Friday, May 29, 2015

Flashback: Coming to Poland

I had just gotten a phone call. It was the type of phone call that could change my future.

"I'm sorry to inform you that our school no longer accepts US government loans."

That's the only part of the conversation that I heard.

I sat in my parents office crying for thirty minutes after that. I had two weeks left until I was supposed to come to Poland, I had already bought the plane tickets, made plans, and then this. TWO WEEKS before I was supposed to come.

I had no idea how I was going to pay for school or what I was going to do. I was totally lost.

I probably should have seen the last minute notice as a sign of things to come. But, me being me I completely ignored it (probably a good thing too!). After I finished crying, my step dad coaxed me out to the living room where we had a good chat. A week later after making some inquiries and after some long hard contemplation I decided that I was going to find a way to make this happen. I was going to go to Poland, I was going to go to medical school.

Thank goodness for Sallie Mae.

I got the money I needed. And two weeks later my father and I landed in Poland for the first time. My Dad being the pioneer that he is opted to take the bus to the hotel versus a taxi like a normal person. We had no idea how to speak the language and no idea where we were going. Luckily some old woman adopted us. She bought us tickets and showed us which stop to get off.

My first thoughts about Poland were, "wow these buildings are really run down." And looking back I was only half right- the outside might be disastrously run down but the inside of most of the buildings are actually quite nice. (Maybe that's a good metaphor for the country?)

After we arrived and got the hotel stuff sorted out we went for what would be the first of many Polish meals. KFC! 

Okay, I know what you're thinking typical Americans! I had just been on an airplane for 13 hours I can eat whatever I want. Plus, KFC in Poland isn't quite the same as in the US, it definitely has more of a fast food vibe here.

My dad stayed for about four days and helped me move into the dormitory. My roommate arrived as we were organizing all the newly purchased items from ikea. Her first words to me were, "If you see any needles I'm diabetic, not a drug addict."

I had no clue how to respond to that so I just said, "I have asthma. My inhaler is in the drawer."

Clearly we both need to work on our introductions.

So something you should know about Polish dorms. They're not the cushy rooms that North American Students are used to. No personal space here. The rooms are small. Very Small. When we laid down in bed at night our feet pretty much touched each other. But, there was something quaint about our room. Yes it was small, but it was about to become home.

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