PSYCHOLOGY, HISTORY, AND MUSIC IN POLAND JULY 4-18, 2011
In July of 2011, I spent two weeks in Poland. I presented a paper at an International Association of Relationship Research conference in Gdansk, Poland, based on my online Intimate Relationships research in collaboration with colleagues in other countries. I traveled by train to other cities in Poland, where I went sightseeing in Warsaw, Krakow, and Zakopane [PHOTO 1]. I found great dance clubs in Zakopane and Krakow. Before describing my adventures, I will mention some history of Poland, which provides the context for what I saw. I have posted 54 pictures at the website http://polandjuly2011.shutterfly.com/pictures/63 and have identified them in this travelogue.
I learned the following from the Eastern Europe 2008 edition of my favorite guidebook series Let's Go, which is written by students at Harvard for students, supplemented by information I learned from museums in Poland. In 966 AD, a prince united local tribes and in 1025 his son was crowned Poland's first king. The country was devastated by Mongols in 1241, but was prosperous by the 14th century, and under King Casimir the Great, became a refuge for Jews expelled from Western Europe. This explains the origin of the old Jewish areas I saw in Warsaw and Krakow.
When Casimir died in 1370, Teutonic Knights took over East Prussia and cut off the Baltic Sea. The Teutonic Knights were German monks who had fought in the Crusades. They established a castle they called Marienburg, but the Poles call Malbork, close to the Baltic Sea near Gdansk, which I toured.
Polish nobles married Casimir's daughter to the Duke of Lithuania, and the combined forces defeated the Teutonic Order in 1410. In 1569 the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was established with an elected king, but there were wars with Sweden, Turkey, and Muscovy. There was civil war in 1768, followed by the First Partition of Poland, in which Austria, Prussia, and Russia each took Polish lands. After additional partitions in 1793 and 1795, Poland became dominated by Russia until it briefly became independent in 1918.
In 1939 a secret Nazi-Soviet pact divided Poland, and Germany seized the western two-thirds and the USSR seized the eastern third [PHOTO 2]. Concentration camps were set up in which over six million Poles, including three million Jews, were killed. I decided not to go to Auschwitz, where the Nazis had killed the most Jews and others, since I had previously visited Dachau in Germany, and I still have vivid memories of the photos of piles of bodies, gold fillings, clothing, and other belongings, as well as objects such as lampshades made of human skin. It had a profound effect on me, and is one of the reasons why I teach about prejudice.
In 1943 there was a Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and in 1944 a general Warsaw Uprising, in response to which Nazis destroyed most of the city. I saw the Castle and Old Town that had been carefully rebuilt. The soviets didn't fight the Nazis, but took over afterward, establishing a communist regime.
Following unsuccessful strikes in 1956, 1868, and 1970, the election of the first Polish Pope in 1978 (who took the name John Paul II) inspired Lech Walesa to form the independent workers' union Solidarity in 1978. I visited the Gdansk shipyards where Walesa had worked as an electrician. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, there was a peaceful transition to non-Communism, which helped promote similar changes across Eastern Europe. Poland joined the European Union in 2004, but still has its own currency instead of adopting the Euro. One PLN is worth about 40 US cents.
TRAVEL TO GDANSK JULY 4-5
I had trouble sleeping the night before my flight since I was excited about the trip. I went to the Los Angeles International airport three hours early to request bulkhead seating, so I would have room for my long legs, since I couldn't reserve it ahead. The overnight flight to Munich was about 12 hours, and I was able to sleep a couple of hours after drinking some wine. I changed planes in Munich for an hour flight to Gdansk. They were pleasant flights.
While waiting for my bag in the Gdansk airport, I decided to exchange some US cash into Polish currency in case there wasnÕt any ATM machine. It was a good thing that I did, because in the main terminal the ATM machine said my bank refused my debit card. I needed the Polish currency to pay the driver of the shuttle that I had reserved to take me to my hotel.
After checking in at the hotel, and getting the wifi code, I used my netbook computer to read my email and found an alert from my bank about suspicious activity. I called the phone number using Skype, and was able to get my debit card unblocked so I could withdraw more Polish currency later.
I often stay in youth hostels while traveling, but reserve a private room in advance so I don't have to lock my belongings in a locker and be concerned about waking others or being awaked by others after clubbing late. But I heard that it was hot and humid in Poland last July, so I decided to reserve rooms in the least expensive hotels that had air-conditioning on this trip. It turned out that air conditioning wasn't needed this year, except the last two days of my trip.
