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1. Music -- Cracow is the soundtrack to my life, I've decided; not only have I heard my favourite Goo Goo Dolls, Savage Garden and Dire Straits songs as piped music repeatedly since I've been here, but there's a busker on every corner that isn't occupied by a statue person and tons of the buggers around Rynek, all scarily good. One girl I'd sign myself if I was a label manager sings a perfect mezzosoprano while playing a guitar-harp, and there's been a fellow in full traditional garb playing... something outside the Cloth Hall the past few days (yes, I know, I must get a picture of him). It's a city of music, of dancing, of life -- and I love it.

2. Statue people -- there's one on every other corner, at least.

3. Alkoholes -- I kid you not: alkoholes. It's on the signage of all the off-license booze shops, but in my mind, alkie-hole has become the name for any pub, club, bar, offie, you name it... and there are tons of the things. I believe this city has more drinkholes per person than any other city in Europe. Damn well feels like it. Suits me fine!

4. Irish alkie-holes -- all right, so you can avoid these if you really want, I suppose (though who'd want to?), but honestly, there are three that I know of. In a Polish city. So they deserve a mention.

5. Bookshops!! -- mostly much bigger than they look from the outside, old, musty and awesome, which suits me just fine, of course.

6. Ciggie kiosks -- which get a mention because they're just cool. They're... pillars, essentially; they look like those pillars folks stick advert posters onto (there's plenty of those too), but somewhere, there'll be a tiny window at about waist height, and displays of the cigs they're selling (Tiger Originals all the way yo), and if you lean in and catch the attendant's attention (most spend their days reading magazines; I can well imagine it must be hella boring living in a pillar) they provide you with ciggies. (Well, no, really...? -- Yes, shut up. xP).

7. Rollerbladers -- honestly, you'd think the Planty was LA. (...I want some. Blades, that is, not rollerbladers. Though if there're any decent-looking ones offeri-- where was I?).

8. Amber -- there's a shop or gallery or stand selling it every third unit...

9. Outdoor restaurants -- head up to Rynek and you can barely move for outside tables. It's incredibly cool, and will be more so in the middle of summer when I dare sit outside. There's an ice-cream parlour place I'm just waiting to try out...

10. Kebab kiosks -- I know of five within a hundred yards of one another. The real surprise is, the veggie ones aren't that bad... even when sober. (But damn, they make 'em spicy! Either I develop a magical tolerance to super spicy food when pissed, or bloody hell, the one and only I've had when not half-way drunk was far hotter than the rest).

11. Flower shops -- I have never seen so many florists in one city, I swear.

12. Net cafés -- once again, tons of the beggars, most charging only 2-3zl per hour; Koffeina, my personal favourite (pretty longhair fella-behind-counter knows what I like, by now xD), also has free wireless. =D

13. Art -- be it a gallery, a show right there on the street, a fella drawing caricatures while-you-wait for 5zl a head, or even just graffitti, there's something vaguely artistic happening just about everywhere you look.

14. Decorative weaponry -- it seems just about every other shop sells it and, gods, how I wish I had a hope in hell of getting any of it through customs. =(

15. Private language schools -- there are five that I know of (I've applied to 'em all for teaching, of course); probably more hiding in the woodwork.

16. Secret passages -- well, not so secret once I've been down 'em and "Oh wow awesome!!"'d and taken pictures and noted the best secrets on my now-very-dogeared map. In all seriousness though, every archway you care to duck under leads, often after a short corridor-walk, into a courtyard or building or something truly awesome you'd never have expected from the outside. I'm here for weeks and weeks on end and I bet I'm barely going to scratch the surface.

17. Bugs -- this one might just be my flat. There are ants and a spider in the bathroom. Shudder. Ah well, with a little luck I'm moving on Saturday. (...I sort of need somewhere to move to. Acks).

18. Roadworks -- I'm being a touch unfair, here, but half of downtown is dug up to all hell, the top end of Plac Matejki is... no longer there, and there's a JCB at the end of my road which wakes me up at 6:30, so yes, roadworks, there seem to be enough of them for a mention to be deserved.

19. Hayfever -- if you get it, you're sunk. The Old Town is surrounded by the Planty, a wide strip of parkland presumably where the moat once was, or some such (note to self: find the hecksome out and sound intelligent about it), and they were mowing the lawns this morning. After the tram followed half the sodding Planty around the curvature of the city, I was just about streaming from every available facial orifice... must get some antihistamines. Bleh.

20. The Galereias -- damned be if the Metro Centre hasn't spawned and taken over the world. Shopping centres are international, depressingly so, and there are at least three big ones here -- Centrum, Kasimiersz, and Krakowia. And every one of them could be Eldon Square or the Metro Centre or any big indoor shopping centre you care to name. Sigh. Thank gods we've got the Cloth Hall to balance it out again!



Apr. 25th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
Amber, oh, I'd come home loaded with it. I love amber.
Apr. 25th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. Are you a particular fan of earrings, necklaces, brooches, anything else that springs to mind -- or just anything amber?
Apr. 25th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
Earrings, weirdly enough - I have one amber necklace, but the rest of my amber-y things tend to be for my ears. I remember to put it there more often.
Apr. 25th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
Right you are, earrings it is then. =D I believe we had tentative proto-plans to meet up at some point, and when we do, I shall come bearing gifts.
Apr. 25th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
I'm sure I can find something suitably Viking to hit you with in return ;)


City of Flowers and Shadows

Shadow's City

Welcome to the travel log of the adventures of one ShadowSaine, variously known as Zof, Shadow and Oi You, on a big city and bright burning lights adventure in Krakow, Poland, 2007.

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