I arrived in Krakow for my big adventure 6 months ago today. Thus far, it's been everything I hoped for and more.
Life's good in Krakow. In many ways, my life here is not dissimilar to what it was in Toronto. The essentials are still the same - I go to work (a lot), I do my laundry, I shop for groceries, I work out (or talk myself into thinking I do), I go out for dinner, and so on.
But the difference is in the details. Everything here is still new to me. I go out for walks in the old town, or the surrounding streets and I find shops I haven't noticed before, or I see a detail on a building that makes me smile.
Many of my visitors have not known what to expect of Poland. They've been pleasantly surprised by the city, and I think by its vitality and vibrant nature. Krakow is alive these days, as Poland experiences a economic and I think, cultural, revival. I don't see much evidence of the country with a dour recent past, at least among the young twenty and thirty somethings I work with.
Everyone is eager to work - most of the students also have full-time jobs on top of their studies - I can't get one of my students who is working full time and taking her second master's degree to take a day off. Even the horses that pull the tourist carriages in the main square seem impatient to get going; they toss their heads and paw at the ground while they line up waiting for passengers.
Some days I long for the familiar - my friends, my family, the language, comfort foods, and my country, but most of the time I am too excited about visiting a new place, or trying something different to miss Canada.
I look forward to what the next 6 months will bring.