I went to bed at midnight Polish time, which was only 3 PM LA time. I took a tablet of melatonin (which the brain releases to make you sleepy) to help me sleep, but I only slept 3 hours. I tried to sleep for another 3 hours before giving up and reading my email.
TOUR OF SZYMBARK JULY 6
I had breakfast at the hotel with Christina, a colleague from Whittier who had a room across the hall. When I had originally told her about the conference, she had decided to go too. There was a large spread of breakfast meats, fruits, breads, and jams [PHOTO 3]. This is a traditional Polish breakfast. We walked three-quarters of a mile to the train station and took a commuter train to the University where we joined five other faculty and two grad students for a pre-conference tour.
We rode in a large van about an hour out of town to Szymbark, where there is an open-air museum in a forest area where logging has been important. It has a wooden house brought about five thousand miles from Siberia, where Poles had been sent by Russia when Russia controlled Poland [PHOTO 4]. It also has a replica of a concentration camp where some Poles had been kept in Siberia, similar to ones that held Jews during World War II [PHOTO 5]. There are other log cabins as well.
The strangest building was a house that was built upside down, to express the turmoil when Communism ended in Poland in 1989 [PHOTO 6]. The roof and chimney were on the ground, and the house was tilted so walking in it was difficult in addition to the disorientation of the walking on what looked like the ceiling. On the way back, we stopped for dinner in mid-afternoon, which is the Polish custom for the largest meal of the day. It was nice spending the day getting acquainted with new colleagues.
Christina and I took the commuter train back to central Gdansk and walked back to the hotel on Long Street, a wide pedestrian avenue lined with sidewalk cafes and five-story tall baroque buildings [PHOTO 7]. It also had several places selling ice cream, and I often bought a cone when I walked by [PHOTO 8]. While the street had been almost empty at 8 in the morning, in the late afternoon it was full of people, including several street musicians. Walking helped wake me up, since I began feeling sleepy at 3 PM Poland time, which was midnight Los Angeles time.
After relaxing at the hotel for an hour, we walked along the river and saw a large boat that looked like an old pirate ship that offered tour of the harbor. So we spent an hour cruising under power and passed the shipyards where Lech Walesa started the Solidarity trade union movement in 1980. We then stopped at a restaurant for dinner before going back to the hotel.
I went to sleep at midnight, and then woke up at 3 AM. I took a melatonin and was able to sleep until I got a wakeup call at 6:45, so I felt more rested.
FIRST DAY OF CONFERENCE JULY 7
After breakfast at the hotel, Christina and I again walked through Long Street to the train station and took the commuter train to the university, as we did each day in Gdansk.
At the conference on relationship research [PHOTO 9], the talks were very interesting. Phil Shaver talked about his research on adult attachment, which builds on previous research on infant attachment. Ainsworth had found that infants could be securely attached, anxiously attached, or avoidant toward their caregivers. Similarly, adults vary in their anxiety about losing relationships, and also vary in the extent to which they seek or avoid relationships. Shaver reported his new findings that those less anxious and less avoidant are more compassionate toward others, and less prejudiced toward others who are different.
Other presenters talked about friendship, various aspects of romantic relationships, marriage, and parenting, as well as memory for traumatic events. I not only took notes, but also some photographs of PowerPoint slides that had key theories, findings, or references. My latest digital camera has a low-light feature, so I can take pictures of slides, whereas flash would wash out the slides and be distracting to the speakers. It is small enough that I carry it in my pocket all the time.
During the coffee breaks and lunch, I met colleagues who are interested in collaborating on my online Intimate Relationships research, which is at https://cf2.whittier.edu/chill/ir [PHOTO10], by translating it into other languages and/or recruiting in other countries. In the evening there was a wine reception, where we could look at two-dozen posters presenting findings.
Four colleagues who were staying in student hostels near the University wanted to see central Gdansk, so they took the commuter train with Christina and me for a walk on Long Street and the side street along the river. We had dinner and listened to several street musicians. A violin and an accordion were playing Mozart and other classical music.
SECOND DAY OF CONFERENCE JULY 8
There were more interesting talks, and I gave my presentation, "Correlates of commitment in intimate relationships: Are they similar across cultures?" [PHOTO 11]. I described the cross-cultural online study that I am conducting in collaboration with colleagues around the world, and presented initial data comparing students in LA, New York, Argentina, and Spain. For both men and women in all four groups, commitment to remain in the relationship was correlated with measures of love, self-disclosure, expressions of affection, certainty of partner's affection, parents and others knowing and approving of partner, perceived similarity on willingness to have children, not having sex outside the relationship, and other measures. I also talked about some relevant findings of the Boston Couples Study, which I had previously conducted with Zick Rubin and Anne Peplau. My talk had a great response, including more offers to collaborate on my cross-cultural research.
