There are many pleasures being in the northern hemisphere, not least of which is descending from the blogosphere, and meeting other bloggers in the flesh. I’ve just spent a couple of days with Sue from England and Viveka from Sweden, revisiting, in 30° heat, familiar places with the aid of their new eyes.
They are two splendid women whom I admire deeply for different reasons. Viveka has a better grip on the Warsaw transport system than I have and obviously knows how to travel plentifully: she found a neon museum for goodness sake! Sue persisted in the face of heat which really knocked her about, demolishing the opportunity to fulfil her photographic visions for the day: she also wielded, on her first visit, basic Polish phrases with more competence than I do on my sixth. It was a pleasure being with them, getting to know them, and seeing how they operate photographically.
The centrepiece of my time with them was a short dilapidation tour of Praga, three streets that are part of a walking tour based on Polanski’s “The pianist”. The sun was already belting down when we arrived relatively early – we were dining till 11.30 the night before, the only women amongst a crowd of sheesha-smoking males by the time we left – but we had the benefit of the shady side of ul Mała. We went our seperate ways, pausing to notice what had caught other eyes.
There were a lot more people around than on my previous visits, so my embarrassment at poking my nose into their neighbourhood increased. However, “dzień dobry” was always returned, and Sue and I had quite a conversation, albeit incomprehensible, with an old woman. We laughed our way through incomprehension, wishing as always for an exchange of understanding. Sue had the wit to call “do widzenia” after her, as she gave up and left us to our foreignness. There was more green than I remember too, flowering grass and windowboxes bright with geraniums.