Krakow is beautiful. It was preserved during the war and remains a tourist destination today. In fact, everywhere you look you can see signs of their very effective and active tourist industry. The prices are cheap (I spent 25$ USD on a 3 course italian meal with two glasses of wine!!!!), the city is walkable, and a lot of people speak english. Unfortunately, there is little to do outside of the typical tourist destinations, the food is for the most part sub-par, and the society is extremely white and exclusionary. As a white woman, I haven’t met any issues here, but members in my group have different experiences. Some have stated being scared of violence at times, and people have asked extremely rude and offensive questions to members of our group asking where they are really from, and telling them they have never seen anyone who looks like them. It is extremely uncomfortable, and unexceptable!
Aside from the issues our group has had here with individuals, the country as a whole is so conservative. I personally have felt uncomfortable being in such a religiously charged society. I was raised without religion, and here, everything around me is about religion. Everytime I leave the house I see a nun or priest, and there seems to be a church on every block. Even from my bed I can see one out the window! Our group is a gender studies group, and its hard to imagine that this subject is a cause of conservative activism!!! Here, the term gender is a cause of contention in and of itself! It’s wild!! I truly am excited to get out of here! It’s been good here for a short period of time, but I think that longer than 2 weeks in Krakow would be too much for me!