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Week 5: Kraków

October 7th-13th, 2018


Sunday: Silesian Marathon (Course Layout)

Woke at 2. Took 2 ibuprofen. Woke at 4. Took 2 ibuprofen. Woke at 6. Figured out how to get to the start line. I ate an apple and two granola bars. Took another 2 ibuprofen. I left the apartment, got to the tram where there were a few runners on the tram with me, and got to the race about 35 minutes before the start time. My warm up was about ten minutes because that’s all the time I had. You must be in your time zone fifteen minutes before the race starts. I think this is loosely followed—not everyone did it. I unfortunately did not understand the time zone signs and I started at 5 hour mark. I am not that slow, but it was probably okay though. I could start a little slower and then challenge myself to catch the 3:30 balloons, which I did around 1 hour 30 minutes, but I could not hold their pace for longer than an hour. By two hours and 30 minutes, my feet were really struggling. One really good thing is that the course covered a lot of the grounds that I had hiked yesterday so a Go Pro was not really necessary. One downside, this course was very hilly and I was not expecting that. They were doable hills until I reached 3 hours. Then I had to walk. Especially when the 4:00 balloons past me, I knew that another hour of this might really take me out of running for a month if I did not take it easier. We ran past the park I walked through yesterday to get to Viviana’s flat.

I was the 74th woman out of 246 to finish with the total number of participants being 2,091. After the race…My feet hurt. I was afraid I had broken one of my big toes. I got on a crowded tram. As soon as a seat opened up, I collapsed into it. My legs were going to give out before the next stop anyway. The tram was very abrupt and jerky in its turns. The man beside me in front of me may have been waiting to sit once an old man got up but he wasn’t quick enough. I was literally falling sleep while standing. I think he took pity and didn’t cause a scene. Another racer (marathoner) looked very concerned for me once I collapsed.

At the apartment, I had a cookie from the goodies they gave us after the race. I checked emails and found that Viviana, my renter, had sent me two restaurant names. I looked them up and decided on 8 Śtolikow. It closed at 5 and it was going on 4. After a rapid shower, I walked 10 minutes to the restaurant. It was very quaint. I tried to translate some of the menu and then a waitress asked me if I had decided (in Polish). She tried to give me a Polish menu (even though it was on the wall I was looking at), but I asked “proszę po angielsku?” She turned to a young lady for translation and then gave me an English menu. I sat at the head of the large table and then had to move to the long side to make room for a family. This restaurant literally has eight tables so if you are one or two persons you sit at the community table. I guess the family was an exception. I got the pasta spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and a rose lemonade.

After this, I went to get my things from Aviana’s and check out. I wanted to go to a small franchise called Bistro Caffe Figa z Makiem Katowice so I went there and got a peanut butter cake; I’m honestly not sure what kind of pastry it was—a delicious one. Next I went to get a donut at Tradycyjna Pączkarnia Słowik. I went to Mass at Kościół Rzymskokatolicki p.w. Niepokalanego Poczęcia NMP and then I left with ten minutes left in the service because I was afraid of missing my bus. I also wanted to get ice cream at Lodzio. Lody Naturalne along the way. Well, I checked my phone after leaving the service and I had received a message from the Katowiec Dworzec PKP that my train was delayed by 30 minutes. Plenty of time to get ice cream and reach the station. Except that I kept getting on the wrong tram! I got on the tram about 3 times (each time they went the opposite way I thought they would travel or I would miss my stop) until I finally hustled to the mall and somehow miraculously found the trains. I made it with plenty of time (15 minutes), but I was panicking.

