July 20, 2010
It is my firm belief that it is impossible to "act like a local" while on vacation in a foreign city. Sure, maps and guides and booklets spice up their recommendations with tips and tricks for those who wish to take a closer look and enjoy "an authentic experience", but you are not a local until you become one. And that doesn't happen overnight and it's most of the times less pleasant than it might seem.
But is the opposite possible? After almost a year in Warsaw, could I still act like a tourist and not like the expat that I am? Would I still find it charming and spectacular, like I did during my first summer spent here? Can I reinvent the city that feels more "at home" than any other home I've ever had?
Two years ago, Warsaw would have been the best scenario for summer. Is it too late now? There's only one way to find out. Since I have to be here, I might as well pretend I'm on vacation and start planning accordingly.
July 19, 2010
So I'm back. And as if I didn't have enough problems already, I just realized I have major time management issues. This is not something new in itself, but such a conclusion can turn out to be catastrophic when associated with temperatures over 35 degrees for three days in a row. Apparently, heat can be very depressing.
Because of last year's traumatic experience - I spent my summer working - I decided to award myself this year and so I kept vacationing without thinking about the consequences of my deeds (this isn't something new either). I don't regret any of my vacations and I still think they were this year's highlights, what I do regret is not having tried to negotiate better terms when I signed a contract and decided to get a full time job. I should have made it clear that 21 days were simply not enough for all the traveling I was planning to do, for all the concerts I wanted to see and for all the lazy mornings I desperately need in order to charge my batteries.
And here I am, back to a scenario so similar to last year's it makes me dizzy. Officially, I am only entitled to 7 more days of vacation until the end of the year. And the plan was to run off to the seaside for a week in August, to take another trip to Lisbon in autumn and then, as to avoid becoming depressed in November, to see how Istanbul was doing as a European Capital of Culture and check out the Gogol Bordello concert in Munich.
I'm pretty sure I'm looking at a long and not spectacular summer (unless I manage to pull myself together and do some serious writing, but I'm not the slightest bit serious in summer) and that I'll have to settle for less in autumn. And, most likely, I'll be so starved for a vacation in January that I'll make the same mistake all over again.
July 1, 2010
On the road avec les parents. Should be interesting, it's been ages since we spent a vacation together.
The timing is perfect, because mid-July all hell breaks loose, September already looks awful with three major projects for work, university deadlines and a translation I can't seem to finish. But I can worry about that later and in the meantime enjoy my favorite pastime: packing.