A World Traveler in Corning
Polish people have a lot of weird traditions. I’m very proud of my heritage, but it doesn’t come without a few head-scratchers. Each year on the day after Easter, known as “Smingus Dyngus” or simply “Dyngus Day,” it’s common to pour water on your friends and family. The Polish-American version of this holiday includes pussy willows and cooking utensils… look it up. We only eat food if it’s fried in copious amounts of butter or grease and accompanied with vinegar-saturated cabbage.
The nation of Poland still measures things using the metric system, which, as we know here in America, is extremely outdated and will never catch on. So when my most recent visitor, a native of Warsaw, told me she’s almost done with a 19,000 km loop around the United States and Canada, I just figured she took a road trip from Niagara Falls to Corning and hit her head somewhere along the way. Considering she only had a few bags strapped to the back of a Triumph Bonneville (for all you 4-wheeled travelers, that’s a motorcycle), I couldn’t fathom what she was actually telling me.
Well, if you haven’t typed it into a Google conversion calculator yet, let me inform you that 19,000 kilometers is about 12,000 miles. That’s right, Weronika Kwapisz spent about 80 days traveling over 12,000 miles across the U.S. and Canada on the back of a motorcycle. NOW do you agree that Polish people are a little crazy? Here is a map of her complete loop, starting and ending in New York City:
One of her nights was spent right here in Corning, NY, where she soaked up the sites and took in some local fare before heading another 4 hours and 340 km to Albany.
This wasn’t the first time Weronika has done something crazy. After all, I did mention she’s from Warsaw, Poland, right? Her first transcontinental expedition on a motorcycle took her over 9,000 miles through much of Europe. You can read all about both trips on her blog at www.ridingacross.com, check out an article from AdventureMotorcycle.com, or follow her Ride Across America Facebook page.
As for me, I’m going to keep my travel methods to two feet or four wheels and my measurements to the imperial system. Although, watch out on Dyngus Day 2015…