I found myself in a crowded market square in a Jewish district of Krakow called Kazimierz. Magda had instructed me to meet her and her friends at the corner of Estery street in front of a pub. I'd never seen her before so there were a few moments where I tried to make eye contact with the wrong girls. Then there was the soup line. There must have been about sixty people queued up for soup. So I told her on the phone that I was waiting by "the soup line", my thinking was, anyone would notice a crazy line for soup. The kicker was, it just happened to be the annual Festival of Soups. So there were about thirty lines for soup throughout the area. Anyway, guess you had to be there.
We finally found each other and I was starving. Soup sounded like a good treatment for my worsening cold so I asked Magda's boyfriend, Martin, how much the soup was. It was FREE! Free soup. Can you believe it? Delicious homemade soup served all over the place. No wonder there were hundreds of people lined up. So we sampled seven soups around the district, served out of pubs, doorways, and on the street. It was great. Afterwards we hung out at a pub for a bit and discussed language, the bubble Americans live in, and why we give a hoot about Lindsey Lohan or Paris Hilton.
We moved on to Monica's apartment and had a traditional Polish imbibing session with Zubrowka and pickled cucumbers (homemade by Mon's grandmother). Magda also treated me to a taste of Soplica vodka which has a sweeter flavor of caramel and some sort of nut.
The night gets blurry from that point. I recall us going to a night club and me dancing like a crazy American for a long time. Zubrowka will do that to me I guess (it really is the formula for dancing, Yasmin). Before we concluded the night, I had to try this Polish street snack that I couldn't even begin to try to spell which is basically a baguette with melted cheese and ketchup. They dropped me off at Mama's Hostel and I sat in a chair waiting to use the internet, but passed out in a few minutes. I woke up several hours later (the keys to my room laying on the floor where they had dropped from my hand) and stumbled to my bunk for some rest.
Today I'm off to meet Magda and Kinga to do some touring of Krakow. Tomorrow I'll try to hit Auschwitz and take a night train to the Czech Republic.