4th month in Warsaw (June 6th – July 3rd)

Warsaw is feeling more and more like home. I even find myself saying “I don’t want to go back to Australia.” There are a few reasons for this: the traveller’s perennial delight in no responsibilities; the wonderfull time I had in Gdańsk and a desire for many such times in unfamiliar places; and above all the love building with my grandchildren. How on earth will I be able to leave them?

Twins

After school we set up the rug for a picnic: olives, buns, fizzy water, sunflower seeds; and black things (sultanas) for Jaś. The main requirement for a picnic spot is a “lumpy bit”, exactly what uncomprehending grandparents try to avoid. Sometimes we lie back and see if we can spot birds. A game evolves: worms and birds. Maja is adept at inventing games and folding up the rug into a neat rectangle when we move on to the next pleasure.

“This little cockatoo” acquires a new character: Mr Kookaburra Shopkeeper. There’s a lot of buying and selling of toys, and of puddles for thirsty cockatoos in the nest in the hollow tree. This Little Cockatoo goes to preschool and Mummy Cockatoo has to buy a present to take when she picks her up.

 Jaś is riveted  by J’s stories – about a difficult door at his language school or how electricity works or the development of a tree from seed to mighty pomnik. He also has a very gentle soul. He finds many scenes in “The Jungle Book” movie scary and seeks comfort buried in Mummy’s lap, and he cries because no-one wants the pink cocoa-mug.

We no longer have to pick them up so they can open the door into the apartment area. They climb with ease and Maja has started to swing from hand to hand on the climbing bars. When we collect them from preschool for the last time before the holidays, they are swarmed and swallowed up in a group hug.

Language 

I begin the month with the the intention of paying more attention to learning Polish, carrying a notebook to jot down phrases encountered. I can hear more words in the flow of words now. I say to a taxi driver “Ulica Mała, Praga, poproszę” and feel proud. Until he says in English “Which little street? The are lots of little streets in Praga.” At which point I too resort to English and a map. And there it ends.

Walking around the ‘hood

I continue to explore my immediate vicinity, and find an Egyptian temple in Łazienki and the Gestapo headquarters in ul Szucha. I become interested in the history of Kino Moskwa, the glass architecture of Unii Lubielskeij, the protest outside Łazienki and the pleasures of the early morning.



Tourist highlights

I spent four glorious days in Gdańsk: gargoyles, medieval trade, Solidarity, industrial waterfront, water taxis, museums, Prussian hags, the history of shoes, morning walk in the rain, and the tripartite day.


Friends

A great delight was a few days spent with Sue and Viveka, bloggers from England and Sweden. We braved 30°+ together, in the Old Town, ul Freta, a sheesha restaurant and the dilapidation of Praga.


Triumphs – almost

I order a pair of magnifying glasses for the twins, and against all expectations they arrive in my letter box. I recharge my phone online – twice – before I realise I’m being charged twice as much as I would pay at the kiosk downstairs. I organise a haircut, and am mortified when I arrived late because I misunderstood the time: however, despite an unwanted fringe, I get a reasonable style and manage to laugh my way through the usual hairdresser / client repartee. I vote in the Australian elections at the embassy. I have a productive Skype conversation with my superannuation advisor at a time suitable fo both of us. However, the greatest triumph is persuading Maja and Jaś of the dangers of glass: they now willingly wear their shoes, after a graphic account of how, once upon a time when he was little, Jaś almost cut his foot open on a horrible bit of  glass, and how Dziadek flew to his rescue and picked him up just before he landed on it. 


Pick of my photos






At “home”

My Potato Point son continues to take stunning photos, this one of the foam that covered rocks and roads in recent flooding. He has a Queensland holiday for a mate’s wedding; stays briefly with his sister; and visits his brother’s bush block.

I’m sorry to miss an event at the Windsong Pavilion, Bermagui: a celebration of the life of Australian composer Frederick Septimus Kelly, Olympic gold medallist and friend of Ravel,  featuring words from his diaries about time he spent in Bermagui and performances of his pastoral music.

Summer is galloping to an end, with only a handful of really hot days to its credit, and the sum of my days in Warsaw dwindles.

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About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
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25 Responses to 4th month in Warsaw (June 6th – July 3rd)

  1. Sue says:

    Well, what a busy bee you are, Meg….and no thanks for posting a photo of me looking quite atrocious… Anyway, moving swiftly on, by my reckoning you are only a little over 1/3 of the way through your Warsaw sojourn, plenty of time left!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. findingnyc says:

    What a very rich and rewarding time you are having, Meg! You are creating a lot of special memories during your year in Warsaw.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Heyjude says:

    Your year in Warsaw is ticking by nicely, so many wonderful memories to take home and knowing you, you are already planning your return 🙂 Your grandkiddies are a delight.

    Like

  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Fringe or not, what a mega month you’ve had, does it get any better?
    I really hope that summer isn’t galloping away yet, we’ve hardly had one!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pommepal says:

    So many memories and it is so good to have WP to share them with us. Time is passing by so quickly. Now I have been in one bed for 6 months (well I did have two days one night away)

    Like

  6. It sounds like you’ve really settled in and are enjoying life in Warsaw. I’m sure you’ll have many more visits over the years and Skype will be a great way for keeping in touch with distant loved ones once you’re back at Potato Point. My brother lives in China but when we speak on Skype it feels like we’re in the same room. Simple pleasures are the best – a picnic or watching the birds. It’s nice to see photographs of children engaged in the outdoors and not glued to mobile phones – long may it continue.

    Like

    • Oh, they glue to the iPad given half a chance! Although favourites are a submarine emerging from the ice, a rocket launching, and an image of a hedgehog pineapple. But technology is not habitual.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! Oh well, it looks as though they’ve found a healthy balance. I had a lot of fun playing computer games as a child and it didn’t do me any harm. That said, I’m glad I made it to my mid teens before mobile phones and the internet became mainstream.

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  7. restlessjo says:

    How ever will you leave them? I want to snuggle with Jas and tell stories. 🙂 I love the ladies in hearts 🙂 And your language will build slowly. I tried to give directions in Polish at a crossroads in Tavira. She looked at me very blankly. She was from Spain! I know the words- just not when to use them 🙂 🙂 Pomnik, I like!

    Like

  8. viveka says:

    What a joy to read … you’re a fantastic author … what a diary this blog is going to be for the twins one day. I can understand that only the thought of returning home and leaving your family behind is tough on both heart and soul. I don’t envy you.

    Like

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