Poland – The Low Down Adventure
Last year I had a fairy-tale-worthy sourcing trip with my parents – some made-for-TV shit chock-full of magic moments and warm fuzzies. What made the trip so special? That it even happened. Being an immigrant includes a host of challenges and for my family, being a family was the hardest problem we faced.
Like so many immigrants, my parents worked nonstop. They were relentless – saving every penny, working every second their bodies could endure. My parents felt beat up. They were overwhelmed. They didn’t understand how to navigate a new system of parenting that was so foreign – so totally opposite of their upbringing. I’m not sure what I felt, but I do know what I didn’t feel – connected. We turned against each other instead of turning towards each other. I wish I could tell my teenage self that one day, we’d figure out how to be a family.
My parents are now retired, but they’re still nonstop relentless. They’ve become a huge support system for RAD AND HUNGRY. When I’m not out there huntin’ down office supplies, we’re probably having dinner together.
I wanna keep creating epic memories with my parents, so I brought them along to Poland. We woke up to snow on our first morning in Kraków. It was magical despite the harsh wind. We broke for snow ‘cause watching my parents giggle while catchin’ snowflakes is way more important than office supplies. Can you believe it was the first time my mother caught snowflakes? Crazy, right?! But when you've been working nonstop since you were six years old it doesn't leave much time for play.It’s also the first time my mother spent more than two consecutive days doin’ nothing but chill. She rocked pj’s all day and played Pokémon Go from the sofa. She stayed up late watching Polish movies with no subtitles. I worried that she was bored. My mother smiled and replied that this is what vacation feels like. It’s corny but true – shared experiences make lasting memories.
It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with Poland. How could I not? I was nonstop meetin’ super rad folks! Like the amazing wife/husband duo, Papierniczeni, their catalog of goods be dope as hell (more about Magda and Piotr in their upcoming Maker Profile!).
But it don’t stop there… the architecture, the design scene, the people, the M’THR F’IN unreal moments like seeing my last name tagged on walls! WHAT?! And it continued to amaze... A rainy day adventure looking for a recommended restaurant that was closed led us to a different spot. Thought I was dreaming when I heard the owner speakin’ Korean to my father. Turns out Tomek studied in Korea and spoke Korean like a champ!
I didn’t want to leave Poland. My parents didn’t want to leave Poland. There was so much more to do and see and people to hang with and drinks and grubbin’. Poland – you got that whip appeal.