Blog by Piotr Banaszkiewicz

PyCon US 2013 afterthoughts

It’s been almost two months after PyCon US and I finally have some time to share my thoughts and experiences from that trip.

What a journey was that, boy, what a journey! The biggest in my life so far. I started in Kraków, Poland, then travelled by bus to Wrocław, Poland (circa 3-4 hours drive). I’ve met with my friend Kacper from Wrocław and my future travel companion Filip (who’s PyCon PL organizer).

The following day, 12/03/2013, we had our flight to Münich, Germany first thing in the morning. After such a short night, I fell asleep really easy.

From Münich we had our transcontinental flight to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US. That was such a long flight. In eco class you don’t get anything fancy…

However, as it turned out, the airplane had many conveniences and was quite luxurious (when compared to the airplane I was sitting in during flight to Europe). Every passanger had his/her own TV with games and music and so on. It wasn’t snappy, but it worked.

And there was more space for legs than in our family car! I was totally surprised by this fact.

From Philly we flew to San Francisco. California, finally! At the time, I couldn’t believe I was there. I still can’t. That feeling of being in a beautiful, old city with great history, great buildings and great weather (it was snowing back then in Poland! Horrible!).

San Francisco has many tourist attractions. I could only afford to spend two days sightseeing it, but those were the most interesting days of my life.

I visited Market Street, Union Square, Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, beach by the ocean, Haight-Ashbury and maybe some I don’t remember. Oh, and of course I drove in a Cable Car.

I must admit, I never thought Americans are so positive and kind to foreigners. Or even to everyone! They often say “Hi!” and start a conversation… This is absolutely lovely and amazing. No-one in Poland behaves like this. I hope I will in some little part be as positive as Americans are.

But apart from sightseeing, I was there to enjoy the conference. And it was undoubtedly stunning! I met so many great developers, including my former GSoC fellow Corbin and my mentor Ken.

Now I find PyCon so wonderful, it’s hard to describe in words. I’m certainly looking forward to Montreal 2014 edition. If you want to know what PyCon is like, you should totally come. (Hopefully it’s warm in Montreal in April!)

I was in States for almost a week. Five or six days. I went home without Filip the same route I had come in.

San Francisco, I miss you…