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The Warsaw Voice » Destination Warsaw » November 25, 2011
Destination Warsaw
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Herring and Vodka for Breakfast
November 25, 2011   
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Carolyn Simmons, general manager of the Getty Trust in the U.S., chats with Jolanta Wolska.

What brings you to Warsaw?
I’m on my way to the Frankfurt Book Fair and my Polish-American friend living in Warsaw invited me here for the weekend.

Are you enjoying your brief stay?
I started well with a breakfast of herring and Polish vodka at Krakowskie Przedmie¶cie. Delicious!

I knew that Warsaw was destroyed during the war. I didn’t know what to expect, but Warsaw is simply beautiful. It is modern and clean. The city feels old and yet it’s vibrant.

You’ve had a chance to look around…
Poland has an image in the U.S. of a stodgy, old-fashioned place. Instead, I found shops full of wonderful clothes and fabulous jewelry. I can never find anything at home and it is all here. And at very affordable prices.

You are in publishing. What do you think of Polish bookshops?
There is a phenomenal number of bookshops in Warsaw on nearly every corner, unlike in the U.S. And there are many titles available in English.
How hard is it to get around in Warsaw?b
It’s easy. Nearly everyone speaks some English, even on the no. 175 bus from the airport, in shops and in restaurants. Many Americans don’t like to venture to countries where they feel they will not be able to communicate. I guess Poland is among them. But they don’t realize how many Poles, especially the young, speak English and are very helpful.
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