9 and a half years ago I first came to Warsaw.
9 and a half years ago when I last saw one of my closest friends.
How quickly time flies..
Before leaving Wales for Poland, despite not having much time to overthink, I was worrying, there’s no denying that. I was worried about where I’d live, who my roommate would be, would we get on, will they be really noisy or party a lot. You can never predict these things.
I’m still worrying about what the job will be like. Will I enjoy it? Will the children be nice? Will it be too difficult? It’ll all be revealed over the next week and a half. I’m a natural worrier, anxiety does that to you.
Pre-flight I was looking at photos from my last trip.
My best friend Jakub and somewhere, in Warsaw, that I couldn’t remember.
I’ve been in Warsaw for 48 hours now and it’s been a very positive start.
In the days before I arrived I told myself that it would be noisy and I would have to accept whatever living situation I was in, whoever my neighbours were, etc. And so far, I’ve managed to stay calm despite the TV, angry conversations and clip-clopping of high heels above me. Yoga-type breathing and headphones, focusing on a book or a movie and not being distracted by my phone. I’m doing quite well in all honesty.
I’ve told myself I will not complain about anything and that I have to embrace everything I encounter, good or bad. So far, limited about of complaining. Go Claire! That and my friend Harry and I made a pact that 2019 would be only positives!
It was snowing as I landed and that made it a really positive start to the evening. My new boss picked me up from the airport, carried all my bags and then took me food shopping in Carrefour. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer welcome and he seems like a really friendly person. I picked up the basics like cereal, bread, some fruit and veg and some coconut milk (better and cheaper than alpro #winning)
My boss, Robert, then drove me to the flat and showed me how everything worked. I met my new flatmate, who’s American and seems very nice. The flat is completely furnished with everything I need. I have a bed, desk, two chairs, far too many lamps and lots of storage.
My flatmate, Olivia, and I stayed up until nearly one just chatting about random things and I unpacked a few things like my new bedding, pyjamas and make up wipes.
On Saturday morning I woke up quite early, wanting to get everything unpacked and organised but by 11:30am I was getting bored of it and decided to take a walk to the shopping centre. It was freezing cold but the fresh layer of snow made it all look so magical.
There’s a huge shopping centre called Arkadia just 10 minutes walk away and it has everything from Zara to H&M, a cinema to McDonalds, Carrefour to Costa. Whatever I might need I’ll be able to find it there.
It was busy, as you’d except on the weekend, and I decided to sit in Costa, read my book and watch the world of shoppers go by before meeting my friend.
Around 3pm we went to the Old Town and just wandered around looking at the Christmas decorations, the market and all the beautiful buildings. Well, I did at least. I’m not sure Jakub was so interested as he’s seen it all a million times.
We had so much to catch up on and reminisce over. We grabbed a coffee at a green caffe nero (although it wasn’t vegan?!) before he dropped me off home. It was great!
Sunday, today, was amazing because I woke up to the snow falling out of the sky like crazy. The wind was taking it in all directions and it looked amazing. I quickly dressed, put some make up on and went for a very brisk walk. It was -5 and I certainly felt it. I was freezing.
I walked up to the Museum of the History of Polish Jews (what a mouthful!) and back again. I knew I’d need more layers on later. My flatmate and I met up with another two new teachers and walked over to the Old Town to watch a Three Kings Parade. The atmosphere was lovely and the town was full of families, friends and everyone was wearing paper crowns. The sun came out for a while and the snow stopped falling in the early afternoon.
I was frozen. My hands and feet were so cold that they hurt and after a coffee failed to warm me up at all, I decided it was time to go home. So I parted ways with my colleagues and returned to the warmth of my little room.
I’ve spent the afternoon putting up pictures, organizing my make up, books and other random things I brought with me and now it’s feeling much more like a room of my own.
So overall, I pretty good start to my time in Poland. Let’s hope that it continues as I have my induction day tomorrow and have a week of training before I start teaching.
Stay tuned for more updates! xo