02 August 2013

Kielbasa and Pierogies, here I come!

“Cześć.”  That’s “hi” in Polish. I’m headed to Poland tomorrow for a film music conference. I love travel, especially international travel.  My first trip abroad was right after I graduated from high school when my family went to England to meet my sister, who had taken her junior year of college abroad in Reading. We traveled around England, including visiting where my father went to boarding school, and to Paris and to Germany, to see the Newman family house (even though my father grew up in China, his family kept their house in Germany for some time). 

Now, it seems like most of my friends take their kids abroad much earlier. The trip instilled the travel bug in me. I spent my own junior year abroad at the University of Regensburg in Bavaria. It’s an exquisitely beautiful medieval town and I still have wonderful memories of that life-changing time. It made me realize that no matter how different our languages are or our cultures, so much more unites us than separates us.  I’ve been to six continents now and I feel like I’m just getting started. 

This will be my first trip to Poland. I’ll be largely confined to Poznan, the town where the fest is held, so I’m a little bummed I don’t have the time to visit Krakow and Warsaw, much less venture out further to Prague and Vienna, two cities that I can’t believe I haven’t been to yet. 

Other than slightly dreading the long flight, I always get so excited before an international adventure. The colors seem a little bit brighter when you visit somewhere new. All your senses are heightened. I generally stay away from meat, but I can't imagine not diving into  some kielbasa and I think I already hear a pierogi calling me from across the ocean. 

Of course, it’s impossible to go to Poland without thinking of the Holocaust, which killed 3 million Polish Jews, including most of those in Poznan, which had been annexed into Germany (I fly into Berlin since that’s closer to Poznan than any major Polish city).

So I go with that weighing on my mind and wonder what reminders of those atrocities, if any, I’ll see on this trip, along with all the beauty that exploring somewhere new always brings. 

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