“You’ll get bored,” she’d said to me, with such certainty that I wondered if it might be true. ‘She’ was my boss, and they were her parting words as I walked out of my office, family photos from my desk and farewell card stashed in my bag, three years in a country I couldn’t even […]
“We could go to Wylatowo,” I say to Yvette. “What’s there?” she asks. “Alien crop circles, apparently,” I reply. I look at her, doubtful anyone will find this as interesting as I do. Yvette bounces up and down with excitement. I know why I am friends with this person, I think. Not for the first […]
If you come to visit me in Warsaw, it’s likely I’ll suggest visiting the Jewish cemetery in Bródno. And we’ll get on a tram and head to the entrance, on Sw. Wincentego Street. And there, you may start to wonder if I’ve got the right place. Isn’t that just an old, overgrown forest of silver […]
“Is the Ark buried in Poland?” asks Phill, who’s visiting us in Warsaw from the ‘Bra (Canberra, for those not from our nation’s capital). I’ve just been running him through the main options for weekend trips away. “The Masurian Lakes would be nice — if the weather holds, which it probably won’t,” I say. “And […]
Back in a Bit regular Jean McBain discovered an assuming church in Krakow, Poland, where behind a brick exterior lies intricate wall paintings and stained-glass windows...
It’s halfway across the intersection — as I’m mid-turn, on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the car, with the gear stick having inconveniently turned into a window winder — that I realise I have no idea what’s going on. So I revert to a trick I’ve perfected in my […]
People planning to visit us in Poland usually run their draft itinerary past me. And at some point, they almost all pause and sigh. "I suppose I should visit Auschwitz, shouldn't I?" they ask. I always wonder how I should answer.
I’ve decided Andrew, a man in his early sixties, belongs in the ‘in denial’ category of trainspotters. “I’m not a trainspotter, of course,” he opens our conversation, before going on to tell me about the webcam he’s got set up outside his house in northern England pointing up the train line, so he can grab […]
I arrived on the scene of my first fully fledged translation emergency to find a professional Polish translator in his sixties, with a snowy-white beard and thick glasses, sobbing into his English-Polish dictionary. In impeccable, Oxford-accented English, he looked up at me with his red-rimmed eyes and summarised his problem in four words: Rex Hunt's Fishing Adventures.