Krakow, Poland “Curse you, Timberlake!”

Went to the train station in Brussels to get to Cologne in time for our 6pm dancing event. Still not sure what happened to my laptop that I left on the train from Paris the day before.

The train with my laptop on it terminated in Amsterdam, so I tracked down the lost and found office at Amsterdam Central. They said they’d put my laptop back on a train heading to Brussels.

This seemed like good news, as I was still in Brussels. But then I realized the train with my laptop on it wasn’t arriving for 12 hours, and I was leaving for Cologne in 12 minutes.

Losing my laptop would be catastrophic, but it’d be equally bad to leave a mob of Germans wondering Where the Hell I am. So we hopped on the train and I decided to sort it out later.

Got to Cologne. Danced.

With that out of the way, I called Amsterdam Central again. They were pretty frustrated with me and told me to call the Brussels lost and found. The guy in Brussels told me he hadn’t seen a laptop, it wasn’t his problem, he couldn’t help me, then hung up the phone and refused to pick it up again.

And so, once more, I encounter the refined social graces of the Flemish.

As a last ditch, I called my friend Sophie in Amsterdam. She mentioned knowing a lady at her law firm with the magical ability to sort out problems. A fixer. I asked if she could help and provided all my information.

A half hour later, Soph called back to say that my laptop was still in Amsterdam, that it was being held at the station, and that she would pick it up for me when she got off work. This fixer; this Petronella, had sorted everything out. More than that, she seemed to somehow bend reality toward a more convenient outcome. It was like calling the Wolf from Pulp Fiction. I remain very grateful.

So we’re in Cologne, my laptop is in Amsterdam, and our next dancing event is in Munich — way, way in the opposite direction. The cheapest and most practical option at that point: road trip.

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They gave us a Smart car. It was fantastic — like driving a roller skate. Those things are zippy!

I want one.

Got to Amsterdam in the wee hours. Got my laptop back. Crashed on Soph’s sofa.

Here’s a map so you can follow along at home.

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From Amsterdam, we drove all the way across Germany to Munich…really fast.

Stayed with Melissa’s friends, Martin and Jessica.

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Danced in the English Garden, near the Monopteros. Martin brought a bunch of signs for his environmental awareness thingy and people got the idea to have me sign them.

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I don’t really get autographs or why acquiring one from me is substantial in any way, but they’re easy enough to provide, so…

Flew to Warsaw, Poland, where one of the guys who showed up was a photographer. This means I have pictures from Warsaw. Really nice ones.

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That’s a close-up of one of the wrist bands we hand out. Everyone who dances has to wear one so we know we have them signed up. It has the release date of the video written on it.

When we finished, a bunch of the dancers invited Melissa and I out for a drink. Sometimes I can’t accept and sometimes I can. This time, I could.

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There were both Germans and Poles at the table. I gingerly inquired who had the better beer, then sat back like the samurai from Yojimbo and let them sort it out.

We played digital camera quickdraw.

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After a while, Melissa and I excused ourselves and went over to Golo’s house for dinner.

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Golo is a friend of Martin; the guy we stayed with in Munich. I met Golo on my last lap around the planet for the previous video. He’s a flight attendant for Lufthansa, so he’d just gotten back from Sao Paulo with some huge Brazilian steaks. He cooked them up and plied us with more alcohol before sending us home in a cab.

Caught a morning train to Krakow. Wandered around for a couple hours before heading off to the airport.

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The Krakow airport is stunningly, inexplicably efficient.

Connected in Copenhagen, then on to Stockholm. Took a long bus from the airport only to discover that Justin Timberlake was performing, so the whole of Sweden had converged on the city and filled up all the hotels.

We loitered at a McDonald’s until the AMs, then finally caved and booked a room at a business hotel an hour outside the city. It was the most expensive room we stayed in on this entire trip, and certainly not worth mentioning otherwise.

Took the subway. Along the way, we noted that our day had included travel by taxi, train, plane, bus, and subway. Alas, no donkeys, unicycles, or hot air balloons.

28 Responses to Krakow, Poland “Curse you, Timberlake!”

  1. Genghisdon

    Hey Matt:

    I used to live in the shadow where you traveled with this last jaunt you posted. If you ever make it back over, you should dance in front of the Porta Nigra in Trier – it’s a huge Roman gate leftover from when the city was a European capital back in the day:

    link to travel-tidbits.com

    My wife and I used to visit it and the town a lot; great place.

    Good post again! Take care.

    DP

  2. Matt,

    You should not be so puzzled by people’s desire for your autograph. After all, you, Matt, ARE a celebrity. Sure, they are easy to give. But for a lot of people, getting your John Hancock is as close as they will come to the exotic lands you have danced and lost your laptop in. That in and of itself is important. They gain awareness of the world around them, even if in a removed and vicarious manner.

  3. PLENTIOUS

    Golo (who is not gay) has some gay hair.

    I hope that is a style he has chosen rather than his natural hair. Bad taste can be overcome a lot easier than bad genes.

    Even if he has burns on his head from his grandma’s fire poker, he should shave that crap and try again.

    He could, however, probably pull off a wicked Shirley Temple in a tranny beauty pageant.

