Well I thought the bar for worthless hostel dwellers had been set pretty high last night but I had no idea. Turns out someone in the bachelor party shit in the tub during the night. In retrospect this shouldn’t have come as a surprise as one of the dudes locked himself in the bathroom and passed out there the night before. But still that has to be the worst scatological hostel story i’ve seen since that time Max and I were in Interlaken and a drunk guy on the top bunk of a bed in our dorm room either was too lazy to get out of bed or else pissed himself while sleeping and we watched the guy in the bottom bunk awake to a waterfall of urine cascading over his bed. We about pissed ourselves laughing which woulda worked out ok for me cause I think I was on the top bunk.
Anyway the hostel was trying to kick the whole group out and c
harge them 1500 Zlotneys for a new tub (understandable) and the Brits, in true, arrogant the-sun-once-never-sat-on-the-empire-that-I-never-contributed-anything-to- cept-bad-food-bad-teeth-and-a-continually-disappointing-national-football-squad denied that the culprit was among them and called the embassy trying to get the ambassador to keep them from getting kicked out.
Well they ended up getting to stay their final night though I couldn’t say if it was the ambassador’s influence or the 500 zlotney cash they paid that did the trick.
As if that weren’t entertainment enough it turns out today is some big party day for university students and Krakow is a straight up uni-town. Kinda like Carbondale cept the kegs are of better beer, the buildings are older and they don’t get tear gassed every Halloween. Oh and near as I can tell there aren’t any groups of Vietnamese kids pestering people for nose candy.
Despite that they put on a hell of a show for 1 in the afternoon. Hell I guess it started hours before that, so maybe it isn’t so much like C-Dale. There’s no life there till after noon. But Europe’s largest square was packed with kids in all kinds of ridiculous costumes screaming and cheering and wildly ignoring Poland’s open container laws.
There were devils,
A guy dressed in dead animals,
Walking beer cans,
A caterpillar type thing,
An angry samurai, and the fat shirtless guy in a gas mask (who made for such a striking opening picture). Actually the fat shirtless thing was a popular choice among college aged youth this year, much like going as Borat for Halloween was back home.
There was also a contingent that would’ve looked like they belonged in stock footage of political protests, waving flags around and generally looking like they just wished a tank would come and try to move them.
My favorite were the dozens of Spartan warriors from the recent film 300 who came on stage to proclaim why they fight then dance around waving their cardboard spears before they split up, detailing a sizable contingent to guard the lavatories, thus displaying more tactical skills than anyone in the movie itself.
Then there were these people, who despite being costumed appeared to have nothing to do with the festivities.
Its got to be hard to be that old and suddenly have your niche industry flooded by damn kids who think playing obscure musical instruments while wearing funny hats isnt a serious business.
All this excitement happened to the accompaniment of a power trio fronted by a guy who looks like the bastard offspring of Mike Gordon and the Kramer from Seinfeld’s show within a show. This guy seemed a little behind the times even for eastern Europe as apparently he had not gotten the memo that the 60s are over and so we were treated to some sweet Jimi Hendrix tunes as interpreted by a Polish hippie who probably should start tailoring his aspirations to his skill level.
So a good time had by all. Strangely enough the party dissipated around 3 and I made the mistake of wandering off towards what I believed to be the university section of town.
I had just made it,
and was enjoying some cool graffiti when the cloudless blue skies turned black and unleashed a brief but monstrously violent thunderstorm.
I rode it out best I could in the lee of a storefront watching tree branches smash into cars and even made it back to the hostel with time to change before meeting Lukasz and co.
Again, graced with the wit and indulgent humor of his beautiful girlfriend we discussed the psychology of war photography, rock climbing and what restaurant I should get a job in to avoid returning home. Can I say again that Lukasz is the man? Really, if you clicked on the link and looked at his photos just stop reading my blog. Ill send you a text only version or something. Its embarressing.
Lucasz even took a serious of photos of us pontificating.
Here I am being eruditely loquacious. Wow I look efeminine.
We soon found ourselves back in the bars of the Jewish quarter where our party swelled and I did my part for multiculturalism by teaching them my one great Serbian phrase and in return they taught me Koopa (Polish for shit) and in great good humor encouraged my halting attempts at polish.
Eventually, we bought some beer at a corner store and retired to the dark shadows of the river promenade, where we drank illegally and harmlessly harassed people who passed by. It wasn’t enough I got to tag along with the locals, I got to tag along with the kinda locals your parents warn you about when you are a kid.
Eventually when the party was splitting up I again tagged along this time with Anya and Daniel (everyone was so cool about putting up with the idiot in the bandana) to a bar/club where I had a drink or so before eventually calling it a night and actually, surprisingly getting some sleep uninterrupted by Brits shitting, fucking or falling.