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This Year’s Paper Chase + Random Warsaw Photos

July 20, 2013

I heard some good news from my job; I’ve got my official papers of invitation to work in Kazakhstan.  I need to find a print shop where I can print them out.  I rode a rental bike out to the embassy yesterday, so I know where it is now.  Once I have my visa and my flight is booked, I will be at liberty to roam for the rest of the summer.

For now, I’m just walking and bicycling all over Warszawa.  I got on google maps just now and figured that yesterday I walked 8.6 km/5.3 miles and bicycled 15 km/9.3 miles.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of how I have been passing the time.

One of the many cool places I have discovered is the aptly named Bibliomania, a musty shop so crammed with books you can barely squeeze through the unsteady, disordered stacks. 

Best ever pulp fiction title? One whole zloty.

Another one zloty gem.  It’s a 1945 Armed Services Edition.  It’s about a kid from the wrong side of the tracks, drifting in a lifeboat with a nurse and a dangerous man after his Merchant Marine ship was sunk by a U-Boat. He has nothing to do but think back on his life and how everything went wrong.  Really solid hard-boiled writing.  I read 50 pages of it over a beer right after buying it..

Whoever’s bicycle this is, I have a crush on her.


One of dozens of lovely little parks all over Warsaw.


Green space in Warsaw.





The underside of the bridge feels like a cathedral. A cathedral with graffiti, but still.


Weirdly, underneath one of the bridges, there are shops and pubs. Like this one selling telescopes, microscopes, and other scopes.




I was quite excited to see the sign “torby” and to surmise correctly that it was a purse shop. I can’t remember the word for shopping bag, but I can remember “torba,” which is a lady’s bag.

Free Polish lesson: NA WYNOS = take out. NA MIESCJU = for here.

Miasto Gadajacych Głów, or City of Talking Heads, across from the main train station, is a very cool joint.  I wandered into it before I read about it online.  Last night I met some Polish guys there with fantastic English.  We drank and talked all night and then went someplace else.  I got a walking tour of downtown Warszawa from a local who told me about how it had changed, what kind of businesses used to be in the old buildings, stuff like that.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me.

A big, fat book on Polish history and big, fat, spicy falafel… what else could a guy ask for?

Sometimes a line in a book is so great you have to take a picture of it.  This is from An Incident at Krechetovka Station by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Poster art is alive and well in Warsaw. Lots of first rate graphics on the street.

I bet The Crucible kicks ass in Polish.



Amusing warning label on a rental bike.

My current neighborhood falafel hutch, around the corner from my hostel. 7 zl. and super delicious and filling.

So I’m thoroughly enjoying passing a leisurely summer in this fascinating city. I could easily live here.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2013 12:30 pm

    Such a leisurely, carefree post. LOVE the girly gingham bike ! Good stuff, all around.

  2. July 20, 2013 2:19 pm

    So where are the super hostels in Warsaw? And do you plan to learn some Russian, Kazakh, both? What fantastic opportunities.

    • July 20, 2013 2:34 pm

      I’ve stayed at Pepe Hostel, Hostel Fabryka, and Nathan’s Villa. All excellent and cheap: 30-40 zl. a night. Pepe is somehwat outside of downtown, very pleasantly quiet and relaxing. Fabryka is so far the only hostel in the Praga district, whch is becoming trendy; it has a funky boho vibe. Nathan’s is super central, very well established and well-run. I’ll be going to The Warsaw Hostel on Monday. Right off Nowy Świat and only 25 zl.

      I’ll try to pick up some survival Russian, but there’s really no need to learn Kazakh. I may learn a few words.

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