I have had my first taste of Warsaw, capital of the land of one- fourth of my heritage, and I think this particular world capital is doing a lot right.
Most of my time was spent in the area near Warszawa Centralna, the city center train station and hub. I also did a long walk through the UNESCO World Heritage old town and saw Plac Zamkovy, or Castle Square, before heading to Krakow. (But don't worry, Warsaw, I'll be back!)
One of my favorite things to do in Warsaw was to play a game I call Are You My Fifth Cousin? It's easy to play. You just look at the face of every person you pass and wonder if that person is related to you, or rather, how distantly. I never actually win this game, nor do I ever lose.
I rode the subway in Warsaw! That makes... Oh dear, let me count... my 25th city train system? Maybe? I'm probably forgetting one/some.
Basically, Warsaw makes me feel welcome, happy, and productive. Everyone is buzzing about dressed for fall in lots of black, doing their things, and it's big, and there was lots of sunshine. So I feel happy about Warsaw and can't wait to explore it more.
Meanwhile, fun fact: Chopin went off to live his composer life in Austria or whatever and although he was buried there, his heart was returned, per his wishes, to be buried at a church in Warsaw. Really, Fryderyk? I mean, I get the symbolism and stuff, but like, ewww. And this was well before medical flights express transporting organs for donation on planes in dry ice and stuff like that.
I'll be back in a couple days, Warsaw.
UPDATE: Further along in my trip, I've been informed that it wasn't just Chopin's heart that was brought back, but that the lower half of his body was buried wherever and the upper half of his body was brought back to be buried here. I'm not sure if that makes it more or less grisly.