I am back from Poland – the 5th time. And my post-trip feeling is nostalgia: I miss Poland.

It was cold and rainy in Warsaw, funny that every Polish thinks that Norway is a damn cold country whereas the truth is Poland is even colder than Norway. I was sick for 3 days because of the cold and had to stay in Ewelina’s flat. But it’s ok, as it’d not any better out there in the cold rain. I sat the whole day at the comfy armchair, reading (or to be more exact, seeing pictures in) her culinary books. Ewelina has a noble but expensive hobby (I guess) of collecting books. She has an awesome bookshelf of several complete or almost complete collection of cookbooks, histories series,cyclopedia and art series. I like particularly the culinary series and the Italian culinary book. They portray so vividly how people live and eat in those countries. I also tried all the napkin foldings in her table etiquette books.

The cold forced me to make myself more at home in her flat. And I had to admit that it’s a so well-equipped flat (hence Ewelina’s attentiveness to small details) that I feel almost like at home. Almost everything I need in the kitchen, except my weird whims, can be found. So what happened in these 3 sick days are that I sat on the chair, sensing how much fitness is present in my body, seeing pictures in the books, and listening to songs from the 80s. These songs were like old friends to me. I grew up listening to these songs from the video tapes we had,  from MTV, and cassette tapes. Another touch of nostalgia!

Before I fell sick, we visited Mark, young Christ, a huge bookshop with so many beautiful stuffs for making necklaces and beads, and other sweetie girlie little stuffs. We bought some CDs there, and I bought my first Polish bakebook without understanding a word written in it. You may ask me so how I will follow the recipes. Isn’t it a crazy idea to buy books in a language you don’t understand? But if you bake long enough, and love baking enough, you’ll soon realize that baking is like music, you will figure out a way to understand it sooner or later. Of course, Mr. Bear is willing to translate the recipes for me. He even suggested it voluntarily, but I bought the book thinking that I can manage it myself. Baking is my world, I don’t need a guide in my world.

After that we went to a restaurant in the Old city. It was a big and empty but quite nice restaurant. Perhaps it takes Gordon Ramsay to diagnose why it fails to attract customers, but we had a huge meal there. Huge! I needed all my strength to swallow most, but not really so, of the food they serve. I could even hide half a sausage for the next breakfast in Mr. Bear’s backpack.

I actually didn’t feel too bad staying indoor for 3 days. Well, I could have done some shopping, but looking at things from the bright side (which we should always do), I saved some money (hmm, or even lots of money) staying at ‘home’. I planned to buy some make-ups, some fancy clothes, even a pair of boots, which I see that I don’t really need for this winter. And what-ever-else I can buy if I set eyes on them. Besides, Ewelina’s flat is really a cute place to stay, so much that I even enjoy being there. That beats being out there in the cold street, and losing money on things I don’t really need.

And in all, the important thing for me is to see Barbara on Friday. And just as planned, after 3 days of rest, I was back to normal on Friday. It was nice to see my old Barbara again, though I didn’t manage to get my hair cut. I immediately made myself at home in her place, just like before. Only that I see that she’s a bit older now. Well, she’s old, but still, she’s like my guardian angel, so warm and so protective. We went out shopping, but soon, I realized that we had a bit difference in taste. I couldn’t tell her that: Basha, that’s only good for your age. We left the Vnese market with a pair of playful red-triped socks, and an extreme cute Norwegian-styled hat.

When B got to know that I needed a new jacket (light colour, thick and with belt), her mission impossible started. She toured around the whole shopping mall, with no door unknocked, no shopkeeper unasked, and in the end, our short list ended with one of the shops in which we had found a red jacket. When we returned, the shopkeeper showed two more which are even better than the first one. It was obvious that B wanted me to buy the red one. She thinks it’s so bright, so playful, and fancy and liven up my face. But my little secret is that I love grey coat. It looks just so elegant, so posh, so catwalky for me. And it even has a hood! B couldn’t even smile at my little dirty betrayal, but after seeing how happy I am with the shopping, she soon cheered up and felt happy herself that she accomplished her mission, though not exactly in the way she wanted.

The next day, we were off to the airport. Nothing went wrong, even though I felt very uncertain about the old plane which transported us back to Norway. And but for the fact that I couldn’t find the small bottles of different alcohol which I fell in love with in the Departure Dutyfree shop (for my baking missions, of course), it was such a nice trip that we both regret that it’s over. Nice flat, nice chatting with nice people, great cheap shopping (oh by the way, I found some very dangerous baking weapons at dirt-cheap price in the mall near Ewelina’s flat, which made my heart bloom with joy, not wither yet now) and so so so good food.

LeRoy mentioned me once as an ‘international’ woman. VNese native living in Norway and married to a Pole, one couldn’t be more ‘international’ than that. For me, I’d call myself a ‘multi-homeland’ person. Now beside Vn, I have Norway and Poland as my homelands, not because I have the permit to stay in these countries, but because they have a good stay in my heart.


VNese Biff Salad Rice noodle


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