It was a beautiful September in the Danube River valley. We were cycling across northern Austria, when in the afternoon, we happened upon a small town where we wanted to get some lunch. But even though there were cars parked everywhere, there was nobody around and everything was closed. It felt like one of those “last person on earth” zombie movies.

Then we could hear this party noise, and as we cycled on, it got louder. Finally, we found ourselves in a park, where seemingly the entire town was having a German-style, oompah-playing, beer-drinking, wurst-eating outdoor festival. With everyone watching us strangers in town, we pushed our panier-laden bikes right through the park. But at least the music didn’t stop, like when the gun-slinger walks into the saloon.

We just parked the bikes, sat at a table, and ordered food and beer, like we belonged there. And you can imaging the 10 shades of red I became when I knocked a full stein of beer right of the picnic bench. But I did get another.

So, here we are in September in Ontario, and also many festivals. For us, it started with the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), then the Port Credit Blues Festival and finally, last weekend, the Toronto Polish Festival, which was the biggest and definitely my favourite. What a wonderful stroll down Roncesvalle Avenue with the beautiful women, accordion music and of course, the aroma of the food. Ahhh… the savour of fried kielbasa, perogi and the occasional whiff of mariuanski.

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Everyone were looking at a movie star, but he was looking at me.

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