March 25, 2009


Ditie is the main character in Bohumil Hrabal's novel, I Served the King of England. He works as a waiter in the Czech Republic, in the years before World War II. Starts low, builds his way to the top, owns a hotel and loses everything to communists. His main skill, which he develops in time, under the guidance of an exquisite waiter who served the King of England, is being able to tell what people will order the minute they enter the restaurant.
That's how I feel sometimes in the tent. I know what (almost) everyone will order, I spot them at the entrance and then grab a glass or a mug or even a plastic cup and pour their beer, sometimes I heat it for 40 seconds in the microwave, some other times I add syrup or honey or sugar or other spices to it. It's a very little possbility that I screw up (like a few days ago when someone wanted to surprise me and showed up at the tent half an hour before closing time, I poured him beer out of reflex and then he told me he was driving. But these situations are not very common). I sometimes see people in the street, at the university, in some other pubs, and even though in most of the cases I don't know their names, I can make a safe bet about their drinks.
This morning I was in Sosnowiec. As part of my wonderfully useless project with Silesian citites, so I won't make any comments about it, for the time being. But the main purpose of my trip today was my first Spanish class. Well, my first in a manner of speaking, because I've been flirting with Spanish for quite a few years now, we've been on & off since the days when I wasn't even thinking I'd end up learning Polish. It's that time of the year when I crave for vowels and for that soft, velvety "s" that's impossible to find in any other language.
I'm thinking of opening a Christmas wishlist. Not because I'm a selfish spoiled brat who'd expect presents on a daily basis, but because winter is now more wintery than in winter. And when I smell snow I smell presents.
Yesterday was one of the "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" days. The wind was blowing so heavily that it almost tore the tent apart. I feared we'd be roofless by the end of the night. And frozen, but that already goes without saying.

March 23, 2009

Monday evening special

Today I felt older. Age is obviously relative, as we all know, and it doesn't matter that my ID says (almost) 25. Everything else indicates 16 one day, 27 the next day. So today I was old. And happy with it. Also, it was an inspirational day in terms of clothing. Traded the jeans, the hoodie and the sneakers for high heels, all-black outfit with a hint of orange (I feel an orange spring / summer in the air) and perfect make-up. I was pretty darn cool, actually cool is not the right word, pretty is. So I get out of the house, rain is pouring down, it's cold, the wind is howling, it's dark and there's almost no one in the streets. Except for the long rows of cars, like reddish-yellowish snakes crawling in the sinuous streets of Kato. And even though I could've taken a bus back home, I kept walking just for the sake of walking, of hearing my shoes clacking on the pavement, trying to enjoy my inner tranquility, and making mental notes to myself, hoping I'd be able to keep hold of this feeling for more than just a few hours.

Better late than never

Last night we drove to Pszczyna, partly for the fun of getting out of Kato from time to time, partly because I was documenting one of my wonderfully useless projects. I'm planning to rank the cities in this region from ugly to ugliest, as a result of a trip I took to Zabrze a few weeks ago. But I'll be back with details about this once my research is complete and once I've figured out the theoretical framework. Hopefully, I'll finish this project much later and focus on writing my paper.
Anyway, we drove to Pszczyna. Ignoring the weather, which was absolutely disgusting, we took a walk in the deserted and spooky city center. It's actually not bad at all, and probably rain was the main reason why it was spooky and deserted. I'm still convinced that spring is here - even though it's all in my head - and I keep wearing my orange chucks whenever wherever, so after half an hour I really needed a warm place to prevent me from freezing to death, which would be a major inconvenient in my life at this very moment.
It so happened that we found some Irish Pub hidden in a basement, so I got all hysterical and excited about it. To say that Maciek is not a fan of these places would be an understatement. Then again, who could resist my pleads? The pub is very sweet and cozy, even though the decor is rather Scottish. I think I like it better than the Irish Pub in Kato (and at least these people in Pszczyna do sell Guinness). Which brings me to the point of this whole story: after the first two beers, I had to sacrifice myself and drink two more (Maciek was driving, but anyway it wasn't that much of a sacrifice, I could go on a Guinness diet tomorrow) and so I got a present to remind me forever and ever that I almost celebrated St. Patrick's Day in Poland.

p.s. Mom, I know you wanted a pic of the whole set (me + hat), but I'm having a bad hair day and no, the hat can't hide that.

March 21, 2009

As never seen before

Andrzej took this unbelievably beautiful pic of the tent. Now you know me: that place fascinates me, it borders fiction and after all those months it hasn't lost its magic.
But I'm still not able to find the words having the same enticing power this photo does.

