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The Polish Prison

ITALY | Thursday, 15 May 2014 | Views [263] | Comments [2] | Scholarship Entry

Once upon I was seventeen years old, I was crying in Rome. I had just arrived in the city and it was late. After 12 days on Polish roads, I was dying to say some words in Italian to anyone. Even a priest. Well, I ended up finding one when I arrived at the hotel. But he didn't speak Italian at all. No one there spoke it. Maybe the best phrase to describe my situation is this: "You can leave Poland, but Poland will never leave you", because all the people of that supposed "Italian hotel" spoke Polish. The guide of the tour group that I participated fooled everyone. Instead of a hotel in central Rome, as previously promised, we stopped at a Polish Association around the city. It was a 30-minute subway ride to the city center. Basically, I was at the end of the world. We had a curfew at 22 pm. No one could enter the Association (or as we affectionately nicknamed: our Polish Prison) after this time. During the morning, or you left the prison before 8 am or after 9 am. The gates closed during that time because it was time for mass. And when I first had heard all these crucial information, I sat in my bag and looked at the Roman sky. The crying was uncontrollable. I wondered to myself: How did I end up here? I know I was being a bit dramatic. But I was young and full of dreams. I've always imagined knowing Rome like I was in a Fellini's film. In the end of the trip, these days in the Eternal City were nothing like I've imagined, but they were a crazy Fellini's odyssey anyway! That first day, while I cried looking at the starry sky of Rome, my sister found the only person who could help us, the only priest of our Polish Prison who spoke a bit of Italian. Then she discovered how to take the subway to the center of Rome. That was our plan: escape from prison. And also escape from the guide who fooled us. We woke up very early. We walked quietly until we had passed the gates of the Polish Prison. The heart of Rome was waiting for us. We had no choice. We runned away.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

Comments

1

Lovely Gigi! As always you write dramatically well.<br>

  Ca Amatti May 16, 2014 4:08 AM

2

Thanks a lot, Ca!

  celinskiadventures May 17, 2014 1:30 AM

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