In the mid-afternoon, all of the conference participants took buses to the Gdansk shipyards [PHOTO 12], to see where Lech Walesa [PHOTO 13] had worked and had started the Solidarity Movement. Ships are no longer being built there, although some repairs are being done. Most of the buildings are scheduled to be demolished for a housing project.
From the shipyards we all walked a few blocks to a restaurant with a view of the city, where we had a private dinner. In the adjacent room there was a DJ with dance music for us, but most people left, and only three of us danced for a while. On the way back I found two dance clubs near my hotel, but neither had anyone dancing yet and I had to get up at 6:30 AM to get to the conference so I reluctantly went to bed.
THIRD DAY OF CONFERENCE JULY 9
Christina gave her presentation on sexuality, which was well received, then she left by train to see more of Europe and meet relatives. There also were other interesting talks on sexuality, conflict, social support, and additional topics. During the breaks, I asked if others would like to go to Sopot after the conference, and nine of us did. Sopot is a beach town four commuter-train stops beyond the university, which is five train stops from central Gdansk. Sopot has a big square [PHOTO 14], many sidewalk cafes, and a long pier jutting into the Baltic Sea. We walked out on the pier, and then ate dinner at one of the outdoor restaurants along the shore.
TOUR OF MALBORK CASTLE JULY 10
The next morning I went back to the university to join nine others on a tour of the castle that was the commanding fortress of a network of 120 castles of the Teutonic Knights. The castle had been badly damaged during World War II [PHOTO 15], but all of it was reconstructed except for the cathedral [PHOTO 16]. The tour guide showed us a wall that had patches of different colored bricks from repairs at different times [PHOTO 17].
There were displays of writing seals, stained glass, weapons, and amber jewelry. Amber had been a major source of wealth in the past, since they had the exclusive right to export it, and there still are many shops selling amber jewelry in Gdansk.
The castle had toilets inside that were like outhouses, with cabbage leaves to use since there was no toilet paper! Also interesting was the way they heated certain rooms, by having a fire that heated rocks in a space below the floor, then opening holes in the floor to let hot air up after the fire was put out [PHOTO 18].
After the tour, I did some sightseeing in Gdansk. I saw historical buildings that were not on Long Street, including several cathedrals with stained glass windows. In the past when I have taken photos of stained glass windows without flash, my camera overexposed the windows due to the darkness around them, which washed out the colors. But I was able to easily set the exposure down two f-stops on my current camera, and the colors turned out well [PHOTO 19].
TRAIN TRAVEL TO WARSAW JULY 11
I had purchased a Eurail Pass for Poland, which you can only buy outside of Europe. A flex pass that allowed five days of travel in one month was cheaper than separate fares for the four trips I had planned. Since the express trains I wanted required seat reservations, I had emailed a conference organizer to buy seat reservations for me in advance. I was glad that I had a first class ticket, which gave me a compartment with six seats and more legroom (like on the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter movies) [PHOTO 20], instead of the crowded second class cars that had seats arranged like on a bus. The trip to Warsaw took over six hours, through farmlands [PHOTO 21] and birch forests. I spent a couple of hours going over the sightseeing listings from my guidebook and figuring out where everything was on a map, as I usually do on my way to a new city.
It was tiring carrying my luggage from the train station to my hotel, since it was farther than I expected. On the map it looked like six blocks, but each block was about three normal blocks long, so the distance was more like a mile. I had my clothes in an internal frame backpack on my back, which I had checked on the planes. I had my netbook computer, camera battery charger, US & European cellphones and chargers, and other electronics, along with xeroxed pages from my guidebook, receipts for reservations, medicines, and my jacket, in a daypack on my front, which I had carried onto the planes. I carry my daypack on planes since it has items that are harder to replace while traveling than my clothes.
The medicines that I always carry while traveling abroad include ibuprofen, antacids, allergy meds, melatonin for jetlag, lactase for lactose intolerance (so I can eat ice cream, cheese, and other dairy products), anti-diarrhea meds, and Cipro, a powerful antibiotic in case I get sick from eating food from street vendors which is cheap and good. Fortunately I didn't need any of these except melatonin on this trip.
