16 February 2010

Laughing at capitalism in its finest (Warsaw) moment

I had a good little laugh today. It was the first in a while I think.

I went to get a personalized metro card since its a new requirement. (Yay for new/ changing Polish laws) Often they will have guys on the metro checking for valid tickets, and if you dont have one, you pay big time. Anyway, the guy checked mine as I got off the metro...I go get my card...10 min later I was waiting for the metro and the same guy walks up and checks my card again...I was slightly stunned because he had literally JUST checked it. ... so Polish. AND, since I happened to have my brand new personalized card in my hand that he barely noticed, he started to walk away, turned around and asked for BOTH cards this time - checks my name on my current, valid (non-personalized) card against my new, photo-id and everything card that isn't even activated yet. Then he lets me go...WOW

Also, when I was walking back to the metro after getting my card, there were 2 guys standing in the hallway and one of them says "czesc!" as I walk by. It's an informal "hi" - in a kinda flirtatious way and I had no clue what to do. I just kinda kept on walking and didn't say anything. That was definitely a first.

After all this, I decided since I was only 1 metro stop away, I would go to Starbucks and get a coffee and sit for a little while - to think, to relax, to just enjoy a few minutes with a cup of coffee and sudoku. I was enjoying my bagel and window-side seat. I watched people walking by, waiting on trams, etc and just relaxed. For a moment, I could slip into my own "coffee heaven" and back into the world of coffee shops I love so much. Now, granted, Starbucks is not the ideal of my little heaven. I prefer local shops to chains, but considering they aren't that popular here, I have to settle for Coffee Heaven, ISpot, Starbucks and Empik Cafe - all chains.

I've only seen this once or twice here, but one of the workers walked outside with mini promo cups of hot chocolate and an entire tray was gone in like 2 seconds. She came back in, got more and walked out right before I did... before I even reached her -only a few yards from the door - the second tray was almost gone when an older man hurried up to her and was like COFFEE!? its free? ohhh, yes, please...
I just had to laugh because it was so opposite of what I had just seen in the metro! Where down stairs, a guy is standing at the only exit checking and double checking cards...and then right upstairs, capitalism being embraced at its fullest. Something's free!? Leave it to Starbucks... slightly ironic considering they are one of the most expensive coffee chains I know of!
Sadly though, it was back to Polish reality when I had to wait 30 minutes at the post office to get a package my parents sent me. There was only 1 person in front of me too! Oh well. At least I laughed today.

On another note, I'm so TIRED of it being white outside! The piles are almost my height now! They have no where to put the snow, so they just scrape it to the side, pile it up and keep piling. The sidewalks get smaller and the snow has only gotten deeper. sheesh....can I come back to the South now? lol. I want warm! sun! no snow! There's been a rhythm here - it snows, they scrape it to the sides and put down sand, the snow gets dirty, it snows again covering all the dirty snow with fresh white stuff and it starts all over again. fun. When will it end?
this is outside my apartment complex. The paths are slowly being cleared with a cool snow blower thingy. :)

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