I didn’t think I believed at first sight, and then I met you. From the moment I arrived, sleep deprived from my overnight bus ride and frustrated by the Uber driver who ripped me off, somehow you just felt right.
I quickly learned how to pronounce your Polish street names and which of them would lead me back to the Main Market Square. I discovered a new love of your pierogis–not just the “ruskie” ones with potato and cheese, but also duck and apple, barley and onion, and cabbage and mushroom. I sat in the windows of your coffee shops and danced along to your brass band street buskers. I marveled at your cathedrals and synagogues, wandered through your lush green parks, and watched the silly on-the-hour cuckoo clock show at your university. I witnessed pure innocence as children giggled at your bubble artists as they created hundreds of soapy spheres in just one upward toss.
Daytime is wonderful with you, Kraków, but I must say how much I love you at night. The square’s antique tchotchke stands are replaced by roaming vendors selling slingshots of blue LED lights that threaten to crash into you if you don’t keep looking up. Your churches’ religious icons are obscured a bit by the night, but the details of each and every brick are lit up. Even more buskers emerge, from a fast-fingered guitarist to an accordion trio to an acoustic singer, and I truly can’t escape music here. Add this to the melodies of tens of languages spoken all around, and you’ve got a distinct beat that surges through us all, inspiring us all.
In the whole time I spent with you, Kraków, I never heard anyone say they didn’t love you. You’ve got a certain something about you, and I’m so glad I got to experience it for myself. Hopefully we’ll meet again someday.
Until then, do widzenia.