Polish Tidbits

Trip Start Aug 30, 2009
Trip End Dec 25, 2009

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Flag of Poland  , Central Poland,
Saturday, September 26, 2009

White Women - Krakow:

           Not an ethnic reference but a clothing reference.  Apparently it is a custom here for brides and grooms to take wedding photos about the city.  We saw two different couples in Gdansk strolling about with a photographer.  In Krakow, even more.  We could hardly walk about the city without finding a woman in a beautiful white wedding dress and a tuxedoed groom posing for photos.  Most of the time it was just the couple and a photographer.  Only once did we see a couple with an entourage of the bridesmaids and groomsmen.  I can well understand the thinking as Krakow has such beautiful sites to photograph and it would be fun to have a wedding photo in these spots.  Haven't seen any yet in Warsaw but I hope to see one or two.

OK!  Today we saw one.  Bride, Groom, Photographer and that’s all.  But they were not in a picturesque area of town but the main shopping area.

Mini Bars:

            I wrote a piece a bit ago about how I missed mini bars in hotels as they have almost disappeared.  Not the case with the 5 star high end hotels.  They still have them.  But unfortunately they have changed.  We used to go out and buy some beer and drinks and snacks, maybe some cheese or yoghurt, at the local market, unload what was necessary to fit our items into the mini bar and then as we used up what we had purchased, put back the hotel’s items.  Now there is the automatic mini bar.  Once you pick up an item, it is automatically charged to your account.  The items are all triggered by weight/location in the mini bar/whatever so that any movement of items means ca-ching!, a very expensive coke, beer, chocolate, whiskey, whatever.  Guess mini bars that I like are disappearing.

Mermaids in Warsaw:

            The symbol of Warsaw is a mermaid, of all things for basically a landlocked city (there is a river).  One of their princes was wondering in the area and got badly lost.  A mermaid rose up out of the swamp (swamp, not even the river) and showed him the way out of the swamp by firing burning arrows, one after another, until the prince followed the arrows and found his way out of the swamp.  Thus the city was born and the mermaid was honored.

Pretzel necklaces:

            In Krakow there are many pretzel sellers throughout the old town and various city squares.  They sell big pretzels as well as small ones on thick threads.  Apparently you buy these little ones and wear them around your neck and pop a pretzel into your mouth whenever you feel hungry.  Should have done it.

No Pomeranians:

            Poland has a state called Pomerania.  I figured that Pomeranians must have come from here but unfortunately we didn’t see a single Pomeranian the entire time in Poland.  That was very disappointing to us.  I have seen a Lhasa Apso in Lhasa.  I have seen a few Scotties in Scotland.  We’ll keep looking.

Mauling the language

            Polish is a difficult language to pronounce as there are many different accents marks.  At least it isn’t like a language where we can’t even recognize the letters.  Still, we tend to look at words and make them into something we can say and recognize in order to navigate and find places.  They make sense to us.  So Al Solidanosci (remember I don’t have any accent marks on my computer) became Solidarity street.  Swietokrzyska is Swowetoski.  Al Jerozolimskie is easier as Al Jeezera.  We renamed many of the streets and squares and buildings.  But we never got lost, really.
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