It’s early in the morning, I hear some clanking. Like two wooden swords against each other. It goes on for about 5 minutes. I realize that these two swards are actually deer antlers. How crazy huh? two deer just battling it out near my hammock. I didn’t see any of it because I had a tarp draped over.
I had a good night's sleep, even though it’s like 4:30 now. I have some energy to get up. I fold up the tarp, then the hammock, pack it all in. It’s a nice cool morning, but I guess you don’t notice it much because you sleep in the cold. The packing is done, now time to find my bike. I walk around a bit, go up and down the little hills. kick through the wet leaves, the wet grasses, and eventually see the old structure which I passed yesterday. I eventually find the bike, in the same place, untouched. I drag the bike out of the forest, it’s a bit heavy, but maybe that’s because it’s still early in the morning. I make it out alive.
The plan for the day is to head to a gas station, chill there for an hour or so and then go to the gym. I bike down towards the gas station, got my GPS on, it’s leading my down the main road, there aren’t that many car yet, it’s quiet. I see a gas station on my left, it’s the same one, Orlen, “maybe that’s the one?”. I turn towards it, park my bike and head inside. It’s one of the nice one, with the tables and all. I grab a cookie, and ask the girl working there if I can get some hot water in my thermos, she says, “yes of course”. I fill the thermos with hot water, there’s already some tea leaves in it. I sit down at one of the tables, and then realise that this might not be the right gas station. I pull out my phone, check, nope, not the one. I sit there for a while. Get up and ride to the other one.
It’s gonna rain soon, so I want to be as close to the gym as possible. I eventually get to the station. There it is, a smaller Orlen station. I hesitate a bit because it’s the smaller one, and usually those don’t have seating. I check the window. No seating.
I find a Lidl nearby, go in and buy some food. The rain begins. I finally decide to go to Mcdonalds, it’s a 15 minute ride, too far away, and the rain isn’t is just starting. I ride through some rough roads and finally get to the McDonald. I’m soaking wet. I enter, no one inside, just a few people working in the back. It’s around 9 or so now.
“Hey, could I order some warm milk?”
“mhh, we don’t have that anymore, we had a babyccino, but it’s not on the menu… and there is no way for me to put it in”
“ahh I gotcha. You know what just give me a cappuccino with some soy milk”
I get my cappuccino, the lady looks a bit broken, but she is full of enthusiasm. I thank her and sit down.
I’m feeling pretty good on this day. Even though the rain caught me, I feel enthusiastic. I open up my laptop and work for a little while. I get some writing done. I gotta finish this book already, I’m like 6 chapters in, but I keep on pushing it back. Maybe it’s good that I am living this way, because it sort of forces me to write more.
I sit there, sip my drink, people come in and then leave, time passes. It's around 12 or so, time to go. I pack my stuff, take a piss, thank the lady once again, and head out. I go to the fitness centre, that was the plan in the morning. Takes me a good 20 minutes to get there. I lock my bike. Some guys are standing by smoking cigarettes, probably thinking “what a loser”. I walk into the hall, it’s a huge open space, then into the reception area. Some man is putting on his shoes, he looks at me, I look at him. There is no one behind the desk. The shoe guy calls a name. One guy comes out, asks what I need.
“I would like to use the gym”, I notice that the board says 1zl for first timers “oh I’m also here for the first time”
“Okay, just need your ID”
I hand him my ID, everything goes smooth. I hand him 2zl, he giveS me 1zl back. He stands up and points to the shoe locker and asks me to change my shoes. I realise that I don’t have another pair of shoes. I take the locker key and go towards the shoe locker. I’m wearing sandals. I hesitate, turn around and tell him I’ll be right back. 'Maybe if I just put on socks he won’t notice'. I ramadge through the other bag on my bike and find some socks. I go back in, there is a line now. I sit near the shoe lockers, put on the socks quickly, and then my sandals again. I wait until the line dies down and then approach him asking where to go next.
He asks me, “shoes changed?”, without looking down.
“Yes” I respond.
Another young guy enters the conversation, it's his first time here as well.
He speaks to the other young guy as we walk toward the locker room. We get near the door, I try to stand near him so that way he doesn’t notice that I’m wearing the same shoes. He eventually goes back to his desk, I make it into the locker door, mission complete!
The gym is small, but good enough. Same young guy now on the treadmill, another girl with a big booty on some machine. I grab a yoga mat, put on the timer and start working out. I’m feeling strong today. I do 10 minutes, then another 10. Some guy walks in, he’s a big dude. He takes the jumping rope, and stands near me.
