Polish Hospitality

This would be my 8th show drumming for MIA. We had just finished playing Bestival on Thursday on the Isle of Wight and as soon as the show was finished at 3am, we took a bus, ferry and plane to arrive yesterday in Warsaw, Poland.

The “Entertainment Team” arrived at my hotel, the Intercontinental in downtown Warsaw, at 7:45pm. They were friends of a Polish Harvard MBA student in my class whom I met just last week!

I haven’t had a night in a long time where I go to 5 super amazing places in one night.

The first was a Polish potato pancake dinner in the woods.

The second was an art store turned art cocktail bar where the bartenders smoke vodka and infuse balsamic and peppers to make what can only described as a menu of ambrosia. Two women at the bar insisted that Rosalee and I join them for a few deliciously crafted shots. I bought an amazingly queer painting off the wall of three women holding hands, one wearing a yellow jacket like Maya wears in Bad Girls.

Next we went to a really hip 1920s office building converted into a club (Syreni?) where a live band covered classic party songs and the bar specialized in high end whiskeys.

The fourth place was my favorite. It was called Metra Disco something but it was insane: an old Polish Discotheque with newspaper clippings on the walls, photos of grandparents breaking bread together and the DJ blasting Polish favorites (Ma ma ma Maria…!) that everyone seemed to know. I was so grateful to be here. The boys ordered me a cheese and potato dish at the bar that everyone seemed to be having with their vodka or beer and it was so strange and so delish- Jzech I think it’s called? Pronounced like cheek.

Finally we ended up at a Communist themed bar in the basement of a historic building in downtown. Everything was red, there were sirens and lights around, photos of certain Polish leaders and punky Polish rock music blasting in a packed room of smokers and vodka drinkers. It was wild. I loved it. There was something so innocent about – the love for the people your with, the love for the throwback music, the gratitude for the abundance of local vodka. The vibe was so positive and celebratory.

I submit this entry less for the purpose of recounting a good night though, and more for the purpose of gratitude. I was very reflective last night, not drinking too much as the wheels in my mind kept turning. I felt grateful to have friends that took care of me, grateful to be on tour with a musician who represents the very change I want to see in the music space and grateful to be studying leadership at Harvard.