Going to Warsaw?
I’m So Sorry.
If you want a taste of what Europe maybe used to be like, pre-European Union, pre-capitalism, in Warsaw you will get the true experience of being in a foreign land. You will also get the feeling of complete dread that accompanies the thought of never being able to go home again. You may also fall victim to any number of the city’s questionable engineering and planning.
This is the type of place that puts stop lights in every direction of their traffic circle, then runs a train through the middle of it.
This is the place where if an escalator breaks in either direction, they will shut down both sides and then force crowds to use a single side going up and down.
This escalator is not large enough for two people….
Warsaw is where happiness and hope die. If you’re smiling in Warsaw, YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON SMILING AND IT IS FROM COMPLETE EXASPERATION. People in Warsaw don’t smile or laugh because they have no reason to expect anything will bring them joy. And even if you let loose a box of puppies, they would criticize you for letting dogs wander around in a way that is not orderly.
A perfect example of this is the main building in Warsaw called the Palace of Culture and Science (an appropriately underwhelming name), which is Empire State Building-esque, and also happens to be the tallest building in the entire country of Poland. It is full of shopping, restaurants and museums. It is the most distinctive building in Warsaw. The locals hate it. They sell t-shirts of the building turned upside-down. There is no upkeep around the building. The people of Warsaw don’t deserve this building, it is truly wasted on them.
If you want to leave Warsaw, you can either buy a ticket in Warsaw, or print your ticket before you go. Otherwise, they won’t have your ticket. In our time, we had tickets to Vienna and they claimed to have no passenger manifest, and absolutely no way of printing our tickets (the only train I had upgraded to 1st class for on the whole trip.) If you don’t have a ticket printed, you’ll need to buy another ticket. Even the Polish train conductors don’t listen to basic reason regarding online confirmations, and even very clearly labeled printed seat assignments. It is all irrelevant to them.
Once we crossed the border, we were allowed to go to our seats.
Travel Tip: The best way to experience Poland is to not go there, lock yourself in a bathroom for 14 hours and flush one expensive thing down the toilet.