After getting acquainted with our rooms, the plan (a unanimous one at that), was that we all head out to town for a meal. Not before I took another awkward shower (a theme of the trip so far). This time, the water was so hard I could barely get any lather from the soap. Worst of all, I appear to have brought along with me the driest towel in the world. One of those where you have to pre-moist before you can use it to dry yourself…
Lights out, dines out
We set off straight to the city centre, walking in files of twos and threes, and looking every bit like tourists. Wroclaw appears to have a different ambience to it. It feels much like a bigger city compared to Poznan (it actually is) and that may have been due the fact that there were a lot people out and about, particularly for a Wednesday evening. As we get closer to the main square you could feel this sense of buzz around the place. This was sure going to be fun!
As it turned out, there was a grudge match taking place between Poland and Russia for a place in semi-final of the men’s Olympic volleyball tournament. And in case you missed it, volleyball is kind of a big deal in Poland. Given that, we appeared to have arrived at the most inopportune time. All the restaurants were absolutely packed with diners and punters alike. However after a couple of minutes hovering back and forth, we managed to land a table at one of the al-fresco eateries.
As we sit there contemplating what to order, I spot a black dude (second in the space of 5 days!) walking across the front of the restaurant. We catch each other’s eye and he is as surprised as anything to see his fellow race being represented. It seemed like he genuinely wanted to come over to say hello; but then he probably didn’t want to look like weirdo either. Really, what is the protocol for approaching random people in foreign countries anyway?
We are finally seen to by the waiter who informs us that ‘Team Polski’ is on the verge of losing the game. It was obvious now, judging by how the crowd had quietened down. Slowly but surely they began to disperse and soon enough the night at last resembled one of a mid-week kind.
So finally our food arrives and I have opted for the safe option: salad, sausage with bit of fries. It wasn’t a case of being gastronomically unadventurous. I simply hadn’t anticipated we would be dining at a trendy restaurant; as such I did not pack enough zlotys to go gung-ho on the menu. Besides, I needn’t have worried. The lovely ladies at my table were pampering me with their food and frankly, it would have been rude to refuse. Enoch on the other hand was staying put; preferring to stick to the borders of his plate. Boy was he not glad to hear that the bill was being split equally amongst us. In the end, it worked out at £8 for his solitary, albeit massive, sausage meal. I on the other hand had no complaints.
Singing in a gangster’s paradise
The group had initially split up so everyone could eat at their preferred place. So after dinner, we decided to use this downtime to re-gather the troops. The square was now almost empty, but it was still too early to head back to the hostel. As we roamed about, we found ourselves slowly gravitating towards a nearby club.
To our surprise there were people inside. My guess was that’s where everyone was since it was a near ghost-town outside. The club wasn’t totally packed but there was enough activity going on to keep us interested. This was some sort of a club/bar hybrid and there seemed to be more bustle on the balcony bar. Inside, a couple were casually [insert Latin dance]ing on the dance floor. I forgot to add that Wednesday night was Karaoke night!
As the musical interlude died down, the DJ introduced the next act to the floor and before we knew it, we are being serenaded to a polish rendition of gangster’s paradise. There he stood, waving imaginary guns about and gesturing in our direction. As I watched him, I kept wondering what the hell he was saying. It was intense to say the least. When he finished his performance, he came over to our table and greeted us. He had apparently dedicated the performance to us; which thankfully explained why he kept pointing at us. What a guy!
Unfortunately all his performance did was to give the Irish troupe more vim—as if they needed any more of it. They too decided to take to the microphone and next thing you know, the table are on the dance floor jiving to oops I did it again. Plus who knew Fiona could actually sing?
I didn’t join in the fun for long though as I was beginning to feel a tad disoriented. The lack of sleep was finally catching up on me and the over indulgence earlier at dinner certainly didn’t help. Sadly that was it for me; the spirit was willing but the body was in submission. So I took my seat and watched the rest carry on. No, I did not sleep in the club! But I came damn close though.
Sure enough Enoch came to join me on the subs bench. We both decided to call it a night and began what turned out to be a long walk back to the hostel.
Wroclaw had so far been fun and it would’ve been nice to have a lie in bed. But tomorrow was an important days still. It was time to meeting up with some social entrepreneurs and discovering more about how their ventures. However, tension started to rise within the camp.