Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Last Thursday was women's day, just in case you didn't know. Here in Poland, it is still celebrated, although, like in the West when it comes to holidays and holiday spirit, people have found ways to dampen the enjoyment for everyone else. Some folks say it's a Communist holiday one of the legacies of the Soviet era, and the feminists (the who?) say it's not women's lib enough. But I say, anything that annoys feminists and starts a debate about communism is a good thing! So, although they don't have three days off work like in Russia, it's still a day of celebration here in the land of Polskie.

I would spend some time here writing about the gig last weekend, which saw many bands of the 90's reuniting for the benefit of the singer from Mega City Four, but I wouldn't want to make you all envious. It was like an Indy Live 8, only without the egos and the live coverage on BBC1. There were no token hungry African children brought on stage either. But anyway, it was good, and Jim Bob and Fruitbat were hanging around in the crowd mingling with the common people.

I have taken my first step towards coming home to Blighty, but as you can imagine, the Poles are much less reluctant to see me go as they were to lure me here. I wouldn't go quite so far as to say I'm being held prisoner, but it certainly does feel like I'm here against my will. However, next week I shall be returning and to my delight, I will be drinking tea that tastes of the Thames.

Last weekend, the one just gone, not the other one that I mentioned previously because that was two weeks ago now (sorry - I've been lazy with my blogging), anyway, last weekend I went to a football match in a neighbouring town. The local side is in the 4th division so I didn't fancy that much. So instead I went to a local derby between teams in the 2nd division. There were many thugs drinking Tyskie and shouting swear words a lot, but apart from that it was harmless, despite all the warnings I had heard before going. It seems that football fans have a worse reputation here than they do in England. I did liken the experience to what I imagine a milwall game would be like though! But I returned in one piece, to tell the tale, as they say. It was 1 nil to the home team, by the way, and the standard was terrible but it was fun.

Ok kiddies, take care of yourselves, and await my return with baited breath.....

Friday, February 23, 2007

The traveller has returned!

After eventually being reunited with Pavel after his flight to Katowice was diverted to Warsaw, and he had enjoyed a 4 hour bus ride through the remotest wilds of Poland and he had sampled the Polish taxi drivers love of foreigners who they can extort money from when in desperate situations, we took a train to Krakow.

Krakow was fun, did all the sightseeing things and walked around a lot, sampled the Polish beer and soups. Saw the castle and some cathedrals, didn't get lost this time, like I did when I went on my own.

Then took a train to Prague which took about 6 hours from Katowice. It was exciting at first but then it got a bit boring as the scenery slowly chugging past changed only in that as we got further away from Poland the skies brightened and the buildings became more colourful. We stayed there for 4 days and did all the sightseeing things and walked around a lot, sampled the Czech beer and soups. Still didn't get lost. Saw the castle, some cathedrals and went on a communism walk.

Then we came back to Mikolow and did all the sightseeing things and walked around a lot... well, we went to Auschwitz. Got lost on the way. Everybody there was English!

So during this last week I have seen castles, bridges, cathedrals, synagogues, statues and concentration camps.

Now it's back to normality, and the school holidays end on Monday. BUT, here's the great news, next Friday I will be returning to Blighty for the event of the century.... Yes! Carter USM have reformed and I'm going to see them!!!!!!! Hooray! For now I will leave you with some pictures of Prague, it's a lovely city despite all the tourists and souvenirs.

Monday, February 12, 2007

How-do bloggetts, sorry for the lack of communication over the past few days. I have been busy jetting myself to Engerland for a celebrity wedding (look out for the exclusive photos in Hello, or not). And I am afraid that for the next two weeks I will be off on my travels so you won't hear from me much. Yes, I will adorn my beret and board a train, in true Ingrid Bergman stylee, and make my way through the Eastern European landscapes. First up is the destination of Krakow, home of castles and chuches, and overpriced beer. And then the itinery takes us to Prague home of more castles and not quite so overpriced beer. I will be sure to take pictures for you lovely people and present them to you here, it'll be a culture fest for your very eyes! For now kids, take care, and maybe I'll be seeing you very soon!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Mission: Accomplished!
Golden shoes were purchased in this way:
Took a bus to the sitty (city + snow = sitty) walked into a shoo shop and pointed to the 'chosen ones' while explaining to shoo shop assistant ' I speak not good Polish, 39!'. They are not quite golden but they'll do. I would have done it sooner had I known it would be so easy, alas the fear of speaking in Polish to anybody other than the local bread woman or the drunken locals in the pub was holding me back. You see, fear is the enemy of constructive activity. But from now on I won't let a petty thing like fear stop me. I laugh in the face of fear! Mwah ha ha!

Life, as always is quietly passing by, but this weekend I will be able to reacquaint myself with all things 'British' by flying home for the weekend. Yes, it's time for one of the litter to leave the coop, and I must be attendant for the occassion - I'm a bridesmaid - whoop!

A full detailed account of my experiences of England will be found here on this very same blog which you are reading right now next week.... until then comrades.

