Ah, the charms of village life. Fresh air, fresh food, what more could you ask for? How about a movie theater and a cappuccino? As I have mentioned before in another post, we are crammed into our microscopic apartment during the week in order to be closer to work and the above-mentioned cappuccinos. On weekends and holidays, we escape to our dacha in the village to soak up the charms of village life, to play in the yard, as Lizzie says “our outside”, to get dirty and to relax.
Now that my neighbors have tired of all the Lucy references (see my post about Ranczo), we can talk about other hot village topics such as lost chickens, kto siedzi (who’s in prison, translated as who is sitting) and whose fence is 5 centimeters too far on our land. Our village neighbors are generous and will share with you anything that they have, whether you want it or not. How many times have I had to drink coffee and eat bigos and cake at my neighbor’s after already stuffing myself at my mother-in-law’s.
Here’s a little background of our street in the Village. On our street, there are 4 original houses on one side. House #1 includes the Village shop and the owner’s house. House #2 belongs to the farmer who farms our land. House #3 belongs to our next door neighbors an elderly couple. Then there is us, House #4, as the last house on a dead-end road. Houses #2, #3 and #4 were identical red bricks when they were built. After our house, there is only our land and then our neighbor’s land all the way to the forest. We have the benefit of nosy neighbors keeping an eye on our house from one side and an excellent unobscured view from the other side.
I’m always up for an adventure so when Mrs. Farmer from House #2 invited us to dig some ecological (read: covered in potato bugs) potatoes from their land, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to teach Lizzie where potatoes come from not to mention that all the digging would be done by Misiu.
I took Rosie in my arms. Misiu took Lizzie and Mrs. Farmer took her granddaughter and some tater diggin’ tools of some kind. The kids were so excited to dig and get dirty. They were laughing and happily throwing big, dirty potatoes into our buckets until Lizzie happened upon a rotten one and screamed, “Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh! Wash it off!!!”. I should mention that thanks to our very spic and span nanny, Lizzie has a bit of a dirt phobia. I have been working on it by encouraging her to mix gooey stuff with her hands and by sometimes brutally squishing raspberries in her fingers and then rubbing them on her face and clothes. I know, what would “Supernanny” Dorota Zawadzka say? ( I love her, by the way) The farmer’s granddaughter said, “Nie martw się. Ja też mam ręce jak gówno. (Don’t worry. My hands are like gówno, too.) To which Lizzie began screaming even more. We went back home to wash up. Lizzie was worried that her hands still smelled like gówno. I asked, “Do you know what gówno is?” Lizzie’s answer, “No, Mommy. Do you know what gówno is?” I pretended that I did not and said that we should ask Daddy. Hey, I’m gonna have to explain menstruation twice. Let him explain gówno.
All washed up, we began walking down the street to Mrs. Farmer’s as her granddaughter had invited Lizzie to play. We entered their yard only to be assaulted with a horrible stench. Mrs. Farmer keeps chicken, ducks, and geese which is really cool but she keeps them in her main yard…and she doesn’t clean up after them.
You can’t see it, but trust me it is there.
The mess from those birds was thick and deep and everywhere and in the middle of that Mrs. Farmer was preparing a BBQ and her granddaughter was playing. I couldn’t put Rosie down anywhere and dirt-a-phobe Lizzie almost had an aneurysm. Misiu informed Mrs. Farmer that we had just come to say that we couldn’t accept the invitation because we had to go to grandma’s for dinner. Lizzie was disappointed not to get to play but relieved to get out of the mess. “Mommy what was so stinky everywhere?” she asked. I told her, “That was gówno”. “Is gówno the same as poo-poo, Mommy?” she asked. “Yes, it is,” I replied. “Eeeewww,” she squealed. Eeeew indeed!
I have more Eeew inspiring stories about my neighbor but I’ll save them for later.
PS Mrs Farmer has a habit of parking her cow right in front of our house (but outside the fence). The result of this cow-parking is often steaming cow pies lining the road in front of our house. While I look at that as a negative, some view this as a positive - a free cow pie. My next door neighbor asked me tentatively if she could have the cow pies. I said that she could but that she had to get them herself. I felt bad especially that she is about 75 years old but I was about 8 months pregnant at the time and had opened the car door and put my foot smack in the middle of a fresh pie. Our neighbor was really happy with her free cow pies which she promptly dug into her garden as fertilizer.