ways: by train and it would take 1.5 hours; or by Uber and it would take just 25 minutes. We went with the later and figured everything would go smoothly as we had confirmed that several Uber cars were available in the area the day before (indicating that they did indeed work the area). Upon waking up however, we couldn’t find a single Uber available for pickup.

We had planned on an Uber being our mode of transport to the airport and had budgeted our time accordingly, there was no Plan B where the train was an option since it would be impossible to arrive on time to the airport. If we couldn’t secure an Uber, did it also mean that there wouldn’t be any taxis as well? Slipping into a slight mode of panic, we went to ask the front desk if taxis did indeed run to the airport from here. Fortunately, they did - but at the outrageous sum of 70-80 euros for the trip! It was only a 25 minute ride! 

Refusing to pay that price until Uber proved itself permanently unavailable, we went back to the room and started hastily packing. We hadn’t seen any available Uber cars for 20 minutes, and we decided that as soon as one did become available that we would book it. Finally one came available and we called it. It would be arriving in 7 minutes. We were forced to skip breakfast and it was the quickest that we had ever packed, finishing just as the Uber pulled into the parking lot. 

25 minutes and 48 euros later, and we were at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Now we just had to check in our bags at the Eurowings counter and go find breakfast. Unfortunately the fine ladies at Eurowings didn’t care that we wanted to check in and chose not to allow us to drop our bags off - stopping us from approaching the counter as we arrived. Chit-chat between the two women was clearly the priority, and it wasn’t until the line of passengers reached 30 people 20 minutes later that they finally called us to come forward. To make things worse, the women decided to actually weigh our carry-on bags! This was the thing Lauren and I had been dreading ever time we had approached a ticket counter over the past 2 months, and our fears were finally realized. 

Why was this a problem? Because we simply have too much stuff with no way of distributing any of the weight from our carry-ons to our single checked bag that was already stuffed to the point of bursting. Fearing the worst I picked up our bags and held them on the scale. The key word their was “held” - I did not set them completely down on the scale. Thankfully the woman did not notice and the scale showed both of our carryons being under the maximum 8kg of weight. Thank. God. 

Arriving at our gate with a little over an hour until boarding we passed the time sipping coffee and playing Gin Rummy. The flight was only 50 minutes and soon enough we were in the Dusseldorf airport doing the same thing for our three hour layover before our flight out to Warsaw. Dusseldorf to Warsaw was another quick flight (just under 1.5 hours) and we were picking up our single checked-bag around 8:30 PM. 

Google Maps guided us to our apartment with ease and we only had to take a single bus and then walk for a couple minutes. So far Poland seemed like a pretty great place! The air was warm, the buildings looked pretty cool, and the people that we had encountered were very nice and helpful. Especially the girl who helped us locate the apartment we were staying in! Our host said that she would meet us at the apartment when we arrived, however there was no indication of apartment or building number in the address that she had sent us, and she did not come outside to meet us at the time we agreed. Because of this we thought we were in the wrong place! Thankfully we ran into a college girl who was willing to call our host (we didn’t have a phone) and get the instructions for where to go. So nice!

Our host, Anna, was wonderful and was very excited to meet us. Though her English wasn’t the best, we were able to communicate through broken Italian, English, and lots of hand-gesturing. The studio had been newly remodeled since the passing of her late father, and we were her first guests. Anna left shortly after showing us around, and we were finally able to unpack and move in. When our things were put away we realized how hungry we were and went across the street to grab a quick bite from the restaurant. We ordered two awesome salads and a Polish beer, and talked a little with the waitress who tried to help us pronounce “dziękuję” the Polish word for “thank you”. It sounds a bit like gin-qui-ya, and after butchering it several times finally got a handle on it (we think).