Thursday, May 14, 2009

Warsaw, Poland: Series 1 (part 1)

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The Polish are generally a warm, friendly and very accomodating people. This is one of the reasons why I truly enjoyed my short stay in Warsaw.

I spent an entire Sunday exploring the city watching and taking photos of people as they made the most out of the weekend's final day. I even had the opportunity to hang-out with one of the locals!

Yes, just one.

I’m shy kase.

I think he talked to me first.

Anyway, more on that after the photos.

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After about 12 hours of sightseeing, I finally sat down and stretched my tired, sore legs on one of these nice benches at Rynek Starego Miasta, the marketplace at the center of the historical Old Town called Stare Miasto

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All of a sudden an old man sat next to me.

Old man: “Hello.”

Garando: “Oh! Hi.”

Old man: “Would you care to play chess?”

Garando: “Uhhh… sure, why not?”

Old man: “For a moment, I shall arrange chess board.”

Garando: “Alright…”

Old man: “Ok, it is set. You know, I played chess in London!”

Garando: “Nice... I played chess in elementary.”

Old man: “Where?”

Garando: “uh.. 3rd grade?”

Old man: “Anyway, let us make game more interesting, yes? 20 zloty!”


I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned “elementary”. Now he knows I suck in chess… big time.

Garando: “20 zloty?! That’s a bit too high isn’t it? I only have…”

Old man: “Ok, 10 zloty! Good for cigarette, yes?”

Garando: “Deal.”

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He asked me "heads or tails", tossed a coin, and as expected, I lost. And this is why I never bother with the lottery.

He gets to make the first move... and so the battle for the 10 zloty began!

To be continued…

(more photos here)

read part 2

Garando mode:
Yikes! How do these little horse things move again?


witsandnuts said...

I loved the photos. Colorful and postcard material! That chessboard shot would you believe is my favorite? =)

cpsanti said...

wow garando, the photos are amazing. the colors are just soooo... intense! ang cute! love the third one---girls sitting on a brick wall and the one of kids playing after that. warsaw is such a beautiful city. and to think it was more damaged than manila---sana ganyan din kaganda ang manila. wahahaha! ;-)

Chyng said...

hey caryn!

very nice photos, i like the brick wall. why did caryn said warsaw is damaged?

kg said...

super, super nice photos garando! i love your pics! poland looks great! inggit ako! he! he! how was the weather? i have an assumption that people in poland are nice nga, maybe because of Pope John Paul II. It's lovely talking to strangers ano, especially the locals? they have so much to tell us.

you have a talent for taking [stolen] snapshots of people. ang galing at ang ganda! super! :)

Unknown said...

So you're actually in Warsaw? My guesses were wrong?
Well, as I mentioned on the other post, there were chances that the logic I made was flawed and it looks like it was.
Now let me explain the process that lead me:
On the post "A Preview of the First Day" the last picture shows a vitrine written "Salony Muzczyne" and with the help of the internet I found out that this is a store that sell music instruments and some other related items such as CDs and also found out that it was in Poland so the country was already found. Now the city was missing.
Again, with the help of our friend Internet, I found out which cities of Poland had that store. If my memory is not playing tricks I'm sure there was one store at Warsaw but why I said you were not there? Because the first picture from the post "Touchdown" showed a coast and Warsaw is not near the sea nor a river, as far as I remember, so I excluded it from the list.
The other two cities that were left are the only ones that are in the coast and have a filial of Salony Muzczyne. But in the end I couldn't find any dock or any construction on those cities that resembled the one in your picture so in the end I was kind of confused and was sure that something was wrong.

I assumed that you landed on your final destination even though I knew that it was possible that you landed somewhere else but I didn't exclude this the possibilities we much broader. And I guess this is where I missed the point.

And no, I didn't use Wikipedia :)

Now let's see how the chess match ended up right? :)

physiquemama said...

Okaerinasai! Nice photos and a funny story as usual! Also you have a good taste to choose traditional Poland cups?!

Garando said...

Thank you! Wow, really? I actually struggled to take that photo of the chessboard because he might pull a fast one while I was distracted. hehe.

Thank you! LOL I agree. Come to think of it, Metro Manila was actually beautiful at least until the early years of the Marcos era. Then things went downhill from there. FAST. :(

Thanks! It was the infamous Nazi lightning invasion a.k.a. "Blitzkrieg" of Poland that sparked the flame of what would lead to World War II. By the end of the war, millions of Polish Jews were executed and Poland was in ruins, obliterated, almost wiped off the map. I'll post about this soon, I have some photos about it that you might find interesting. ;)

Thank you! The weather was too COOOOOLD! I came home with chapped lips and very dry skin. :D
Yes, the Polish deserve our admiration indeed. After all the unimaginable tragedies they went through, it's amazing how they successfully rebuilt their lives and their cities. I bet it's the biggest source of pride for them. :)

I'm sorry to break it to you, but yes, you missed it just by a little bit. :D But your guess of Poland was very impressive!
That shot of the port in my earlier post was meant to throw everybody off. lol. I took that photo a few moments after the plane took off from Amsterdam. ;)
I appreciate you guessing where I am, and thanks for sharing how you did the research, I enjoyed reading through it. :)

Thank you very much! I have to admit, I was quite nervous as I was picking out those Polish cups. Garandee made it very clear that I should follow her taste, not mine. haha. :D

upto6only said...

wow you've visited Poland. Nice pitures thanks for sharing.

Btw, thanks for visiting my site as well as the message.

Happy weekend

Rico said...

Great shots! Very colorful town square. Some are look postcards even, like the sixth photo. Hope you had a good chat with that one local, and it'd be nice to ask for out of the beaten paths for tourists!

