Last night, Ola took me to a very cool, hidden bar in the Gdansk Shipyard. Its out of the way and no tourists would ever know about it. The bar eschews Mondrian influence. We met Ola’s graphic design friend and co-worker, Paga, there. A gallery attaches to the bar and Ola tells me that this place is packed with young people dancing and music on weekends. We are the only ones sitting at classy tan, block seats this Wednesday evening though. When we finish our drinks, we head to a traditional Polish restaurant. I ordered Kasva to drink – a soda of sorts, which has a rye bread flavor hard to explain. I like it! I ordered yummy cabbage/mushroom pierroges. Ola ordered traditional Polish rye soup, zurek, with egg and ham and garlic mashed potatoes on the side to dip in. Paga ordered crispy potato wedges and some kind of ground ham steak smothered in creamy mushroom sauce. I got to sample the other dishes, just avoiding the ham.
We talked about design, traveling, work life, buying a house vs. not (and the freedom and responsibility given up or kept in either option) – how if you buy a house then you’re stuck with the pressure of keeping a job to maintain the house and then sometimes you’ll end up just working all the time and not even having the time to enjoy the place you are working to support. But then, if you’re renting, the money is not getting invested in anything tangible – but it is an investment in the freedom to pick up and leave and travel! (so the 2nd option is my choice for now, until/unless I have a family). We discussed relationships and boys. And of course we talked about food in different countries! We became friends instantly and if I were staying for the weekend, I would get to go bike riding with them on the super-long bike path that stretches along the coast – passing through the tri-cities of Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia. This attraction to the city and the people only means I’ll just have to come back with more time on my hands – maybe for one of the numerous cool music festivals happening here during the summers!