Peace, Love, and Happiness in Gdańsk

Most of my hostel experiences until now have been pretty uneventful, clean beds, friendly people; but nothing too memorable. My first experience with my hostel in Gdańsk started not from the front desk, but on a stretch of empty road that I was wandering hesitantly on, looking for any indication of civilization. Around the corner came a cheerful young man with blond dreadlocks dangling down his back, asking if I was looking for “The Mamas and the Papas Hostel.” It turns out he was one of the staff and after he walked me to the gate, he smiled and said good-bye by giving a peace sign and saying “peace,” before darting in the opposite direction.

An older man at the front desk with a tie-dye shirt welcome me and after he checked me in, I told him I was hungry and he ordered me a pizza. As I was eating my pizza he came back and asked me where I was from. When he found out I was from San Francisco, he pulled out a Grateful Dead necklace and said in his broken English, “I’m a deadhead.” Sometimes you find bits of home where you least expect it.