My internal frame backpack has a small daypack that can be unzipped. I use it to carry guidebook pages, a water bottle, and my jacket, when I can leave my big pack and other daypack locked up.
After checking into my hotel, I walked back to the train station and bought a weekly bus and tram pass, so I wouldn't have to hassle buying a ticket each time I boarded. It was very convenient, since I could hop on and off any bus or tram going in the direction I wanted, and I never had to wait more than 5 minutes. Sometimes the bus or tram would turn and go a different direction before getting to where I wanted, but then I would hop on another one going back!
The train station has a maze of underground tunnels with shops connecting the tracks with the sidewalks, buses, and tramlines all around it. A couple of times I came up and had to go back down to get where I wanted to be. I took a bus east to a bookstore recommended by my guidebook, to get a map of Warsaw that included all the bus and tram routes, and a small Polish-English dictionary that I could carry in my pocket and use to read menus and signs. I tore out the part of the map for the central area so I could carry it easily in my pocket.
Polish is a Slavic language, so it is harder to figure out written words in Polish than in Western European languages. Since I have studied Spanish, French, German, and Danish, I can recognize some words in those languages and in related others like Italian and Dutch. Unlike Russian that is written in Cyrillic letters, Polish is written in Roman letters, with a few additional letters, like an L with a slanted slash through it that is pronounced like a kind of W. So it is easier to look up in a dictionary, but I didn't need to do that very often since most young people, and others in the tourist industry, have studied English. That is true throughout most of the world now, especially in big cities. And Warsaw is a big city, with many tall buildings made of glass [PHOTO 22].
I took another bus down the main shopping street, and then walked to the location of a couple of dance clubs to see where they were. Neither was open on Monday night, they were in isolated areas away from pubs and cafes, and they were farther away than they looked on the map, which didn't bode well for walking back late at night. So clubbing in Warsaw wasn't very promising. I found the Cultural Center, which has a 33rd floor observation deck, but it had already closed. So I took a tram back to my hotel.
SIGHTSEEING IN WARSAW JULY 12
My hotel did not provide breakfast, but there was a French cafe across the street that did. It was relatively expensive ($10) but the crust on the bread was crisp the way I like it. I took buses to the University of Warsaw, and visited several churches on the way to the Castle. In one church a group of young people were arranging chairs for a concert, which I later attended that evening.
The castle was in rubble after Nazi bombing in World War II [PHOTO 23], but was reconstructed [PHOTO 24]. It has beautiful rooms with gold trim along the ceilings, and many paintings. There is a huge square in front of the castle, and close to the castle is a narrow street that has two ice cream stands, where I bought a cone, of course, and two more churches that I explored, on the way to the Old Town Square.
In the Old Town Square there were many sidewalk cafes. In the center there was a fountain with a statue of a mermaid defending the city, and young kids were wading in the water [PHOTO 25]. Along one side of the square were posters depicting events in the history of Warsaw, since the city history museum was closed for renovations. Just north of the square was the Barbican, a U-shaped fortification for defense of the city in the past [PHOTO 26], along with a section of the old city wall and a dry moat. Beyond the Barbican, there were four more churches, one of which had beautiful stained glass windows.
Nearby was the Madam Curie Museum, which had photos of her family and her chemistry labs [PHOTO 27]. She was born in Warsaw, but did her pioneering work in France. She and her husband and another researcher won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1902 for discovering radium. In 1910 she won a second Nobel Prize in chemistry. As a result of her research on radioactivity, she died of leukemia at the age of 66.
While walking I saw a tour group in which everyone was wearing headphones, and the leader was speaking softly into a microphone. This was so much better than tour groups in which the leader has used a loud bullhorn. It was especially annoying in quiet gardens in Japan in the past.
After a long walk I found the memorial to the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, which led the Nazis to level the city just three months before the war ended [PHOTO 28]. Across the street was a cathedral to the war dead, with the names of fallen soldiers in a mausoleum. I also found an old synagogue, which is about the only reminder of what was once the Warsaw Ghetto, where Nazis had built a wall and confined Jews before killing the inhabitants and leveling the area after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.
I took buses back to the huge square in front of the castle, and listened to two street musicians playing Bach organ music on accordions. I then attended the concert in the church where I had seen them setting up chairs in the morning. It was a group of students from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. The strings and woodwinds were in the front of the church [PHOTO 29], and the brass was in the organ loft behind, and the music filled the church. They played music by Sibelius, Stravinsky, and a 23-year-old Dutch composer named Rogier Brand!
