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Mike's Adventure to Poland - 2002

Part 22: Beer Hall

We went out with our Polish hosts at the end of our trip to celebrate.  We decided to hold it at a beer hall called "Kompania Piwna," and the food, the beer, and the friendship were all excellent.  I had a traditional Polish dish of "steak tartar" for the first time!  It was very interesting.  I also liked something they called "Greek Fish."

Everyone at dinner at beer hall
All of us having a fun celebration at - where else? - a beer hall!

One of the highlights of the evening was when we met a Polish national hero, who is a boxer they call "The Tiger."  Scott and I played ugly American fans so that our Polish friends could meet and get their picture taken with this guy.  Scott and I told him we were huge fans, but I had never heard of the guy.  Still, seeing the looks on the faces of our Polish friends at the opportunity to meet this guy was priceless.  Someone said it was like meeting the Polish equivalent of Michael Jordan.

Mike and Polish friends with "The Tiger" Olumpic Boxer
Here I am with the Polish boxer along with some of my Polish friends.  See how excited they are!

Another highlight was later on in the evening when the house band came around and started playing many traditional Polish songs.  One of the funny things was that many of the songs they played were Jewish songs, which shows that despite the tragedy of the Holocaust, the Jewish culture is still a big part of the modern Polish culture.

When the house band played a song called "Hej Sokoly," though, it was amazing.  Everyone in the restaurant stood and began singing along.  It was a very beautiful moment to see such a stirring tribute of Polish patriotism.  And even though the only words I knew were the chorus of "Hej, hej, hej sokoly," I picked up my beer mug and sang along with them!

Everyone singing Hej Sokoly
Everyone stood and sang along!  It was the Casablanca moment I had hoped to get from singing O Canada!

Singing Hej Sokoly
"Hej, hej, hej sokoły!"  It means "falcons."

I will never forget the fun and friendship of that night for as long as I live...

Continue on to Part 23: Wilanow