On the train, there was a man (probably 30s or 40s) sitting on the opposite side of aisle. He kept staring at me. He also had his shoes off and his feet up on the seat in front of him. I realized that he must have been a runner today when the ticket checker asked about his lounging. He said something about a marathon. I also had on my race shirt so he must have just felt some sort of connection. He also kept playing Take on Me by A-ha (originally written in my notes as: na-na-na-na, da-na-na, na na-na na-na, na-na-na-na, da-na-na, na na-na na-na,…I obviously did not know the song.) He would replay it over and over…


Monday

I woke around 7:15. It was a sad morning because I could not go running. So I just chilled around the apartment. My legs were aching and my right knee was sore, but really everything ached: feet, shoulders, feet, lower back, feet, toes, feet. If you did not see that correctly, my feet were hurting a lot. The bottoms of my two big toes are bruised and many of my toenails will probably turn black within a week. Nothing is swollen which is a relief. Update (10/12/19): Nothing turned black.


I edited photos and uploaded them to FB, answered emails, sorted out my course links (so I can receive materials online), ate a granola bar, continued to work, then had a shower, made some salad, and left with Hope for Biedronka in the square. I bought pasta, tomato paste, muesli, and a rad looking "Oreo" doughnut.

Here is my review: Cookie toppings are slightly chewy and have some dark chocolate taste. It's like thin mint cookie base (minus mint). It tastes really good with the inside glaze of the doughnut.

White topping is like the type on danishes and has a subtle sweetness that disappears quickly (dissolves). It is also a thin layer of frosting in my opinion. The doughnut has a plain flavor that is not chocolate or vanilla. No flavor but basic cake ingredients. But, surprise, it is filled with a milky sweet, thick glaze.

I rank it 2 of 10. Dry, lacking flavor for how festive it appeared, and it does not remind me of an Oreo taste-wise.


I continued to blog. Mostly, it was uploading photos and sending people in my group some photos. I also wrote a short essay for my cinema class, and read through some poems for my literature class on Wednesday.


Also, on the way back from Biedronka I got some of my first pigeon pictures. You will not see many of these pictures because pigeons are super common and I prefer to not waste my camera battery or my time on them. Locals hate them, and you may see one smashed into the road every now and then. Traffic will never stop for a pigeon. One day, when I was in the square, I looked to my right and a couple feet away from the bench I was sitting on, there was a dead pigeon. It was as if someone got mad and stepped on it or pounded it was a cane. It could have also flown into the bench.


Tuesday

I was a mess. My insect course was canceled (for the semester) the day before and I had sent an email to confirm. It was confirmed and I was crushed.


Wednesday

Hope and I decided to go souvenir shopping. She got magnets and keychains and postcards. I took pictures of the chess boards for a friend. We walked around Plac Św. Mario Magdaleny by the statue of Piotr Skarga. I was looking for the violinist that usually graces the plaza with his soothing music, but he was not there.


Next, we wanted to get lunch. Hope had not had red meat in about a month so she wanted some, meanwhile I wanted a vegan meal. We ducked into a Burger King. It was very large and fancy compared to the American chain store replicates.


Next, we went to Farma Burgerownia Roślinna. I ordered the Burak with Mayonnaise and Cheese sauce (all vegan). I beckoned Hope to come in (Burger King bag and all) and eat with me. We went to the second level so she could eat a little more privately. My order came to the second floor and it included fries. I was kind of surprised because I had not realized that the meal came with fries. They had a seasoning that was like cumin and/or honey mustard onion, and they were soft on the inside with a crisp outside. The ketchup was like a sweeter and lighter ketchup with a 2:1 (ketchup to mayonnaise) ratio. Two guys sitting at a table a few feet away were talking. They were there before us. When one of them asked the waitress about fries, I took a look at my tray. The fries! Were they his? I had already eaten 1/4 of the fries so I was not going to trade. I started the burger and then quickly confirmed that our orders had been mixed. It was Tofu with mustard and ketchup. When I mentioned this to Hope she froze and looked terrified. She was scared of when the guy would realize that he was not eating what he had ordered.


On the less tense side, I found some courses I could register for in English. I am hoping to audit Applications of GIS and get credit for Tropical Ecology. Still very unhappy about Ecophysiology of Insects, but it's time to move on.


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