Gdansking With the Devil

Trip Start Sep 29, 2005
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Trip End Dec 22, 2005


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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Our incredibly nice and talkative host at our hostel in Gdansk was eager to recommend his favorite things to see and do in town. He mentioned many different points of interest, but the one he spoke most eagerly about was one that caught me by complete surprise. Using the spent paper targets on the wall as props, he described how we could go to a place down the street and fire guns...as we were American, and all Americans are born with a gun in their hand, he figured we would be enthralled and perhaps even be able to give him some tips to improve his marksmanship.
The next day, after touring the old town and a large maritime museum, we were up for a change of pace. We descended a set of stairs into the "U7" sports complex and found ourselves in a large game room with several pool tables, half a dozen bowling lanes (REAL bowling...not that candlepin crap), and a weight room. Additionally, a set of thick glass windows looked in on a shooting gallery with 4 stations. Above the window was the smorgasbord of weapons one could choose. The intimidating selection ranged from air rifles to semi-automatic handguns. Having never fired guns before, Mike and I discussed the situation nervously. "Do you think they will show us how to use it?" "Do you think that guy in the room speaks English."
Ultimately, we decided they would HAVE to have some sort of pre-firing instruction. So we sent to the counter and told the woman that we wanted 20 shots on the 9mm and 20 shots on the 38 special. We paid for the shots (I think it was about 50 cents or so a piece) and were shown to the gun room. The man in the gun room then proceeded to hand signal us through the next 20 minutes or so. We never showed any license, or any identification. And the only instruction we received was in Polish. It was a bit scary to have such a dangerous thing in your unskilled hands, but I have to say it was a unique and exciting experience...one to put on your to-do list if you are ever in Gdansk.
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