Poland. Cracow. This is a country that I will be always grateful for every my breath of freedom, for every my bought ticket, parties till the sunrise and classes at 8 am that we never skipped. I am sitting now in Germany and nostalgizing for my morning coffee back in my room 765 with a small but wonderful view on Piastowska street. It was always full of traffic jams and police flying there and back.
…if there are so many options for Ukrainians who speak English. Four years ago I took a challenge I signed up for a Polish Course in Kiev. I can honestly say that if not my first teacher Maria who was capable to plant a love for this country and language, I would never end up hitchhiking from Zakopane to Baltic Sea later.
So why Cracow? Why Poland? Why UJ?
My family came up with an idea so quickly and I just replied: “Let’s do it!”. Everything seemed to be easy to do, easy to apply. A diploma that I am going to get in one year is recognized all over the globe and the University that will grant me with it is known in all world rankings. Honestly, I was dreaming about becoming a student of Wroclaw, but the stars decided differently.
I love Cracow to the tips of my fingers and there is no day when I don’t miss it
This is a quiet, small city with so many coffee shops, good Polish, Italian, Japanese restaurants, bars, underground clubs, where you can get all those welcome shots and top-ranking DJs.
I remember my first nights in Square and Frantic Clubs when we stopped counting the hours and money. I remember those reggaeton dances in Cubano and coffee on a balcony with my best friend followed by endless discussions why TV-show “Friends” is the best.
If you get to Cracow once, you can’t omit our own ‘fjord’
Okay, I know it is so so far away from all those Scandinavian miracles, but I am so proud of Zakrzówek where we used to get illegally and chill out with a bottle of cheap wine.
Springtime was always the best. It was an unstoppable festival with lots of Juwenalia concerts, grills in a Student Village (Miasteczko Studenckie AGH), warm nights when there was no more need to wear a jacket and a scarf. I recall those days when my friend could just knock on my doors at 4 am and ask me for a couch to sleep. And we always ended up talking till we both were so tired that we couldn’t wake up for a lecture. And no one ever cared. I was lucky enough to study in a chilling faculty with lots of free time.
That was one of the reasons why so many tickets where bought spontaneously in the airports hundreds of kilometers away from Cracow
Oslo, Paris, Prague or Berlin for the weekend was no more a mystery for us. Do you remember, how we were sitting in Beauvais and saw tickets to Norway for only 3€? Even without checking the schedule we went for it! Oh man, I do remember my tears of happiness when I was packing my backpack in Piast dormitory, hugged Maja, said goodbye to all dorm friends and just headed for the adventures. Every month.
One feeling that I always adored – coming back home, coming back to room # 765, brew coffee, add cinnamon, one slice of lemon and enjoy my super weird but so delicious coffee. Thank you, dad, for teaching me this Estonian recipe.
Oh, and of course old but unchangeable Wawel Castle. Picnics, romantic walks, roller skating marathons, sunbathing after Friday classes – thank you Wawel for making it possible.
The saddest part of this story is that I know my future won’t be connected to Wawel, Cracow or Poland. My wings are too wide to stay at the same place for my entire life. But I can’t wait for the moment when I will come to Cracow again, maybe with my beloved, maybe with my family, kids or only for a short weekend break with my friends. But once I get there, man, watch me crying like a little girl.