Reporting From Gdańsk Posted by Anna on Oct 22, 2008 in Culture
Al from the Polish-American Genealogy blog, which by the way is a great resource for anyone interested in tracing their Polish roots, tagged me with the 10 Years Ago tag…
I’m not much for blog tags and normally ignore them, but how could I say “no” to a fellow Kashub (“Kaszub” in Polish)? I couldn’t. Especially since I’ve just arrived in Gdańsk, had my first dinner of “schabowy” and “mizeria” and I’m feeling great.
I told Al I was going to modify the questions somewhat so you won’t be bored to death when reading about my 5 jobs and 5 favorite places were I used to live.
So here we go:
- 1. Ten years ago I…
– was young and beautiful and had no interest whatsoever in the Polish language. And especially – no interest in sharing my Polish knowledge. And look at me now, huh?
– was wondering what was happening to Polish soccer. In 1998 the FIFA World Cup was held in France and Poland didn’t even manage to qualify at all. Sadly not much has changed since then. Polish soccer is still pathetic. And the players are ugly, too.
– was shaking my head with disbelief when reading about Polish politics. Those were the times of Aleksander Kwaśniewski. I still can’t decide whether things have gotten better or worse since then, but fortunately, these days I’m not interested in politics anymore.
– wanted to know why so few American universities offered Polish classes. I’m not even talking here about Polish as a major, general Slavic Studies would have made me happy, but even those were hard to come by. Or maybe I simply wasn’t looking in the right places.
– was wondering why every piece of garbage literature (if you could call it literature) was being translated into Polish and why so few books by Polish authors were translated into English. And I still wonder about it.
- 2. Five things on my to do list for today (actually for tomorrow, too late to do anything today):
– buy a map of Gdańsk
– go to St Mary’s Church (Kościół Mariacki) and see if the tower’s open for climbing
– stroll around the Old Town and buy bags and bags of souvenirs
– eat ridiculous amounts of ptasie mleczko
– determine whether Bary Mleczne still exist (singular – Bar Mleczny, a cafeteria-style joint with super cheap food, mostly vegetarian, mostly yucky. But cheap, so all is forgiven.)
- 3. Five foods I enjoy:
– bigos, but that goes without saying. I’m a huge fan of bigos, and I even learned to make it myself.
– gołąbki (stuffed cabbage) as long as I don’t have to make them myself. In fact, I’ve never actually made them myself.
– sałatka z czerwonych buraczków (red beet salad) like my grandma used to make.
– pierogi, but only the savory kind. I don’t like those with sweet stuffing. And needless to say, I don’t like to make them myself. Why is making Polish food always so time consuming?
– Polish style pickles – which, as my friend says, come in only two varieties: sour and super sour.
4. Five places I’ve lived.
If you excuse me, this is a boring question, so I’m going to skip it.
5. Five jobs I’ve had.
Since I haven’t had that many jobs in my life, I’m going to skip it, too.
- 6. Six places I want to visit that I haven’t yet visited:
– to be honest, I haven’t been to very many places in Poland besides Warsaw and Gdańsk.
– ideally, I’d like to visit all UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Poland. There are quite a few of them: Toruń, Zamość, Białowieża National Park. I want to see the baroque cathedral in Frombork and the Bieszczady Mountains. But most of all, I want to go to Hel. And if all goes well, I’ll be there this weekend.
In the meantime. check out this blog with photos of Gdańsk, the blog is written in Polish, but you don’t need to understand the language to admire the absolutely gorgeous photographs.
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