Friday, January 26, 2007

... the quest for the golden shoes continues, and time is running out. Still, it's good to have a mission; a purpose so to speak. It makes me feel like life is worth living. Added to the pressure of finding shoes is the stress of doing it in a foreign language; however, I did actually purchase a pair of shoes in Siberia and the amount of communication in that transaction was minimal. They just seemed to be happy taking my roubles. So, if I can do it in Russia I can do it here, where the good folks speak English.

Snow has befallen our little town, creating a Chrismassy effect, what with the decorations still being up and all. What is it with these other countries that don't take down their Christmas decorations? Don't they know it's bad luck? So, every day when I walk past the nativity scene in the town square with the snow as a backdrop I have to check my dates, and remind myself that it's nearly February.

It's a time for other kinds of celebrations this week, practically everybody I work with and their boyfriends/girlfriends/friends/relatives are celebrating birthdays. So we raise a glass of vodka for each one, and needless to say, we get a bit tipsy! As a veteran drinker in vodka loving countries I know now how to manage to keep up without passing out/throwing up/getting into a fight and the method is this (learn from me kids, I did it the hard way) – don't drink every time they do, but do one shot for every three that they do. Even when they command in a harsh Eastern European accent 'Drrrink!', don't be intimidated into obeying this order, otherwise you'll have no recollection of anything. If you find this difficult, and the clear white stuff is tempting you to pick it up and just have done with it, just remind yourself of this: It's poison, it's poison, it's poison.....

Anyway, there's no great adventure lurking behind the corner of my weekend, but you never know what might jump out and surprise you. Maybe Morrissey will announce a tour of Poland, or perhaps I'll discover a shoe shop that sells golden shoes, or, just imagine if another popular 90's indie band reforms....wouldn't that be amazing!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Feels like I've been to every single disco all around, another night another town, it's time to burn this disco down....

And so speaks the wisdom of Rick Witter, a modern day philosopher/poet/prophet often overlooked by bright young upstarts like the Arctic Monkeys (pants!).... BUT, the spirit of the Sheds lives on in my heart at least! On Friday night I experienced the Polish version of 42nd Street (ie: a grotty student nightclub). Ok, so the music was more System of a Down than The Stone Roses, and there didn't seem to be any cheap deals on bottles of Stella, in fact there was no Stella at all. But, just like in 42nd Street, people were there to dance like fools to the music and drink beer till they could drink no more. I was obliged to stand at the sidelines and remain a mere observer of the merriment as my rule is, never dance to heavy metal, nu metal, or any other type of music that ends in 'metal' unless I'm in the Ritz (even grottier student nightclub) on a Monday night. Anything else would be a betrayal to my roots!

Prior to the disco, we had been bowling, where I came last out of 12, which is an achievement I think. I put my poor performance down to lack of practise and my belief that the alleys must be different here in Poland to how they are in Great Britannia. Anyhow, it was an adventure, y'know getting out of one town to visit another town.

As for my other adventure, the quest to find a pair of golden shoes, so far I have been unsuccessful. Do you think it's acceptable to wear Converse to a wedding, even if you're a bridesmaid? I have one more week to complete my mission. Or should that be, Mission: Impossible?

In the latest weather news, well, I turned on BBC World the day after the power cut and heavy rain storm to be informed that bad weather was on it's way to Poland! By that time all was calm and blue skies prevailed....Thanks BBC World, you're the best!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hey something exciting happened! As I was putting the finishing touches to chapter one of my horror story, the lights went out and the whole town was cut off. As I sat in the darkness, the only form of light being the dim glare from my laptop and the random flashes of lightning, I thought I saw a zombified teenager lurking behind my wardrobe! So, as only an artist can, I included this mishap into Chapter 1. Using the darkness as a metaphor for our hero's loneliness and the tricks of the light as his paranoia, it was just what chapter 1 had been missing! I think this will definitely be my ticket out of Poland once the film offers come rolling in.

Music news out here in Poland is:Daily helpings of Rod Stewart, Elton John and Katie Mululaha continue.... wouldn't be SO bad if the choice of song was altered occasionally. You know Bill Murray in Groundhog Day and the song by Sonny and Cher? Yeah, well, that's how I feel. The music they constantly play, it says nothing to me about my life...
I turn on the television to find out what's happening in the real world..... I discover that the big brother house is filled with cretins, which for some reason, the news presenter seems to find very surprising, raising her tone on every second word. Is it really news or surprising that Jade Goody is vile? The BBC World channel is screening a climate change special, informing me that the future of the world's survival is in my hands, and that if I don't become a conscious traveller then the end will be even more nigh than it already is because every time I fly I am contributing to the earth's destruction. This is swiftly followed by an advert for 'Beautiful India'. And just exactly how am I supposed to get there? I am also told that eating my lunch away from my desk is good for my brain and encourages weight loss... My issues with the BBC get bigger every time I switch it on. Well, at least it gives me someone to talk to, or shout at.

Anyway, back in the surreality of my world, I have been trying to work as much as possible to avoid spending time staring at the ceiling thinking about nothing and everything. This weekend is going to be another fun-packed adventure. On Friday there is a trip to the bowling alley and on Saturday I have to go shopping for a pair of golden shoes. Be sure to tune in next week for a detailed account of both events. Take care kids.