    Regardless of his hair, anyone who will personally courier steak around the globe for his friends must be a tremendous person.

    Mmmmm… Steeeaaak.

  4. Hey Matt
    Great blog. I love reading your adventures however, it makes me so jealous. You are a very lucky young man. Looking forward to June 21, 2008 and hope you don’t experience the same problems as the past. Hoping you and Melissa are enjoying the dog days of summer doing nothing but reading these things.

  5. Hmm, I bet you wish you had a FlipStart instead of that heavy laptop! But, it seems even small devices get left on trains too. What a dilemma. Anyway, you’re lucky to survive the “who’s got better beer” question at all. Cheers!

  6. paithu

    hey…
    hell no, i just missed my personal i’m-lost-in my-study-books-and-papers-to-take-10-hard-exams-in-3-weeks-term-and-i-REALLY-need-holiday-and-some-other-places-to-watch-and-then-i-detected-matt-the-knight-in-shining-armour in my hometown munich!!!
    i hope you both enjoyed munich though it was rainy but green ;o)!
    many greetings and servus ;o)
    i really love your page! and your dance (we tried it all together…so funny ;o)!)
    thank you for doing it your way …

  7. Jonas Funk

    I do feel kinda bad that Cologne was just some kind of stopover for you and that you had other things in mind. :(

  8. wallhugger

    Brussels is NOT Flemish. Ah now that we have that one sorted out I feel terribly sorry that you had to experience an excuse my English ass hole on the phone.

    I hope all your other experiences with Belgians weren’t that bad. Anyway good luck with your travels mate.

  9. HI matt

    if you are coming to croatia o this part of world just call because
    my family and I also traveling a lot and would like to meet you

    we have allready completed our big europe tour but while you are dancing i have hard talk with my wife everywere :)

    anyway in next years we are planning to do the same thing in USA & canada

    see us on you tube or picasa or at home page

  10. Heeey!
    Come back to Poland right now!
    I’m your fan actually and I’ve always (as far as I know the site) wanted to dance with you! And now you’re telling me that you were in Poland. Twice. And I wasn’t there.
    I feel like I’ve just lost the game called “life”
    Anyway… Come back to Poland for the “Dancing 2009” video, then! And visit Łódź! :) I can gather people and find good places for the video 😉 Promise!

  11. Sheilah Dols

    Hi Matt,

    Your 2008 video started circulating around the hospital lab where I work. WE LOVE IT!!!! (The video, I mean. Our particular hospital… maybe not so much.) We are a very international group in our lab; sort of a United Nations microcosm. We try each other’s foods, we ask about each other’s families, we struggle with each other’s accents, we occasionally misinterpret and offend each other, and then we just try to go on from there. Anyway, everyone was crowding around the computers watching the video, seeing their homes or places they’d visited. Dude, how did you get into the DMZ? Nellis Airspace? It was exciting, funny, and above all, moving. If you ever happen by Leesburg, VA, USA, come dance with us!

    Sheilah

  12. Simon

    Hello Matt :) I’m a 15 year old guy from sweden, and have watched mostly all your videos a several times.

    You get happy when you see them, and you should really come back to sweden and dance but this time in Gothenburg or Alingsås! :)

    BmaN

  13. Rayearth

    Yo Matt,

    like ikari said, come to visit us again in Poland! I’m from Lódź too so I’ll help him organize shit for Your video 😉

    Take care man :)

  14. BArt

    Matt,

    thank you for visiting Poland and Warszawa.
    I’m a city-boy (from W) turned desert-boy in Arizona. Hope to see you dancing someday, it is a great idea what you are doing!
    Bart

  15. Michal

    Matt, you’re great!!!
    Thank’s for your dance, it makes me smiling. Please visit us again. I hope to see your dancing someday… anywhere 😉
    BTW – sorry for my english :(

  16. Matt… Nie władam językiem angielskim, ale piszę te słowa mając nadzieję, że ktoś Ci je przetłumaczy. Mam zamiar na stronie YourLiveCinema.com zamieścić Twój filmik z odpowiednim, wydaje mi się, że śmiesznym komentarzem, a więc zareklamować Ciebie, Twój radosny taniec. Pozdrawiam Ciebie miło – miałeś kapitalny pomysł i mam nadzieję, że do Polski ponownie zawitasz wkrótce! :-)

  17. Witchdoctor

    Translating the post above:

    Matt.. I don’t speak English very good, but i’m writing these words hoping someone is going to translate them. I’m planning to upload your film with an adequate description (hopefuly funny enough) at YourLiveCinema.com to promote you and your joyful dance. I’m sending my love to you – you had a brilliant idea and i hope you will get back to Poland soon! :-)
    ……….
    Cheers from Poznań! Take care!

  18. Beata

    Matt,
    you gave me an idea and the aim for my next years! I’d love to do something similar :-)
    And small advice to you: come to Wroclaw in Poland, you will love this city :-)

  19. Paul

    Hey Bro
    I invite You to Wroclaw, Poland. I’m pretty sure we’ll have great time dancin’ together. I can see there are more people from Wroclaw so that we could organize a meeting.
    Best wishes from Poland

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