“Is good?” the owner of the nail salon asked as she stood over my feet.
I smiled. “Yes. Very good.”
I wasn’t used to my feet getting so much attention.
The nail technician filed my toenails until each nail matched it’s identical toenail on the other foot. I wanted to tell her that it wasn’t that big a deal that the toes matched.
I never knew people thought about such things as both big toenails having the exact same shape. Who cares unless you’re modeling sandals?
She washed my feet again and applied a salt scrub then washed my feet again. She used a rotating stone to wear down the calluses on my skin. A mist of my skin particles hung in the air looking for a place to land.
Was this the best pedicure of my life, or was this woman overly picky?
Last week I noticed two words that are spelled the same but have different meanings.
One is Polish: As in, “My friend from Poland is Polish.”
The other is polish: as in, “I would like to add some nail polish to your toenails.
So here I had a Polish woman using a Polish polish on me.
No, I didn’t try to explain the nuances of the English language to her.
After 90 minutes of the nail technician fighting back the calluses, cuticles and cuts (Oh, my!), adding polish and fretting over the perfection of my feet, she put my shoes on my feet and thanked me for my patience.
I know. She thanked me?
The owner charged me for a Polish Pedicure.
Would it be too much to get one of these Polish Pedicures every day?
I reached down and touched my feet. Smooth.
I wanted to run out in the streets and have strangers touch my feet so we could marvel at how soft they were.
No. I didn’t ask anyone to touch my feet.
(Maybe I will tomorrow when I’m on the train to Warsaw. Don’t you think that’s a great way to make new friends?)
I continued checking chores off my list all day. Send mom a postcard. Back up my camera photos. Take a morning nap.
Send my nephew congratulations for his wedding today and tell him how sad I am to not be there celebrating with them.
Stand on line for an hour at the same restaurant where I lunched yesterday, then wait another hour for the food to come. Eat in three minutes and wait forty minutes for the check.
Buy a train ticket. Get the ticket on my phone. Send my sister a list of the names and addresses where I will stay in Warsaw.
Take a 20-minute afternoon nap.
I wandered the city. The National Museum had a line. I didn’t feel like waiting on a line. So I walked over to the Amber Museum. Long line there, too. I thought at the time that I’d swing by later, but later never came.
I walked down the street that has all of the amber shops. Amber is fossilized resin from ancient pine trees. I’ve always loved the yellowish/orange color. I walked into a shop considering a necklace and walked out with a necklace and earrings to match.
Wait, I’m spending too much money. I have to slow down.
I searched for a restaurant for dinner. I found a place that had a gluten-free menu and an open seat.
I chose a table near the door and considered the menu.
The twenty-something-year-old waitress let me know that the kitchen was an hour behind.
There’s nothing like sitting around watching people eat when I am hungry.
Okay. I can wait.
I put in my order then raced over to my hotel, ran up four flights of stairs, got my computer, brushed my hair, raced down four flights of stairs and walked the three minutes back to the restaurant.
The waitress saw me and said, “Oh.” as if I’d changed my clothes or something.
Was she surprised that I returned quickly, or that I brushed my hair?
A cute two-year-old-ish girl wailed in hunger. My stomach’s rumblings were the beatbox to her despair.
She grabbed her father’s hand and dragged him to the door of the kitchen while speaking fast.
I’m guessing that she was demanding food. If it worked, I’d be next at the kitchen door.
No. I’m too polite to demand food, but have high respect for any two-year-old who knows how to get something to eat.
A waiter brought the girl a few French fries.
She grabbed two in her fist and started eating while her tears added additional salt to her fries.
My inner two-year-old was jealous.
I guess European parents don’t carry saltine crackers in their purses to dole out to hungry children.
I wasn’t sure what to call this day. A rest day? I day of chores? No, not self-care.
I don’t feel like an explorer when I spend my day reorganizing my suitcase and shopping for jewelry.
An American couple approached the restaurant and my sweet waitress met them at the door and told them in the sweetest way that there was a one hour wait to get food.
The man said, “How can you call yourself a restaurant when you can’t get food onto the table?”
The waitress apologized as the couple stomped away, then walked over to me and frowned.
She said, “There’s nothing I do to keep the food cook fast.”
I agreed and told her than Americans can be nasty.
She asked where I was from. I told her the United States, hoping she wouldn’t think that I was nasty by association.
A European couple, who were roughly the same age as the American couple, approached the restaurant and I watched my same sweet waitress give them the news about having to wait an hour for a meal.
After she seated the couple at a table next to the bar area, the waitress smiled brightly as she filled me in.
The man asked if he could buy her a drink, to make her night go easier. His wife agreed and suggested they buy her two drinks.
She told them she didn’t need a drink but liked that they cared about her.
I asked her where the second couple was from. What country?
I watched this window washer for a long time. I wonder if his territory includes upstate, New York?
Fun Fact: Accordion was the first instrument I learned as a child. I love a good accordion player. Gdansk, Poland
Thanks for reading.
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