After the concert, I walked up to the top of a tower for a great view of the Castle Square [PHOTO 30]. Then I watched a street performer who was twirling, throwing, and catching a bar with fire on each end, as it was getting dark outside [PHOTO 31].
MORE SIGHTSEEING IN WARSAW JULY 13
After breakfast at the French cafe again, I went to the Warsaw Uprising Museum, which had many photos and displays of events and fighting during the uprising. There had been a secret radio station to coordinate activities, and a sewer line through which troops moved and people tried to escape. A three-dimensional movie showed what remained of Warsaw after the Nazi bombing.
After lunch I visited the National Museum of art. A great deal of the art was religious, reflecting the strong influence of the Catholic Church in the country over the centuries. There also were some landscapes, depictions of village life, and sculptures that I liked.
I then took buses south to the huge Botanical Garden. It had the Old Orangery museum, with many Greek, Roman, and other sculptures that I appreciated. It also had a contemporary art museum that I found less interesting. And it had a large monument to Chopin with a reflecting pool and a rose garden [PHOTO 32]. Chopin grew up in Warsaw, and then settled in Paris where he died at age 39 after composing primarily solo piano music.
By the bus stop I found a pavilion with a roof that was supposed to represent a UFO, with young people dancing and kids playing in a wading pool [PHOTO 33]. There was a sign indicating that there had been a series of evening concerts in the past. I listened to the music for a while to rest my feet after walking all over the Botanical Garden, then took buses back to the castle square and Old Town square area, since that was where there was activity in the evening. After listening to more street musicians, I took buses back to my hotel.
TRAIN TRAVEL TO KRAKOW JULY 14
I had been warned that there might be lengthy delays taking the train from Warsaw to Krakow, since the tracks were being upgraded for the soccer playoffs in 2012. A colleague had told me about an inexpensive bus, but it only went late at night, so I took the train knowing that the seats would be more comfortable. It turned out that the train was not delayed and made it in just over 3 hours, passing farmlands along the way [PHOTO 34].
In Krakow, the map was not misleading, and my hotel was within walking distance of both the train station and the Old Town Square. While I was eating in a sidewalk cafe, it started raining, so after dinner I went back to my hotel for my umbrella but then the rain stopped. In the middle of the square was a long building that had been a market for cloth, so it effectively divided the square into two sides. On one side was a tall tower at one end of the square [PHOTO 35], and on the other side was a large cathedral on the edge of the square [PHOTO 36]. I watched some break dancers, then walked south of the square to see three churches. Along the way I found an ice cream shop with wonderful flavors (PHOTO 37]. The last church advertised a concert that evening [PHOTO 38], so I went back there a little later to listen to the concert, which was a mixture of classical music and movie themes. Afterward I walked back to the square and watched a break dancing group and then more fire twirlers [PHOTO 39]. I found a jazz club and listened there for a set.
TRAIN TRAVEL TO ZAKOPANE JULY 15
A polish colleague had recommended that I visit Zakopane in the mountains south of Krakow. It is a ski resort in the winter, and a hiking base in the summer. It took three and a half hours to get there from Krakow. The long main street was lined with cafes and shops, and filled with thousands of tourists [PHOTO 40]. After checking in at my hotel, I quickly walked to the Tatraniskie Museum before it closed. It had many exhibits showing what homes [PHOTO 41] and clothing [PHOTO 42] and tools had been like in the mountains in the past. It also had three-dimensional displays of the Tatra Mountains, and exhibits telling about the geology of the mountains, as well as taxidermy animals including elk, bear, fox, and goat.
I walked to the west end of town, ate dinner, and then rode a funicular up to the top of the mountain. It had rained while I was eating dinner, but then stopped. From the top there was a great view of the town in the valley below and the row of mountains on the other side of the valley [PHOTO 43]. Back down, I was curious about all the stalls along that end of the road selling what looked like carved wooden pellets about six inches long and three inches in diameter [PHOTO 44]. It turned out that it was smoked cheese, so I bought one to take home to Whittier.
Walking to the other end of town, I found four dance clubs. One had older couples dancing to 1950s music, another had older couples dancing to Polish folk music, and the third which was the largest was going to have a hip hop concert instead of dancing. Finally I found a fourth, which had thumping electronic music. As soon as I heard it I perked up and forgot that my feet were sore from walking so much. There already were people dancing at 10:30 and I stayed 3 hours. Several times when I got hot and sweaty, I drank a Sprite to stay hydrated. I decided not to have my usual Heineken beer since it would dehydrate me. People were dancing more energetically than usual, so my energetic dance moves were not so distinctive, but after a while some groups were imitating my dance moves anyway, as they often do.