The Pope said...

Beautiful vivid colors of Poland and its people, they look so friendly. This brings me back to the horrors of WWII.

Hey, have you met my idol Lech?

I'll be following your chess moves - goodluck.

mordsith said...

are there many people playing a musical instrument in the street fore their own pleasure? i hope to see people like that here :)

escape said...

the first line alone describes what this post is all about. but you've matched it with really nice photos. i must love this poland.

Garando said...

Hello! Thanks for visiting my site as well. Happy weekend to you.

Thank you! Yes, i sure did. I wasn't expecting it to be a chess match, but at least the conversation I had with him was worth to remember.

The Pope:
Thanks! One of my upcoming post about Poland is somewhat related to WWII.
Sorry I have not met "Lech" yet. Can you please point me to his/her blog? Will gladly check it out.

Yes, there were quite a lot of street musicians around the Old Town. And they all play really well! So far the only street musicians we have in Manila are disabled people. But they're equally talented for sure. ;)

The DonG:
Thanks! Yes, I bet you'll definitely love Poland. Lalo na if you get a chance to visit the other historical monuments outside the city. I was stuck in Warsaw lang eh.

Missy said...

Your photos are.....brilliant, amazing, magnificent and all the adjectives na, I can't remember all hahaha. Grabe ang ganda, so vivid. And like Shadowmoon I searched also "salony..." na yan which I saw from your picture then yun warsaw, hula na lang (it takes time to search kay kumpareng google eh hehehe) coz that's the popular city of Poland, pero shadowmoon is smart to guess it first, galing! I can't wait to see your next post.

Garando said...

Thank you very much! Naks, ang galing nyo mag research ah! Bilib ako! ;) I'm glad that you liked the photos. I have a lot more to share! ;)

onyxx said...

re that chess game -- i think you've just been 'had'.

anyways, an interaction with the natives is always heaps better than just recording things in pictures. what's that old guy with a chestful of medals carrying in that package anyway? i hope that's not a sniper rifle :D

Unknown said...

So you tried to deceive everyone heh?
A fast bridge in Amsterdam was enough to make me miss my guess, oh well, we can't win every time right? :)

Garando said...

About that old man, I was actually thinking the same thing when I first saw him. But it's probably a musical instrument, maybe a bugle?

LOL! Well you still did really well in my opinion. You got the country right immediately! ;)

Hannah said...

Thanks for stopping by!

I absolutely LOVE the pictures! They're so colorful and lively :D
I'll make sure to come by more!


Anonymous said...

it looks like a very nice, warm place for something that has warsaw for a name LOL

Sidney said...

Wow! Wonderful images... great street photography!
Nice you got the chance to talk with a local.

Hmmm... I guess you lost your money ! ;-)

Garando said...

Hello. Thanks for visiting my site too! Thanks and I do look forward to seeing you here again. :)

Hi! Thanks for visiting Balut & Natto. Good point! I'm impressed with how much the country has progressed.

Thanks for dropping by and for your comments. Yes, I was actually bound to lose that game. :D

Leamsi said...

very nice photos garando. i like the vivid colors. para ka ng Pro!

so you lost the chess match? =)

Garando said...

Thank you! About the chess match... SECRET! :) I was heavily handicapped pero... secret ulit. Will post it in part 2. hehe.

Alice said...

VERY NICE post, Garando! Love the photos! And the dialogue had me LOLing. Can't wait to know the outcome.

P/S: I can't play chess to save me life...

Anonymous said...

The colors! I like the colors of Warsaw! Vivid. Alive.

I'd be reading more of you. Matalo ka man o manalo sa chess.

Garando said...

Alice Teh:
Thank you! Posting part 2 sometime this week. ;) Here's a tip, apparently the tiny horse things move in an "L". LOL!

Thank you! Glad you liked the photos. :)

aurbie said...

Your photos are really stunning. I tried to sign up to follow your blog, but did not see the "Follow" button.

Garando said...

Hi! Thanks for pointing that out, I realized I left that feature out a long time ago because I wasn't sure how it worked.
It's back now, and I do hope that you still follow my blog. I also got your site in my RSS reader already.

Dennis Villegas said...

Beautiful, crisp and vivid photos! I love the colors of your pictures, I'm envious!

Warsaw looks great, it seems like it had already erased the bad memories of the Second World War.

It's nice and hospitable of you to entertain the old man. I'm glad he beats you because it meant he has extra money for food. Thank you for being so kind.

ms firefly said...

i love love love your pictures! the colors are bursting with life and energy, i had to close my mouth in the end. i have one polish friend, also a volunteer from the charity shop where i work. ^-^

Sleepless In KL said...

very nice pics :) i especially like the shot of the veteran (?) in his uniform and with his medals.

Garando said...

Dennis Villegas:
Thanks! Yeah, it's just very impressive seeing the way how much Poland has moved on after WWII and Soviet regime.
With regards to the old man though, I think it might be one of the things they do over there to pass time and meet people. He'll probably use the money to buy vodka since he looks better off than me. LOL. :D

Ms. Firefly:
Thank you! Nice, they are quite friendly aren't they? I also find them a bit shy. Well, except my friends dun... Makulit yung mga yun eh.

Sleepless in KL:
Hello! thanks for visiting Balut & Natto! Yeah, the veterans in Warsaw really looked very cool and are very well respected by the people as heroes. :)

glenda said...

as always, wonderful photos! and i like the story about the old man and chess...bitin pa ha. sige i'll read the newer blog posts. buti na lang i read the older ones first hehehe!