From South to North
Last time I talked about GP Melbourne - I went from the warm southern hemisphere to the winter in the north in Europe. We had a booth at GP Warsaw which took place from 23rd of November to the 25th. Warsaw is the capital of Poland and is situated at a pretty high altitude; in other words, it was freezing! One of the four days we spent there was -4°C! Only pants didn’t cut it and had to put on a pair of long underwear, leggings and a down jacket with a hood just to walk outside. The locals that went into town all came equipped with their standard gloves and knit caps.
Even more than the cold weather of Europe, the biggest problem I’ve come across has always been the time zone difference. I don’t have an issue with a place like Melbourne, Australia, where there is hardly any time zone difference from Japan. However, going to Europe there’s an eight hour difference on top of an almost 12 hour flight. In this case, if you don’t prepare a solid sleep plan, you will almost certainly suffer from jet lag. For those of you who have traveled overseas, I’m sure you’ve run into this, right? This time though, I will explaining my plan to combat jet lag, so please refer to this on your next trip.
Let's Make a Sleep Schedule!
When buying your ticket, first take a look at when the flight leaves and when it arrives at the destination; the most important part is your arrival time. You’ll be very exhausted after a long flight. I don’t recommend morning arrivals because you’ll have to spend the whole day being that exhausted. Alongside of that, I also don’t recommend midnight arrivals. Ways to get to where you’re staying will be limited, and I can’t speak for general safety at night either. You should really aim for the evening if you can. That way you can get to where you’re staying safely, eat some dinner and head to bed right away.
If you have the chance to arrive in Europe in the evening, make it a point to not sleep on the flight. If you spend the majority of the long flight asleep, you won’t be able to sleep the night you arrive. So between the in-flight meals, movies and entertainment, try not to take a nap longer than three hours. By doing this, you’ll still be moderately fatigued, but you’ll be able to sleep at night and beat jet lag!
If you have to take a morning arrival flight, make sure to take a two to three hour nap when you get to your lodging before you start your days activities. Without that nap you’ll be prone to headaches and overall drowsiness. With this short midday nap, you’ll be able to do your activities with a lot more energy. That’s the secret of a sleep schedule; do this and you’ll be able to take on an overseas GP!
The event hall location was in a pretty lonely feeling place with not a lot of foot traffic about 20 minutes by train from the city center. That said though, there was nearly 2,000 players this time so the event was as lively as any other GP. As per usual with European GPs, there were players from all the neighboring countries, like Germany, Italy, Russia, etc.. With that came a bit of troubles when it came to pricing cards this time. The Polish Zloty (or Złoty) was of course used, but due to how many other nationalities that were in attendance, Euros were also used at this event. So when it came to ringing up a total, we had to be careful due to the currency/price differences. Calculating the difference between the currencies is not my forte and each transaction took me a bit of time.
I’ve already mentioned how cold it is outside, but the first day in the actual event hall was freezing. This was due to constant entering and leaving of players from the entrances that were scattered all over the event hall. Every time a door was opened it let in cold air, and of course the vendor booths were right along the walls. Despite there being a “Please don’t use this door” sign on the closest entry to the vendor booths, people still used them. It wasn’t until the NO ENTRY tape was put up on the second day and poles set in front of the doors on the third day that people finally stopped using them. Thanks to the barricade we were able to work properly on Saturday and Sunday.
Interacting with Artists
We met up with Filip Burburan again after seeing him back at GP Stockholm. Also, last summer we obtained Golgari Locket from Milivoj Ćeran and we finally had the pleasure of meeting him in person at the GP. People say the food in Poland is delicious, so we decided to get dinner together with Mr. and Mrs. Burburan and Mr. and Mrs. Ćeran. We talked about travelling, countries culture and cuisine, and all sorts of different things. They also mentioned wanting to come Japan someday and I would love to show them around if they did.
I’ve heard that the soups in Poland are delicious, so I went with beets and mushroom soup. The flavors were rich and it pleasantly warmed my whole body; it was like a lifehack for dealing with the cold climate. I also had some dumplings (like gyoza in Japan), which were on a bunch of menus here, which made me think that they’re a normal part of Polish cuisine. These dumplings though were filled with all sorts ingredients like mashed potatoes, cheese, sauerkraut, mushrooms, onions; quite a bit different from Japanese dumplings.
Being healthy will allow you to enjoy the delicious food you’ll come across while traveling. It’s more important while traveling to pay attention to your health than it would be back home. Diet, a sleep schedule, climate and fighting against jet lag, etc. are all things you’ll need to prepare in order to enjoy travelling the world for GPs.