On my last morning in Bulgaria the sun came out with great eagerness and people sat outside the cafés for the first time; since the sun had been hiding behind greyly white clouds and rainy weather all my previous time in Burgas.
Even though I felt ready to go to Poland and was quite contend with the things I had seen in Burgas, it felt like the town had suddenly been reborn, and I regretted not having time to jump in the Black sea. Instead I celebrated my final hours there by eating an oyster for the first time, paired with prosecco, and chatting with a very kind Czech girl I had met at the hostel. It was surprisingly tasty, although scary to eat.
Soon I was on my flight setting off into the early evening sky!
The plane landed through a rainstorm that soon became just grey wet weather. I missed the first train and waiting half an hour at the airport station, eager to arrive at the hostel and then find some dinner.
Luckily I had a small umbrella I had bought in Athens, which made it easier to navigate through the rainy Krakow park areas around the old town.
The next days I spend avoiding new places and continuing the style I had adopted in Burgas; sitting in cafés reading, writing and sketching.
One of my favorite coffee shops is called Karma, and I went there twice.
The first time I sketched after photos on my phone; mainly of K and I – as well as one of my mother as a young woman around 20. I challenged myself to draw as fast as possible, so the sketches don’t particularly resemble the pictures, as much as they convey my emotions at the time.
The second time there I sketched after some old photographs I had bought in Athens but that I didn’t find the time to sketch after while in Greece. Once again I tried to sketch at lightning speed.
Another favorite café is Massolit; a sister to the Massolit I also adore in Budapest.
It’s a cosy book café and while I was there they had decorated with fresh flowers.
Here I sketched a bit after a book with old paintings of important looking old fat men.
Awkward Encounters with Old Men
One day I went to a small café close to the big medieval square in the heart of Krakow’s old town. Here I started chatting with a large group of old men, between 75-85 years of age I estimate. They were very talkative and two of them sitting closest to my small table declared themselves as artists.
The first, an eccentrically dressed long haired man with a big crystal in a heavy chain around his neck and a red Chinese blazer, stated how he was a poet. He showed me many small collections of poems he had published and carried around in his bag – unfortunately they were all in Polish, so I couldn’t read them.
It became a bit awkward though, when he wanted to read the palm of my hand, explaining that he could read what type of sexuality women had in their hands. With men it was the noses that revealed it, he added. Shortly after he looked at my palm again and explained he could tell I liked strong lovers, after which he gave me his card. I tried as politely as possible to pull back my hand and just reply ‘how very interesting’, to his palm-reading talents.
The second old man close to me explained how he was a painter. He showed me a YouTube video of one of his rather pretty landscape paintings, but with a rather weird lightning-effect edited into the middle of the painting in a loop of about ten minutes.
After having seen my sketch book, he pointed at his old friend behind him and asked me to sketch him. ‘Certainly’ I replied and did a quick sketch. His friend became so thankful that he bought me a piece of cake when I offered him the sketch.
After that I did another sketch this time of the painter. He also became thankful and insisted of taking a photo of me holding the sketch of him.
It became a bit awkward when he wanted to connect on WhatsApp to send me the photo, which at first seemed fine enough.
However, that day and the following days he kept sending new edited versions of the same photo of me, which I honestly found rather creepy.
So after the second edited version of the photo of me, I tried as politely as possible to explain that I was thankful to have met him and for the photos, but I did not want to stay so much in touch. Luckily he seemed to understand this and hasn’t send me a third version.
I also did a few other sketches of some of the other older men:
Later I talked to an old engineer that had lived in London, and he at some point declared that he enjoyed the conversation so much that he thought he would either adopt me or marry me!
Once again quite awkward, but they all seemed very harmless as well, so I feel it was quite a wonderful memory all the same.
Kiev & K!
Arriving in Kiev I was very focused on getting straight to the apartment K had booked for us.
After a rather confusing trip via airport shuttlebus, train, metro and walking up and down a steep hill a handful of times before getting picked up at a nearby café by one of the apartment rental staff people, I arrived.
Once there I felt both exhausted and impatient to finally see K. He was to arrive late in the evening, so I had quite a few hours to kill. I stocked up on snacks in a local supermarket and watched Netflix until his arrival.
The next day we walked around the city visiting some cool places, many of which my good friend V that has lived in Kiev half a year send me recommendations for. We also went past a beautiful blue church where I found a nice photo spot and asked K to take photos of me.
Now we are sitting in another of V’s great recommendations, a coffee shop called Blue Cup, while I finish this blog post and K read a book.
I’m excited for the next few days we have left here together. Once he flies back to Copenhagen I have a few days in Kiev by myself, before I fly to Vilnius in Lithuania; a city that feels like a second home almost as much as Kaunas were I used to study.
During my Erasmus exchange, Kaunas quickly became a bit small and I started to spend almost every weekend in Vilnius, were there was a bit more cultural opportunities – such as concerts and festivals.
So next week I’ll write you from Lithuania!