My last minute decision to end my summer trip in Poland was not wrong. To be honest, I was curious of this country and has never given it any thought until I met a friend from Poland. So off I went to Poznań (and a day in Warsaw) early this month to discover what’s there and be surprised by a thing or two.
“How about attending a wedding party while you’re here?” a friend had asked me. I thought hmm why not, a Polish wedding? Count me in! Of course at that time I didn’t know what I was expecting.
Eat, Drink, Dance!
I have never been to a European-style wedding, if you can call it that. My familiarity with wedding is only limited to Indonesian ones, where eating is the main activity and pictures with the happy couple…and of course there is always the occasional weird aunts or uncles singing falsely to some old nostalgic Indonesian songs. For me, Indonesian weddings are exhausting and not enough fun.
So, I wasn’t really prepared for a Polish wedding. The one I attended was a modern Polish wedding, so less traditions but was still packed with food, vodka and music. As I entered, people were staring at me. I don’t blame them, I was the only Asian and non-Polish speaker in the entire room. I congratulated my friends, the bride and groom, then headed for my seat where a bowl of Rosol was already waiting for me. The girl seated next to me started telling me about the food and warned me of more food to come later. I smiled, not really knowing what she meant and slurped my soup.
After a few hours, a pattern occured: eat, drink, dance – repeat until morning. I had SO MUCH FUN, I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun at a wedding (err, probably never!). I also love the way we interacted with each other through dance, you don’t even have to know Polish to do that. The food was flowing all through the night and the best vodka could be found at every table. It was amazing and I loved every moment of it. Even with my feet hurting from too much dancing, I couldn’t stop being giddy. Thank you for the special couple who invited me and shared your special day with me, you guys are amazing together!
Vodka? Don’t forget popitka!
Vodka should not be drank alone, did you know that? I didn’t, until my Polish friend practically screamed the word popitka, dude we need popitka with vodka! What the hell is a popitka, I thought at that time, and why is he insisting so much?
So basically popitka is a friend of vodka, usually it’s juice to ease your gulps of vodka. Of course every Polish in the whole wide world know what it is. So there I was with some Polish friends, gulping down the best vodka in town with a glass of popitka for every shot. I’m not a fan of vodka, but you know this popitka really does make drinking vodka easier. The Polish believe having a popitka is extremely important when drinking vodka, and I completely agree with them. So, next time you have vodka, don’t forget your popitka!
To the Milky Bar we go!
I don’t know why, but I get hungry easily in Poland. Perhaps it was because of the many traditional restaurants scattered everywhere or perhaps just the many variety of food that I have never tried before. As usual, I always try to eat like a local and it’s so much easier when you’re travelling with the locals. My Polish friends dragged me to a bar mleczny – which roughly translates to milky bar. It’s a cheap, local, traditional cafeteria where many Polish spend their meals. If you want an authentic Polish cuisine, it’s here you must go to.
As I entered, I was overwhelmed by the huge menu, written in Polish so I didn’t really know what each one was. I decided to be surprised and asked my friend to order anything for me. So, after several minutes of waiting, the lady behind the kitchen called some Polish dish and came two nalesniki in front of me. Nalesniki is Polish crepes, mine was filled with strawberry and sprinkled with sugar. I can’t even tell you in words how delicious it was for me. I also couldn’t resist to try my friend’s placki ziemniaczane (potato pancake) which was also covered in sugar – a very tasty and weird combination for me. Oh, Polish food I do love…I do!!
My stay in Poland was an absolute treat and I would definitely do the wedding, popitka and milky bar all over again! Ever been to Poland? Share your experience!