Lunch For Under 10 Zloty.

When good cappuccino and mediocre beer run for 8 zloty apiece (at least!) in Poland’s lovely capital, I start pinching my groszy…because I like both of those things and I’ve still got over 3 weeks left in Europe. And Europe gets expensive. So when I can score a minor victory, like a satisfying and somewhat healthy lunch for less than 4 USD, I cheer a little bit inside. (Get it? It’s like a competition…me against the Warsaw)

Greek salad: 6.50

Multi-grain roll the size of premature infant: 1.40

Vending machine cappuccino (better than it sounds!): 1.60 

Grand total: 9.50

(in US dollars, that’s about $3.51) Go team.

Helpful hints: groszy = the cents to the Polish zloty (100 groszy to 1 zloty); current exchange rate: 1 USD = 2.789 PLN

Varsovian Stream of Consciousness.

It’s not a list, but it could be. Anything could be. Here’s this weekend:

Northern visitor, fancy start at the Marriott’s “Panaroma” bar on the 40th floor, best views, Irish pub without Irishmen, hipster bar called (what else?) Plan B, liquid apple pie in a back-alley-basement-bar, dancing underground with dogs and smokers, daytime sunlight, a bookstore-cafe with a swing inside, more cafes, cakes, coffee, lawn chairs, crossing the Swietokrzyski Bridge to Praga which is known for grit, exploring remnants of Jewish past, free jazz where one guy scoots back the piano bench and it is called music, Praga’s fanciest cafe which is far from gritty, made to look like a house and you can buy everything inside even the coat hangers, busses are slow so we walk all the way (I mean all the way, 4.3 kilometers) home, stopping at a metallic UFO bar for hipster leg photography, Sunday is (what else?) more sun, a big piano in the biggest park in Warsaw (Lazienki) and a bigger man plays Chopin, the university library’s roof, amazement, more cake, coffee, people watching, Old Town (because no European city is complete without one), many tourists, thirsty, sticky (we all are), and then another UFO-shaped thing but this is wooden and called Unidentified Fountain Object with the best dub-step of the afternoon, Bulgarian dinner, whole fish with an olive (alive?) for an eye, finally finding Plac Zabav hidden beneath a park and a bridge and a forest and unexpectedly good dancing, wet grass, more dogs, walking home, home? Home.

Things I Have Eaten So Far.

While I don’t keep a food diary, I (strangely) have enjoyed recording what I’ve eaten on certain days while traveling. This was especially interesting in India, because there is so much ridiculous (and ridiculously cheap) street food, much of which is vegetarian. In Poland, this doesn’t seem to be the case. But, for better or for worse, here’s what I’ve eaten in my first few days of Poland:

pierogi with meat inside (plates accidentally got switched)
2 pierogies with cabbage, with the ham scraped off (it was really a meat-filled meal for me, that I remained surprisingly calm through. I think India has chilled me out. But no, the meat did not taste fantastic as all of you carnivores are I’m sure asking)
1 bowl of soup with potatoes & carrot
1 banana
1 bowl of gnocci with sage butter
1 mixed greens salad

2 cookies (leftover from the previous tenant)
1 scoop of chocolate ice cream
1 pizza florentine

2 hard-boiled eggs
1 banana
1 Clif bar
1 cappuccino (that I accidentally put salt into—and could only drink half of—who has salt at a coffee shop?)
Granola with milk/curd-like substance (the label is in Polish, naturally)
1 beer

Clearly, I am still adjusting to eating regular meals.

A Day in Food.

I promised a blog of list & letters, so here’s the former. This is every little thing I ate on Saturday, February 12, when I took a day trip to Gingee (also known as Senji) with some of the guys from our hostel.

1 banana, en route to Pondicherry’s New bus Stand
1 granola bar, en route to Gingee (a 2 hour bus ride west of Pondy)

2 samosas, in an autorickshaw en route to Gingee Fort

Half a plate of lemon rice, pickled something, and tapioca something, courtesy of some Indian nuns at Gingee Fort

1 cup of masala tea
1 fried plantain and 1 muffin-sugar-bread concoction at the same place where we got the samosas

Half a “Tempted Chocolate” milkshake
2 pieces of fried cauliflower
Vegetable burger on a sesame roll, with tomatoes & cucumbers and French fries at Daily Bread, an Indian/Continental/Chinese restaurant in Pondy

A small glass of Shiraz (thanks James!)
2 crackers with Camembert cheese