May 26th ~ Krakow, Poland
Our friends left very early this morning to fly back home to the states. We are on our own once again.
Sometimes you just have to stop and take care of business. In this case it meant doing laundry. A LOT of laundry. In fact every piece of clothing that we have crammed into our suitcases was in need of being washed.
We of course can (and sometimes even do) wash out a few items in our hotel bathroom sink and hang it to dry, hopefully, overnight. But really, let’s be honest here. Who wants to spend their time washing out socks and undies every few days? I know that my sweet hubby sure does not enjoy that.
So, clever guy that he is, Tim located a laundromat for us. It was too far to walk, so we loaded every piece of clothing we had into our two suitcases and had our hotel call us a taxi. I asked our hotel clerk if she would please write down the name of the laundry service and the address for me so I could show the driver. She said she would tell him where to drop us off.
Of course our taxi driver spoke no English, and my Polish is nil. He looks at what is marked on the map, nods his head and off we go.
After several minutes he pulls over, points to a row of buildings and gets our suitcases out of the trunk. We still can’t see the laundromat. Hmmm.
After looking for 10 minutes, and asking several people for assistance, all of which had no idea where a laundry service might be hiding in that area, we finally found a very helpful man who took pity on us.
It turns out that the first driver took us in the complete opposite direction from where we were supposed to go and simply dropped us off. The man we were speaking with (thankfully spoke very good English), called us another taxi, made sure he knew where we needed to go and sent us on our way.
This time we were successful and were greeted by this sign…
We brought our laptops along, planning on doing a bit of travel research while we waited for each load to finish. But, as luck would have it, the young college age girl running the place offered to do the laundry for us – wash, dry and fold, for a very low price. Of course Tim jumped at the opportunity to not have to do it himself. And I certainly did not try to convince him otherwise!
So what to do for a couple of hours? Find a great place to eat of course. Checking on Trip Advisor, Tim located Fab Fusion only a couple of blocks away.
Spinach salad served with pistachio breaded camembert, cherry tomatoes, grapes, fresh pear and ginger flakes and honey vinaigrette.
After a delicious meal we returned to pick up our laundry just as it was completed. They called us a cab, and in just a few short minutes we were back at the hotel.
Sadly, with Tim’s allergies, something he ate did not agree with him and he got wiped out.
The day was not over, and I needed to do some lady grooming. A spa was just down the block. I managed to get a manicure, pedicure, eyebrows plucked and legs waxed.
I feel almost human again!
Tim needed to exchange some more money into Polish Zloty. The current rate is 1 USD to 3.0365 Zloty. When I returned from my nail appointment, he was beating himself up. The exchange office had cheated him and only given him 2.06 instead. He had not caught the error until after he left. So for the $100 he exchanged, he lost about $35 worth.
So, today was a day of learning lessons. Here is what we learned:
1. If going someplace you are not familiar with, or you do not speak the language, make sure that the name and address is clearly written down in the local dialect.
2. When eating out and you have food allergies, even if a place is highly recommended as a “healthy” place to eat, be sure to ask more questions. Having an allergic reaction can range from simply being miserable for a while to life threatening. Thankfully Tim’s are not of the life threatening type.
3. When exchanging money at an exchange office, make sure that BOTH the buy and sell rates are clearly posted before offering up your money. Once they have your money in hand, they will not give it back. Be careful, and deal with a recommended exchange office, bank or your hotel if you can. Some street dealers will also give you counterfeit money or even a worthless currency if you are not careful.
We were fortunate that none of these events were catastrophic. In fact, we just chalked them up as learning experiences. Shame on us for making them, but we are now wiser and more prepared to not make the same mistakes again.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that the lessons learned were not too painful. I am thankful that most people are honest and willing to help a stranger.