One of the incredible experiences you can get out of travel is meeting new people, sometimes even in weird circumstances. This is how I met Alice and Francesco. In Sintra while getting a ride from Pena Palace to downtown Sintra. We chatted a bit, exchanged phone numbers and they visited me in Krakow last weekend. I also had a couple of occasions when I was the visiting part. Visit and get visited is actually a balance between give and take. When somebody hosts you make sure to return the favour as best as you can when you are hosting somebody.
Couple of times I went to a country just for the purpose of visiting friends or family. To be frank those were one of the funniest trips I’ve had.
It’s the largest polish city outside of Poland 😛 Many people from Poland immigrated to Chicago and so did one of my best friends RCz, who I sweetly call My Little Ant. When he was living in Krakow, we used to go to the sauna together, RCz was coming over for dinner and if I wasn’t looking he was scraping the curry pot. Then he moved to Chicago.
In 2016 after three years of not seeing each other, finally made it to Chicago. Seeing my friend again was amazing… imagine an old school reunion scene at the airport… yep it looked exactly the same. Two people running towards each other with open arms, the best reunion I’ve ever experienced. Unfortunately, the time spent together went by quickly but we managed to see not only Chicago, which is a fantastic city but went on a road trip through Memphis, New Orleans, Alabama over to Miami in Florida. Saying goodbye was extremely difficult and because of many different circumstances we haven’t seen each other since but we do video calls sometimes and it’s always fun to talk to RCz. Miss you my friend :*
I met MD in Hong Kong. After some time, she moved back to Singapore but we kept in touch and chatted sometimes. One day she suggested, why don’t you visit me in Singapore, I have a cool guest room so you won’t have to book any hotel. As I don’t have to be convinced to go traveling I took her offer. Before coming over MD asked, Alice which Ben & Jerry ice cream is your favourite? I said, it doesn’t matter as long as it is with chocolate. Arrived in Singapore and after coming to her apartment MD said, hmmm I couldn’t make up my mind on the ice cream flavour so I got four different chocolate ones. My eyes got enormously big after I saw the ice cream buckets – literally and only nodded my head in respect. The visit itself was very touching as MD took all effort to make my visit as memorable as possible. She got me a local sim card so we could stay in touch, said that she will pay for everything and then send me a bill so I can do a bank transfer. Purpose of this was that I don’t lose on local currency exchange or ATM withdrawals. Additionally, MD made a dinner reservation at Blue Ginger, a restaurant that served the most amazing peranakan food I’ve ever had. The sweetest thing however happened when we were coming back from sightseeing.
I said, MD I did 28 thousand steps, we are nearly at your apartment and I would like to hit 30 thousand steps. She replied, OK fine let’s take a detour. Hahahaha at the end I made 31 thousand steps. I absolutely adore MD, fantastic friend. Can’t wait to chat to her soon.
An incredibly hot summer day last year, when even the tarmac melts and you are considering emptying the fridge and sitting inside. Ahhh disadvantages of not having an aircon. Was talking to my aunt who lives in Germany and she accused me of not visiting her. I agreed and said that it has to be changed. After we finished talking I booked a flight ticket to Germany. Arrived in Frankfurt, my aunt was already waiting for me. Man it was so absolutely awesome to see her and all my cousins again as it was such a long time ago since we ALL saw each other at once. Well the first thing we did with my aunt after arrival was to… surprise surprise smoke a cigarette. The time spent with them was amazing. My cousin Seb was making fun that I came for holiday and I’m cooking all the time. True, as I finally had more than one person to cook for. Besides I love cooking, so the pleasure was all mine. We ofcoz took out old pictures when they were visiting Poland. We came across one picture that made us very much laugh, so we took the same one only 21 years later – details look below 😉 Good news is that in a month I’m going to Germany again as my cousin Ann gave birth to a cute baby boy and I wanna see the little one. So Guys countdown started!
Every time my friends ask if they can visit my answer is, ofcoz! And I do everything so they can have a great time.
1. Hong Kong
When my friend Ada told me that she has no idea where to go for holiday I told her – come to Hong Kong and stay at my place. Firstly, she thought that I’m joking but I wasn’t joking about such an important topic as traveling. Guess what? She came just in time for Chinese New Year. It also happened that Ada was in HK for my birthday. A bigger coincidence is that my friend from Canada VL was also in HK by that time so the three of us went for a sinful big bday hot pot dinner. It was super awesome to have Ada over. I was in HK six months already so I could show her the city and take her for some good local food. Ada loved it and I was supper happy that she liked the visit. She wasn’t the only one who visited me in HK. My bestie PRS came over – twice. First time in August 2018 when I was a newbie in HK and the second time after a year and a half, right before covid took over the world.
Still we had a good time together. The winner however is my friend KB who came to HK three times when I was there. Every time it was a bless to see him as KB has an amazing sense of humour and he always wants to explore new sights and try out new food.
As I have lived in this city for over 15 years now, with small breaks but still 15 years it happens that people I’ve met during travel come over to Krakow. When that happens I always offer help and guidance in showing them around. Only last weekend Alice and Francesco from Milano came over and it was an amazing time spent with them. On Friday Francesco had this crazy idea to go to an Absinthe bar. Alice and Alice were not convinced but finally we gave in. OMG Francesco was right and it was a fantastic idea. We had a couple of drinks, the most impressive one however was the burning absinthe shot. We were told to use a straw and drink it fast so the straw doesn’t melt. I can only say WOW! Saturday we went for a nice dinner and I had to take care of other stuff but Sunday, we spent the whole day together. We walked around, had delicious lunch at Hamsa – Alice loved the slogan Make Hummus Not War. The day ended with drinking cherry vodka and listening to a live jazz concert as currently in Krakow we have a jazz festival. You know what? When spending time with them I felt a bit like I’m on holiday as well. It was super cool to have them over. It’s a pity that Alice and Francesco couldn’t stay longer, coz if they did I would fluently speak Italian 😉 I envy them a bit as in two days they are going for a three-week holiday to Santorini. Have fun Guys and it was fabulous to have you over! Please come again!
There you have a balance in giving and taking 😉 Maybe I’m naïve but I believe that helping someone makes the world a better place. Not saying that I’m a saint, coz hell no I’m not but when I get a chance to help someone I do that.