We left our hotel at 8am. Everyone is very punctual. The driver packed our bags like a rubik cube into the tiny luggage compartment and we were on the road once again. Rita isn't very clear when she explains things.. This am we found out we were all sort of right about the money and lunch. Our first stop we need Lits. Lunch is zloty. The freezing cold comes through the bus window so I'm wrapped in my coat with my neck pillow insulating me from the chill. My feet are paining from the cold. I'm not sure why today is different than the other days. My stupid symptoms seen to have eased in my hands and feet, not sure if it's the vitamin cocktail I've been taking religiously or whether it's the exercise or the holiday. Of course there's a chance it's the combination.
Alan has already aggravated me this am. Sometimes he is just really really rude. I told David I was going to sharpen one of my newly done nails to a point and stab him. I'm not surprised he is single, if I was his partner, I'd complain too. I'm not surprised she left him. So my plan is to give him a wide berth. It's difficult on a trip like this to manage all of the personalities. Sometimes it gets really hard and you just need to take a bit of a breather from it. In addition he holds some challenging views on people. For example he 'hates' Muslims. Not sure if he's ever really met one or what they've done to him, but there you go. Such ignorance is dangerous and not for me.
Despite all of that, it's good to be alive and to be here. The hills rolled by and we went through large and small towns where the really really old and dilapidated stand side by side with ultra modern. Most farms don't seem to have fences and the houses just seem dotted about in the middle of big open paddocks or swathes of land. I've only seen one typically Australian type fenced house and house paddock complete with garden and driveway. Funnily enough it's the one that looks out of place. The occasional cows are tethered to sec poles. I've not seen any herds.
Wind farms are common dotted through the countryside, they must have a lot of green power here.
The little houses are kind of like what kids draw. 2 windows and a door and a pointy roof - some are two storey so another window in under the very sloped roof - with variations on the theme. Even the newer ones sort of look the same.
Kevin says Ted opened a stubby at about 8.30. Probably did.
Stopped at 10.30 on the Lithuanian border town. Grabbed our hot drinks and people got snacks like they'd never seen food before. Alan didn't have enough money so I shouted him. My theory is me being annoyed with him is only affecting my karma not his. He really is quite selfish. The guy at the counter tried to upsell me a chocolate bar, I said no thanks. He went to get my change. Alan then shoved past me with his shrapnel and said I'll have the 1lit chocolate bar and the guy said no deal. Alan said shove it then to the man. Seriously do you need to be rude to everyone?
Kevin couldn't get the toilet door open and thought it was locked. He asked Rita if he needed a key. Rita asked the guy who studiously ignored her. She asked again. He reluctantly answered. She told Kevin it was open. Word play at the ready I told him to give it the good old potato shed shove, David said a tug. So he did and all was well. Output and input taken care of, and back on the road. Nothing of note to signify the move to Poland. Sheds where the control points used to be but that's it. Poland has some different animals as well as the Lithuanian moose, elk, bears, beavers etc it also has bison. We still look to see if there's anything in the forest as we go by but so far nothing. They have moles as well like Latvia. There are little holes everywhere.
The house look similar to Latvia and Lithuania.
We are going to try the bison beer which is a local brew. So far the beers have all been ok but not remarkable in any way. They all just taste the same. We didn't ask Alan how the live beer went.
We made another road stop to take care of the drivers obligations. It was at a petrol station with a small cafe attached but the boys, Steve, Allan and I went up to a big Tesco. We bought rolls, sliced cheese, doughnuts, cold drinks and a mixed drink each for later. We sat back on the bus and had our picnic whilst the others were having a bowl of soup in the cafe thing. There were 3 pokie machines outside the toilets being well used. As we still had to wait some of the gang went to the little market next door. Steve who always buys something got himself a pair of winter weight travel pants. They were fleecy lined. Cost him 60 zloty, which was about 20AU. He was pleased with his purchase.
Ted didn't eat... In fact he often misses meals, but he never misses a chance to drink. From somewhere he produced a bottle of cognac which he shared around in plastic cups the driver had. I think only David had some. Ted was drinking it by the cupful. I don't think there'll be much left by the time the bus starts.
As the ladies are fascinated by everything I do I got specifically asked about my lunch. For goodness sake... A cheese roll and a bottle of iced coffee. ( and a chocolate donut) fascinating stuff.
We three were having a conversation and Libby butted in. She sits in front of David. When I said you have good hearing neurotic butted in from even further forward. She just answers for any and everyone. Someone asked Alan about whether he enjoyed his salami and she answered and said yes thanks. Geez... She has bionic ears and no idea about personal boundaries. Rita got no takers for the Chopin concert even though she played a chopin cd on the bus.
This part of Poland is mixture of the very old and the very new and some in between. It all is kind of jumbled up together. The towns are quite colourful. The houses are painted colourfully, or use coloured bricks in patterns. There are tint one roomed houses, maybe owned by Estonians? Smaller than a miners cottage. More like a big garden shed. Room for a single bed and a chair I'd think. The houses, yards, configurations look very like the Dalmatian countries. As Kevin says it like Bosnia without the bullet holes. The language here has a Slavic basis as well, so it's from the same root as old Yugoslavia, Russia etc.
You know what's weird?
Rita apparently does this 6 times a year and has done for years but doesn't seem to know anything. Everything seems to be a mystery to her. She doesn't know where things are. She doesn't know her way around. She doesn't know where to find things or what times the banks or shops open. She has to keep asking where we stop if they can feed us. At the lunch stop she didn't know about Tesco or the little market. I can't figure it out. It means she can't advice us properly. Like getting zlotys. We had two days to do that but she told us at the last minute. Odd. I'm not sure I'm going to give her a good feedback or not.
We got caught at the end of an accident on the freeway. A couple of nanna's in a little car had been hit or hit something else... A big white van was on the other side of the road side on into the trees. It had been full of those blue, pink and white bags... And I mean full of them. And a heap of young guys in their twenties. Who knows. Both front ends were badly smashed in. Can't quite see how it happened though. Eventually another stop for a toilet break and a 15 minute driver break. And another hour to Warsaw. It's been a big day. Doing nothing. Kevin has been sleeping on and off. He says he is a polysomniac.
We eventually arrived and quickly checked in, swapped the money, found the supermarket and had a couple of drinks at the bar. Heading off to Greek for dinner, having headed off the two Lynne's at the pass.
David was amused by their attempts to exchange Australian dollars. They are seriously arrogant. Thinking that every country will recognise and deal in Australian dollars.
That's it for today. A whole day of travel.