Sunday 16th July
Today was largely spent crawling along in slow moving traffic and searching for wifi in a location which satisfies our needy Venn diagram. Because life on the road isn’t always exciting.
Traffic was slow, slow, slow all day, thanks to a fun mixture of road works and accidents. After the 5th car in a row overtook me in a highly dangerous place, only to slam on their brakes as soon as they got in front of me, I started to understand the high accident volume. Polish drivers seem particularly keen on driving on the wrong side of the road for as long as possible during overtaking, meaning occasionally I would be terrified by the sight of a car speeding directly at me on my side of the road, before swerving back into their lane at the last minute, forcing a gap in the packed traffic. Despite driving on the right for over 6 weeks now, my first thought is always “Shit! I’m on the wrong side of the road!” Followed quickly by “No, they’re on the wrong side of the road… and they don’t give a shit!” Which is probably worse, on the whole.
We had a few blogs ready to publish, and all we needed was the wifi to get everything uploaded. Ah wifi. That elusive goal. We thought we were in luck when we passed a petrol station offering free wifi, and excitedly pulled into the car park. But, alas, the wifi wasn’t good enough for uploading pictures, despite us doing the thing where we walked around in circles staring at all our devices, monitoring the fluctuating signal level.
Back in the slow moving traffic, we saw something guaranteed to add excitement to our day; a sign for Tesco Extra!
“Is that the small, local Tesco?” Morgan asked.
“No…” I replied, excitedly. “That’s the really big one!”
Obviously, we left the traffic and found the Tesco, and yes I found the experience very exciting. It was like an English Tesco but with deliberate mistakes; the same paperback novels, but with Polish writing on the front. The same layout, but products I’d never heard of filling the aisles.
I bought up half the shop, delighting in how much cheaper everything is in Poland. I was however, forcibly reminded of England when the check out lady pointedly separated my bagged peppers by colour, in a pointless waste of extra plastic bags. Tesco in England insist on doing this when we buy peppers online, and it drives me mad. At least now I know it’s an international policy.
Morgan stopped me mid flow as I was showing him our shopping haul.
“What did you say that was?” he asked, pointing at a packet covered in Polish writing.
“Cooked chicken” I replied, confidently.
“Uh…” Morgan muttered, inspecting the packet. “They’re uncooked, and they’re… potato dumplings. They do look great, though!”
Of course, he was right, I had indeed mistaken uncooked potato dumplings for cooked chicken. So we fried the dumplings up right there in the car park and had them for lunch. They had sun dried tomatoes all over them, and were indeed very tasty at least.
The giant Tesco had been inside a shopping mall, which amazingly, was dog-friendly. This is perfect, we thought, as we headed back inside with Lex. We can publish all the blogs! But nothing is ever that simple. After circling the mall twice, we concluded there was no seating with electricity and wifi anywhere. Until, we passed by Tesco for the second loop around.
“The Tesco wifi seems to work” said Morgan, staring closely at his phone. “But Lex definitely can’t go in there.” After experimenting with the wifi limits, we found the perfect spot. An ice cream bar across from Tesco was in wifi range, had dog-friendly seating, and there was even a power point in the open plan shop next door, which the lap top charger could reach if needed!
A mere half an hour after entering the mall, we had done it; we had found the magical zone of joy at the centre of our Venn diagram, thanks to a combination of no fewer than 3 businesses. And, we had ice cream!
Our half-hearted plan for today had originally been to go hiking in a national park near Warsaw, but we spent so long eating ice cream and blogging that any thought of physical activity went out the window. Instead, we rocked up at a pretty camp site near the national park called Camping 222 Kaputy.
Lex clearly enjoyed being back in the great outdoors!
We soon set about making our fancy dinner of portobello mushrooms with fried onions, goats cheese and cranberry focaccia. Oh glorious Tesco, how you save us from baked beans in style.
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