Back at my hotel, there was a fan outside below my window, so I slept with my head at the foot of the bed, wore earplugs as I usually do at night, but also put my hands over my ears since I am sensitive to noise when I sleep.
MORE SIGHTSEEING IN ZAKOPANE AND KRAKOW JULY 16
After breakfast in the hotel, I walked to the cathedral for a quick look, then quite aways farther to Willa Atma (Soul Villa), which had a metal roof typical of mountain homes there [PHOTO 45]. It was the home of Karol Szymanowski, the second most famous Polish composer after Chopin, and had pictures of his life.
I then visited another church, which had an old cemetery with wooden and stone statues instead of headstones [PHOTO 46]. A second museum showed what mountain life was like in the past. It had the wooden forms used for making the smoked cheese that I had seen and bought [PHOTO 47], and a tall ceramic stove instead of a fireplace. It also had portraits by Witkiewicz that looked like caricatures drawn by street artists, which were intended to show psychological traits [PHOTO 48].
In the mid-afternoon, I took the train back to Krakow. I was staying in a different hotel that was farther from the train station than before, so I decided to take a taxi. The $6 charge was worth it not to be tired and sweaty, since it was warmer than it had been earlier in the week. After checking in, I quickly walked to a square next to the Old Town Square that had a free jazz concert. The concert had already started, and the chairs set up were filled with a thousand or more people [PHOTO 49], but I found a space to sit on a step by a planter. I had learned about the concert from "Krakow in Your Pocket," one of a series of city guidebooks that can be downloaded free from the web.
The concert ended at
10 and I was tired, but I thought I would check out a dance club that I had
read about on the train. IÕm glad I did, since I was wide-awake once I
started dancing. I danced until 1 AM and didnÕt get as hot and sweaty
even though it was crowded since it had fairly good air conditioning
LAST DAY SIGHTSEEING IN KRAKOW JULY 17
I spent most of the day in the Wawel castle, which is south of the Old Town Square [PHOTO 50]. I had to wait in line for an hour to get tickets after fifty other people, since each person had to indicate which of the many parts of the castle they wanted to pay to see [PHOTO 51]. When someone else in line complained to a guard, I made the comment that this was the most inefficient ticket system in the world. Another person said that Russia is the worst, and she is from Russia!
I explored the state rooms, which had many tapestries and paintings; the crown treasury and armory, which had bows, swords, rifles, and canons, as well as various kinds of armor; archeological digs; an underground cave called Dragon's Den; and had a guided tour of the Royal Private Apartments, which had huge rooms for bedrooms. No photos were allowed inside the castle, whereas usually photos are allowed without flash.
I then toured the old Jewish district south of the castle. I saw the old synagogue, that is now a museum, but it had closed earlier [PHOTO 52]. I also visited a small synagogue, which had an old Jewish cemetery. I noticed that there were small rocks on headstones and crypts [PHOTO 53]. I asked a woman who was also visiting the cemetery about it, and she said that family members would place a rock when they visited. There are only about 100 Jews in Krakow now whereas there were 70,000 before WWII. I then had dinner at a restaurant with live Klezmer music that I listened to for about 2 hours [PHOTO 54].
It was relatively hot that day, 86 F from 10 AM to 8 PM, so I kept drinking liquids all day. For once I really needed the air conditioning in my hotel so I could cool off when I got back
FLIGHTS BACK TO LA JULY 18
I took a taxi to the airport in Krakow, so I wouldn't have to carry my backpacks to the train station, take a train, then a shuttle bus. For my flight from Krakow to Munich, I had a seat reserved at the front of the economy section, but instead of a bulkhead there was no extra space behind the two business class rows.
On the flight from Munich to Los Angeles, the bulkhead seats were all taken, so I was given an exit row seat. But it was in the center section, so it did not have extra room like those on the two sides of the plane. As a result I was cramped and uncomfortable for the entire 12-hour flight. I should have asked a stewardess to move me when I entered the plane; next time I will. I wasn't able to sleep, and when I got home I had a sore throat. But I was fortunate that I was not sick while I was in Poland.
As usual, one of the best parts of the trip was meeting people at the conference and while traveling. I had brought an eight-hundred-page book along to read while traveling, but only read a third of it since I was talking to other travelers.