I woke up yesterday morning and I almost tried to change my ticket to come later. I have been battling with this cold/ sinus infection for a couple of weeks now, and I thought it was gone, and then suddenly it came back. And I thought I was getting better, but I woke up Sunday morning and was so congested that I thought I couldn't possibly get on an airplane. But after taking enough sudafed and afrin to fill a medicine chest, I was feeling like I could manage. I also started a course of antibiotics, which makes you feel awful and sleepy, but is a necessary evil sometimes. And so I was off.
When I got to JFK I was so excited - people always ask me "Are you excited about your trip?" and I never am, until I arrive at the airport. Then the possibilities of all the adventures I'm about to have suddenly seem very real and I get a surge of adrenaline. The flight was probably about 90 % Polish people, and they were a lively bunch. Everybody was moving around, chatting with their neighbors, roaming the aisles. Everybody broke out into applause when we landed even though it wasn't a particularly turbulent flight or anything - must be a Polish tradition that I don't know about.
When I exited the plane, I just couldn't quite believe I was in Warsaw. I mean, yesterday I was having soup at the Metro Diner and now I'm in Poland. I guess I'm used to traveling and it doesn't phase me to come to a foreign city and figure stuff out, but I often get struck with amazement that it's actually happening and that this is my life. Then some babushka practically knocks me over trying to get her luggage off the conveyer belt and I'm jolted back into reality.
As I rode in the taxi to the hotel, I was thinking about how when I was in Italy, I always felt a little pressure and nerves about communicating in italian, although I loved doing it. But being in Poland, I simply know that I cannot communicate and I don't even try. It's liberating and disappointing all at once. I would certainly prefer to be able to communicate, although knowing I can't even say hello keeps me from having to make decisions about whether or not to engage in conversations with people. You should have seen me in the grocery store trying to explain to the woman that I wanted still water, not sparkling. I saw that the word "gazowana" was on a lot of the bottles so I was saying "nyet gazowana" although I think that might be Russian and not Polish. It worked though, my water is bubble free. I was unsuccessful in trying to locate a pre-paid sim card, but maybe tomorrow near the theater I'll have more luck. Now all I have to do is find the theater for my 10 AM (that'll be 4 AM for me) rehearsal tomorrow, and hopefully sleep a lot between now and then.