It was a cold and frosty January morning in 2011, and I was on my way to Poland from Gatwick airport for a 9 month secondment. I was nervously excited to visit a country that I’d never really paid much attention to and had no idea what to expect from. Honestly, I’d actually had to look at a map to see where Poland was located!
After a short, uneventful flight I arrived in this strange country, and immediately noticed that it was absolutely freezing! It was -19C and everything was covered in a thick layer of snow, as the taxi drove towards my new office I even noticed that the lakes and streams were all frozen with ice. I was expected to spend 9 months here! I was really hoping it would warm up at some point in those 9 months!
Luckily, I’d prepared for this. I had bought myself a thick winter jacket and invested in some USB powered, heated boots! I still wear the jacket in winter now, but the boots have maybe been worn a couple of times. Although the thermometer says it’s really cold here in the winters, it’s not cold like we are used to in the UK. It’s drier, so you don’t actually feel it as badly and it’s easier to acclimatise to.
So I was in Poland, it was cold, and I really had no idea what was going to happen over the course of the following few months.
I can happily say that any preconceptions that I may have had about Poland were completely wrong, but I’ll go into that in more detail later.