“Hey, could you move a bit?!” in a bit of an arrogant tone.
“Uhhh” I hesitate
“What workout are you doing?”
He murmurs something
I say “Ok, how about you go here, and I go here”
We both get half of the floor mat. The alpha went out of him quickly. He agrees and I continue my workout.
As I finished my workout I realise that guys who look physically weak get pushed around a lot. I know I’m a skinny dude, but still, physical strength isn’t all, mental strength also counts.
After 40 minutes or so I stop. I could do more, but just because I feel strong right now doesn’t mean I should push myself even harder. I go back into the locker room and take a nice cool shower. A cool shower never felt this good before. I watch as all the dirt from my feet washes off, the forest is a dirt place. I stand there, the water pours down, I feel greatful for this water.
I head out into the town for a bit. The centre square is pretty small, there are clothes and shoe shops around. I take a seat on one of the benches, sit there for a while thinking what to do. An old lady slowly makes her way across the square, stopping every few feet. She's carrying a small bag in one hand and a cane in the other. She's as slow as a snail. As she nears me she stops, looks at me, and continues. She does this a few times, with a slight smile. I stand up and go near her.
"Do you need any help?" I ask
“No, no” she opens her bag and tells me she doesn’t have anything.
I don't really understand whether she needs help or not, but she seems fine.
I continue on.
I spot a nice restaurant, something by the name of Dobry Dzien. There are some resting chairs of different colors outside of the restaurant where a tree is standing. The doors of the restaurant are an antique blue, they’re made of wood. I walk in, there are two older men sitting on the right, and some families somewhere to the left. I say good morning, they say it back. I wait a bit and then eventually order some potato pancakes. I like the vibe of this place. It's like walking into your grandma's kitchen. You can see the stove light, the pots and pans hanging on the walls, and smell the food cooking.
“Potato pancakes!” the man calls out. I take them and go outside near the tree. As I eat I see that the old lady is now sitting to the left of the square, chewing on something. Some old lady starts chatting to her, then after a few minutes someone gives her a bag full of fresh bread bought at the bakery next door. She must be the towns grandma. The potato pancakes are delicious, I scrape the paper plate to get all the sauce, definitely worth the 20 zl.
It’s around 14 or so. I make my way towards some wild path, not sure where it leads, but I just walk. I pass some cute little homes along the way, with winding flowers on their fences. Some kids come my way, with a young dog. I ask if I can pet him, they say yes. I let him smell my hand, he’s a bit nervous, eventually relaxes and I pet him. He's super excited now and jumps all over my leg.
The kids point at my pants and say "He got your pants dirty! We're sorry"
I say "Don't worry about it. Have a good day" and continue down the path
"Have a good day!" they yell.
I enter a park, there is a big pond to my left, and some fisherman trying to catch some fish, I guess. I walk past the pond and into a park. I pass tall trees and lush bushes. There are different paths I can take, but I stick to the one on the right and walk for a good 20 minutes, passing a fireplace and some more bushes. I eventually make it to the top, where I see a playground and some new workout machines, those for the older folks. I then pass a playground to my right and a basketball court to my left. I'll probobly play a bit of basketball tomorrow!' I murmur to myself with excitment.
I spend some time in the park, find a good place to setup the hammock for the night, and then head back into the town center. I buy some chicken breast thinking that I could most likely grill them later on. I spend some time walking around Wieliczka, passing a museum, the salt mines, some kid in a spiderman suit. I pass a few cute girls, but don't have the courage to speak to them 'yet'.
It's almost evening.I head back towards the fireplace, get lost, but eventually find it occupied by familes. I'm feeling a bit anxious so I decide to set up my hammock hoping that they leave soon. It starts to rain and the screams of the kids and the chatter of the adults soon vanish, and so does the rain. I take my chicken and head up towards the fireplace. I see some smoke, the fire is still going. I grab a stick and pierce the chicken thighs and place them over the fire. A gentle begins to fall as I cook my chicken. It’s so serene here, just me, the fire, and the forest. I call my brother and have a nice chat. Then I chow down on my chicken, it's good. It’s still early for most folks, but for me, the grandpas and grandmas, it’s time for bed. An hour more of light and then it's dark. I get comfortable and try to fall asleep, but it takes some time.
I finally realise that this lifestyle is pretty difficult... if you’re not prepared, and I’m surely not. The hammock is a bit too big, my laptop is too heavy, maybe I don’t even need three pairs of clothes? I think about this for a while, and then fall asleep.