The Oddities of Bialystok

I don’t think I have mentioned it yet, but this is one crazy town we are in. Crazy in the can’t-make-up-its-mind-on-anything sense. It’s beautiful, it’s green, and the people are wonderful; but other than that this place is schizophrenic.

Mostly it’s the weather. And I know you are wondering how a Michigan girl can possibly be griping about mixed up weather. Well. Bialystok weather makes Michigan look like a dream.

For example, yesterday we leave the city center in bright sunshine and arrive back at the dorm. Not a cloud in the sky! By the time I walk up the stairs to my room, it’s completely clouded over with a huge, dark rain cloud. Taking our chances, we head out to run in the gloom. By the time the run is over, the sun is out; rain avoided!! Until we take a lap around the block for the cool down, when despite the sunny, clear skies, it’s pouring rain. I mean, really?!

So basically, I’ve learned to always bring my umbrella and dress in layers. And it’s a guarantee you will take your cardigan on and off at least three times an hour based on the temperature swings. Michigan may be crazy, but at least it’s usually consistent throughout the day.

In between the temperature issues, we did manage to do a little rock climbing after our exam yesterday. There is a climbing wall at the mall (?) and so a group of us took the challenge.

It was a bit of a production because the place was closed when we arrived. And it’s not like we can really read the sign to figure out when it would be open. The good news was that by the time we hit up a store or two, the climb wall was up and running.

The first course was pretty tough (given the whole no upper body strength thing), but the second course proved perfect for racing. I sadly wasn’t the fastest, but there will be a repeat challenge. My training regimen starts today, so I am confident I can pull off the win next time.

The great irony came after we finished.  We wandered through the city center only to realize there were two free temporary rock climbing walls put up for a festival. Rock walls at festivals?? It’s a city of rock climbers, apparently.


I think we made the right choice with the mall climb, though. You know the cartoon where the bad guy climbs the tree limb to catch the good guy and at almost the top the branch bends in half (in slo-mo of course), dumping the bad guy on the ground.  Yeah, the temporary structures were inflatable (?!) and knowing my luck, I’d get halfway up and the whole thing would tip over just like the cartoon tree.

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