Poznan, briefly

December 6

I left Kaliningrad by bus at 6:00 AM (Kaliningrad Time); when I arrived in Poznan, by train, it was 3:30 PM (CET) and nearly dark. It was raining, on and off.

Outside the busy main station, I tried to navigate toward the dot representing the Meeting Place where my Uber would arrive. Taxis seemed to be picking people up right in front of the station, but the dot was across the street in a parking lot. I dragged myself and my bag across the street, where I realized there was a fairly short but nonetheless impassable fence separating me from the dot. I walked along the shoulder of this road to the entrance to the parking lot, and headed toward the dot.

But although the dot appeared to be in the parking lot, it was always somehow closer to the station than anywhere I could stand. I doubled back to the parking lot entrance, wandered around all in front of the station, trekked back and forth across the road a few more times, tried the parking lot at least once more, and eventually realized that the location name associated with the dot was just the spot outside the station. (I was very tired and hungry.)

Traffic was heavy, as was the drizzle. I had imagined I'd see some sights from the car, and I suppose I probably did...

 Blurry-outline-seeing in Poznan.

Blurry-outline-seeing in Poznan.

Eventually I was dropped off at Zemsta, a vegan/anarchist restaurant, bookstore, and gallery. I ordered a Polish specialty, kotlet schabowy — a breaded cutlet (usually pork; this cutlet was soy-based), mashed potatoes, and sauerkraut.

 Vegan kotlet schabowy with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.

Vegan kotlet schabowy with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.

It was the first real meal of my day, and it was incredibly filling. This was a rare occasion where I couldn't finish what I was eating; I think I left two bites on my plate. It was such a small amount, you'd think it should have been possible, but I couldn't even look at it directly without getting queasy.

Instead, I went to Aleksandra's flat to get ready for my next show. Aleksandra had generously offered to host a concert on Mikołajki — Saint Nicholas Day. She arranged a very nice table of festive treats for the concert attendees. I took some time to collect myself, take a shower, and prepare for the show.

The concert was, like many of the shows on this tour, attended mostly by people from the Couchsurfing community. Interestingly, one attendee, Joanna, had hosted Iza (my host in Gdansk) when Iza visited Poznan to see a Frida Kahlo exhibition. It was also interesting to see, not just in Poznan but in many cities, how the people who attended my shows sometimes knew each other or had a connection of some kind.

We had some fun conversations at this show. At living room concerts, there are sometimes ridiculous tangents and thought-provoking group discussions. (More reasons why you should host a living room concert. It's easy and it doesn't have to cost you anything. Email me!)

Milena brought vegan cookies, which I appreciated (and ate several of).

Though it was a holiday, it was also a weeknight, so the evening didn't go too late. This worked out well for me — I got at least a tiny bit more sleep than I had the previous few nights.

(Side note about Europe: so many bathrooms have light switches on the wall outside the bathroom. So when you're in there, someone else could turn off the light and you'd just be screwed.)

I still had an early start the next morning, of course. I had booked my flight from Gdansk to Copenhagen before the opportunity to play in Poznan came along, so it would take 5+ hours on trains just to get to the airport. The flight itself took only an hour, and then I was in Denmark.