Work called the husband to the city of Wroclaw in Poland, and I went along. The first challenge was met in the correct pronunciation of the city's name (something like vrotsvaf... I hope I got that right), and that is how the story starts. It is a city where we had no understanding of the language, and more so the pronunciation, but that ultimately proved to be an absolutely invalid concern.
Our days typically used to start with the lovely breakfast spread at our hotel, after which the husband would rush off to work. I, on the other hand, made it my job to wander around and explore the city on foot. Equipped with all the literature on the city that I could amass, I used to walk around the city to experience the aromas and sights of Wroclaw. The days would see me wander around and learn something exciting about the city, and evenings had me explaining my discoveries to the husband who by then would be free to spend time with me. Being a travel enthusiast himself, he encouraged me to go further into the city the days after.
Before I begin penning my thoughts on the city, I must bring to light the fact that the city has had a gory history, having been almost completely destroyed after the second world war. However, in this drawback lies it's strength. I shall now explain myself.
My first destination was the city center, for obvious reasons. The first thing that struck me was the sudden outpour of colours. Rynek, as the center square is called, is an architectural delight. Most of the center was destroyed during the War and has been recently restored to its current eye catching state.
Right next to Rynek and quite visible from the square, was a huge poster of Amitabh Bachchan. It took me a few seconds to recover from the confusion on the country I was in. It was being used by an Indian restaurant as an advertisement to attract the tourists. the restaurant, by the way, offers the most genuine Indian food.
A short walk from Rynek is the University of Wroclaw. A group of islands on the river Oder, with their delightful gardens, bridges and gothic cathedrals, were the next on my route to nowhere in particular. I would then spend hours daily sitting with a book on one of the islands facing the University.
Week-ends were when I would savour all these sights again... this time with the husband. I felt like quite a tourist guide to him on these occasions as I would recount all that I had gathered and vomit out all the information before him. Polish food was tried on these occasions, and it proved to be quite satisfactory to our palates. The vodka however, in it's local hues and flavours, was the icing on the already delightful cake. We tried a few flavoured vodkas and some of the flavours found their way into our suitcase when we were headed back home.
It was one of the week-ends when we decided to dine at a Mexican joint. The husband, expecting them to tone down spices (considering we were in Europe), asked them to cook as they would for a Mexican. Their warnings could not shake us, since we are Indians, and no amount of spices could move us. Alas, we were proven wrong, and badly at that. That evening was but, a minor hiccup in an otherwise interesting sojourn.