Day 21 – Slowly on the mend

Warsaw, Poland

Last night I had a private room all to myself.

No one to disturb my sleep by coming in late or leaving early and no snorers to be found.

Naturally, I stayed up all night.

To say my sleeping has been erratic over the last week would be a major understatement.

Usually when backpacking and staying in hostels I tend to go to bed early and wake up early.  After all, that’s what everybody does and, besides, there’s things to do and places to see during the day.

However, for me, the last few days have been all about recuperating and getting back on my feet.  I had and have no plans to do anything in Kiev or Warsaw.  The soul purpose of returning to these two cities was to rest up and get better.

So, yeah, because of my impromptu nap yesterday afternoon where I found myself getting out of bed at 8pm, I wasn’t tired at all last night.

Plus, you know, that whole stomach thing…

Instead, I spent the night planning out my week long trip to Paris at the end of the week.

I have 7 days in the beautiful city and I didn’t want any of them to go to waste.

I’ll get into my plans a little more in depth in my blog tomorrow or the next day.

For this blog, though, it’s all about my journey from Kiev to Warsaw.

I checked out at 11am and strolled out of the hostel on my way to the metro station.

Amazingly, on a Tuesday at 11am, the metro was packed.  Like sardine packed.  What the hell?  Don’t people work?

I made sure my pockets were empty and anything valuable was zipped up in my day pack and I pushed my way onto the metro.

After about 20 minutes I ended up at the Central Railway Station where the SkyBus airport shuttle bus does transfers to the Borispol airport every 15 minutes.

I was ahead of time so I went across the street in search of food.

A friend, Jane, had recommended I stay away from fatty and greasy foods as well as dairy and caffeine while my stomach was on the mend so I was in search of something (relatively) healthy.

I mean, let’s get serious, this is the Ukraine and my next stop is Poland – two places known more for sausages and perogies than anything healthy.

In fact it was specifically for those type of hearty, rich meals that I chose these two cities to recuperate in so the whole “eat healthy” thing kinda threw me for a loop.

I ended up going to another location of the buffet style restaurant I had visited on multiple occasions during my time here in Kiev.

I skipped past the sausage and perogies and selected a bowl of borscht soup and a grilled chicken breast (45uah, $2)

As noon approached I headed back across the street to find the SkyBus loading up passengers.  I paid my 80uah ($4) and we were on our way as for the first time since I had been here, the snow started to slowly fall.

The Ukraine airport security is no joke.  They have a medal detector when you enter the building and I had to go through 2 thorough security checks before I was through to the promised land.

My 3pm flight landed a couple of hours later at Warsaw Chopin Airport and, while it’s still cold here, it is significant warmer than it was in the Ukraine at a mild 7C.

Now, you can say racial profiling is a myth and all but I will say going through immigration here in Warsaw (and pretty much everywhere for that matter) was just a stamp of the passport with absolutely no questions whatsoever.

Contrast that with the poor girl in a hijab in the line next to me who was getting the third degree about how much money she had and the address she was staying at.

Just sayin…

Once again, because I had previously visited this city, I had no problem taking the local transit (Bus 175, 4.40zl, $1.50) into town and finding my way to my hostel.

I had stayed here last time for a couple of days and I had found myself in an entirely empty 6 bed dorm room.

Gotta admit, I was kinda hoping the same thing would happen again.  I’m just not in the social, “get to know you” kind of mode right now as I’m just trying to recharge myself before the hectic couple of weeks ahead of me.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.  Oh well, no big deal.

I unpacked myself and did a much needed load of laundry.  Yeah, you don’t wanna know how many days in a row I’ve been wearing the same clothes…

I actually crashed on my bed as I waited for the wash to be done but, luckily, was woken up by someone checking into the room.

Yup, I was tired.  Like, dead tired.

Once the wash was done it was 6:30pm and the next time I opened my eyes it was 11pm.

Not a full 8 hour snooze but a good enough snooze in it’s own right.

Sadly, the restaurant I was craving to go to was closed by now and, in fact, pretty much everything except for fast food and kebab places were closed as well.

I headed out into the cold night air in search of food regardless and ended up, in of all places, a McDonalds.

Must hang head in shame…

I looked for something original on the menu and came upon a Lumberjack Burger.  I ordered the burger making sure to ask for no cheese.

I opened up my meal and found what looked like a burger with bacon and a breaded chicken patty all done up with their special sauce.

All right, well I was hungry, so let’s go – chicken with beef burger, why not?

As I ate I kept tasting a cheesy taste and figured the special sauce was actually like a cheesy whiz kinda sauce so I scraped it off.

Still cheesy…

It wasn’t until I was half done my burger that I realized the thing I thought was a breaded chicken breast was actually breaded cheese.

Yup, the guy who went out of his way to try to get a burger with no cheese actually ordered the one and only thing on the menu that came with a big, honking, breaded cheese patty on it.

Good move, Todd.  Good move.

It was well past midnight by the time I headed back to the hostel and 1:30am when I got in.

Still not tired I decided to just sit quietly alone in the common room doing some internet stuff.

More specifically, writing this blog you’re reading right now.

Yes, these words, right here!

Typed at 2:30 in the morning!

Anyway, not sure what tomorrow will bring as I don’t know when I’ll actually go to sleep.

I don’t really have any plans for my 2 days here in Warsaw other than to relax and eat some good food.

I’ve pretty much got my Paris leg figured out so maybe I’ll spend some time figuring out what I’ll do in London as I go there right after Paris.

So, until tomorrow, may all your non-cheese hamburgers be cheese free…

Kiev, Ukraine, Warsaw, Poland, Euro Trip 2017, Trip Journal
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