March 20, 2009

Not too old to rock'n'roll

but way too old to be living with someone. As in having to share a flat with someone because I have to, not because I want to.

Enjoy it while it lasts

I'm talking of course about this morning's mood.
I woke up and figured out there's nothing urgent on my agenda. None of the "to do" lists screams NOW! So that means I can slowly start focusing on my major tasks, one at a time, without any rush or panic.
The weird part is that nothing's changed, compared to last week, which was also chill, without anything of pressing importance. However, instead of feeling light and energetic, I was one step away from being depressed again. So I think it's about time I stopped questioning my brain and its mysterious ways and just go with the flow.
So I'm hanging out in my room enjoying this feeling I have't had for quite some time now. I could of course go out and do some shopping, but I have the very basics (i.e. coffee and cigarettes) so food can wait, I could take a trip to the first ATM because for the past two days I've had no cash, but then again if I can use my card why carry money with me? I could do some homework, but most of it is already done (anyway, school has been so wonderful lately, that I'm considering some extra-tasks). As I started working in shifts in the tent, I have some nights off during the week, and tonight is one of them. I could go to a party with the Erasmus students, maybe it's a good idea to meet at least this semester's group, as I had no connection with last semester's group. Or I could just go to the tent, like a normal, regular customer. Or to the center, to the Irish Pub which is actually the one place in Kato which I like as much as the tent. Speaking of that, I would've liked to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the tent (yeah, I'm a sucker for Ireland), in terms of organizing some party but then again Tomek was the only one to positively respond to this idea, so he provided the music for the night and so I had a fictional party in my head.
Yesterday I started translating The Eye of the Moon. This is probably the best explanation for my mood shift.

March 9, 2009

Call for applications

Background info: I've been around guys since I set foot in Kato. This is great, but it's not perfectly great. From mere acquaintances to closer & closest connections, I've mostly been hanging out with boys, with one notable exception and two or three not so notable. Of course, my boys are wonderful and I love them, and most of the times they're all I need. Most of the times. For the rest of it, I need a friend. A girl. And I don't mean a friend in the "let's-go-powder-our-noses-and talk-about-men-and-shopping" way.
So this is what this call for applications is all about.
Of course, you will have very large shoes to fill. And I'm not talking only about my girls back home (almost impossible to compete with), I'm also talking about Maxi, who has made the first semester here in Kato fun, creative, smart and entertaining.

Candidate profile:
  • girls
  • age 23 - 28 (I'm flexible about age, but if you're a confused teenager going through some crisis, looking for an older friend please don't bother to email me. Also, if you're reaching 30 and are depressed 'cause you got married too soon / didn't get married, have a boring job / don't have a secure job, are pregnant for the 3rd time / couldn't find someone who wants to have babies with you, it's best to seek friendship somewhere else)
  • fluency in English (unless of course you are fluent in Romanian)
  • listening skills (wonderful intuition is also a plus. I might say "I don't want to talk about it", but I'd appreciate it if you knew better than that)
  • initiative and creativity. Obviously, you'll go along with some of my plans (except for the very stupid ones, which you'll qualify as stupid from the very beginning), but you have to come up with your own ideas.
  • interests similar to mine, but I'm open to new stuff, and it would be best if you had some obsessions you could contaminate me with.
  • smoker (preferably. However, I will also consider non-smokers for this position, as long as they have no problem with hanging out in places where people smoke)
  • casual drinker. I can't stand the sight of drunk chicks, so if you have a problem with alcohol, go fix it somewhere else. I work in a bar and I can't have my friend hanging out fully wasted at my workplace, that's not cool. On the other hand, if you're only drinking in small amounts and only on family reunions, maybe you'll reconsider your decision of applying for this position.
  • Katowice based or willing to travel (frequently)

Selection process: all applications will be evaluated according to my criteria and the final decision will mostly be based on intuition.

Application Deadline: April 1st 2009. I am entitled to prolong the deadline, in case I'm not satisfied with the results. However, since my days here in Kato are numbered, I won't wait forever.

Please send your applications here: Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

March 5, 2009


I don't feel stronger, but I don't feel dead either, so there's got to be some missteps in logic, somewhere between last week's quote, last week's reality and my current mood. Well, anyway, there's a million things going on at the same time, another million spinning in my head, tomorrow (actually today) I start classes at 8 (coffee coffee coffee!!), so that leaves me very little time to sleep, but I'll be back with some decent stories after I take a nap tomorrow, between classes.