a very important day

And let me tell you why today is a very important day: the sixth Harry Potter book was released! I’ve had the date on my calendar since the start of the voyage, but was worried we might be unable to find English copies of the book in Poland (if it was even released on time here). Thank goodness for some amazing store called Empik Megastore, where we found our books after all (for 99 zloty/$30, the same it would cost brand new in the states). Plus I was able to pick up a Beethoven double-CD for about $10, which I have desperately been yearning for as background music for studying, since the ship is so chaotic all of the time.

We had also planned to go kayaking today to see the city from water-level, but we had a hard time finding specific information about it and also realized (after we got downtown) that we weren’t properly dressed for it. Instead, we spent the day at leisure in the center of the city. We saw some Intel-sponsored bike marathon go flying by, got to devour more delicious Polish baked goods, and also experienced Polish McDonalds (McDonalds has never tasted so good as it has now, compared to ship food!)

Unfortunately, at the end of our nice afternoon downtown, we missed our bus to the ship (which we had timed perfectly!) We were waiting at the bus stop, when our bus, #106, goes flying by. Me, being naïve, thought for some reason that it was going to halt to a stop at the next small bus turnin near us… so I took off pathetically running to try and catch it. I wondered why Amy wasn’t following me and when I turned back in distress, she was waiting nearly where we were standing initially, as she had realized significantly sooner that the bus was nowhere near braking at a stop (I’m pretty sure she was also engulfed in laughter at this point). A couple of older Polish people noticed my dismay and were really kind in trying to help us sort ourselves out… though eventually we discovered through a kiosk that our bus had already stopped about 20 meters before where we were waiting, hidden behind the KFC (yeah, KFC- phaw!) Of course, we made sure we were waiting at the proper stop for the next bus, since they only come every forty minutes or so.

We walked up the gangway for the last time in Gdansk fairly early in the day, but it gave us time to unwind, settle, and write postcards (the usual pre-sailing routine).

No class tomorrow because of the ship Olympics… totally sweet!


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