Thursday, August 27, 2015

Łódź is not pronounced Loads

Road trip! This time to Łódź...which is not pronounced Loads if that is what you were thinking. I once blew my boss's mind in the States when at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC I explained that the Łódź Ghetto is the Łódź Ghetto and not the Loads Ghetto.

Łódź is a pretty cool place. Perhaps too cool. I do believe if Łódź challenged Wrocław to a hipster-off, Łódź would definitely win. But we weren't there for the hipsters or Piotrowska Street. We were there for Miś Uszatek!

If I am truly honest here, I think I enjoyed the Se-ma-for Animation Museum more than anyone who has ever been there, ever. Miś Uszatek was my first Polish teacher and what an adorable teacher at that. I was very happy to see him, his friends, his room, the wallpaper, all of it. I've seen almost all the episodes over the years, and I didn't catch on for ages that all the voices were done by one man. Of course there's more to Se-ma-for than Miś Uszatek. 

The Museum tour begins with a stop in the movie theater where you will see a selection of old and new Se-ma-for creations. Then a tour guide, in our case a lovely young lady, tells the visitors all the most interesting things about Se-ma-for past and present. After that, visitors are free to roam around at their leisure. There's so much to say about the museum, but I don't want to spoil it for you so I'll just show a few pictures.

Our trip was a short one, so next we hit Piotrowska, the "mainest" main street in Łódź. We grabbed something to eat, did some sightseeing, hit some shops, and then headed back home.

In reaction to the lack of "Hel" t-shirts or any other Polish souvenirs in Hel, we hit the Pan tu nie stał shop pretty hard - Polish design, made in Łódź, to takie miasto w Polsce. We got 8 stamps in one visit. Is that a lot? 

Visit their online shop at When I wear my "zołza" shirt, people are so nice to me.

I almost forgot about the Łódź hipsters. They're all so very cool. The ladies, so ladylike yet functional and funky. The men, so dapper and colorful. I felt oh so very plain there in Łódź, but I got in some great people-watching. And about that hipster off? I think it would go something like this:

Łódż, I hope to see you again soon.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

For shame

I ate this whole burger. I am not ashamed.

I'm not a fan of bullying or mobbing in any form. I mean, who is? Well, maybe the bully, but I'm not so sure about that either. I am not a bully. I am, however, a fan of mild public shaming. Why? Because it works. I guess that would make me a shamer? The recipients, shamees?

I should maybe mention here that I use my public shaming power rarely, and I use my public shaming power exclusively for good. Your own good.

You'd probably like an example, right?

Don't do you homework because your child was ill? Pass. Because you were ill? Pass. Don't do you homework just because, for the third time this month? Stand up in front of the room and sing a English. Yes, it all could backfire, you say. Some kids or teens could bask in their class-clown/class-rebel glory. But I don't teach teens. I teach business people. They don't want to stand up in front of the class and sing at all, in English or otherwise. And if the conference room is near the boss's office, that's a good time to crack open the door, just a little bit. Yes, Mrs. Main Accountant, I am talking to you. 

Point of curiosity, the most often chosen song to sing is...Happy Birthday.

For hardcore procrastinators and general lazy buggers, a visit to their boss (the person bankrolling this show) for an explanation as to why said homework has not been completed. Use this one sparingly. News will spread throughout the company and all homework will be completed on time, I guarantee, but aforementioned lazy bugger will absolutely despise you. Never drink any coffee prepared for you by lazy bugger. Ever. And know if lazy bugger ever gets promoted, you are out of there.

Stand at the village shop with your pregnant belly and a ciggie in your hand? It happened. The telepathic scorn I was sending apparently was not enough because Fat Kasia just continued to puff away. I'd reached my public shaming limits. I was speechless. Luckily for me and Fat Kasia's baby, Misiu's ability to speak had been altered in no way. Misiu: Really Kasia? Smoking while pregnant? That's such a terrible thing to do. Fat Kasia: Leave me alone. At least I have stopped drinking. (A prize to the person who can correctly guess and formulate her response in Polish, well, because it was just better in Polish.)

Let me just set the record straight about the nickname Fat Kasia. I did not give her that nickname. The locals call her that, but for the life of me I do not know why. I mean she is fat, pregnant or not, but she's the only Kasia in our village so where's the need to modify? 

So if someone throws a bit of litter on the street or doesn't buckle up their kid in the car or doesn't give it their all in their English classes, they might hear from me. Or not. It depends on my mood. I'm a lazy bugger.

Public shaming extra bonus - Construction Worker Justice, Overheard

I am walking down the street as I do, looking out for anything interesting to see and any doggy bombs to avoid, when I overheard a snippet of conversation of some gentlemen builders who were putting a new facade on a local building. As they were working behind a mesh, I couldn't get a good look at them, but I could hear them just fine. Here goes the conversation, well, lecture really, as an older builder shames his younger workmate.

Co ty? Zawsze widze jak Agata zapierdala z wózkiem a ty co? Ty zawsze masz puste ręce a ona ma dziecko i jeszcze zakupy.

What d'ya think about that? 

Best be behaving. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Instagram and Kielbasa Stories

Kielbasa Stories can now be found on Instagram. 


Because I have so much love to share!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Beer is not a good chaser for vodka

We picked up a hitchhiker today. Not really do-goodery on our part, just room in the car. We would pick people up more often, but we're usually full up with the kids. Before the kids came along, we used to take college students back home from the city pretty regularly. This time we were heading from our house in the village to pick up the kids from a local day camp. It's not more than 10 km, if even that. The bus goes through here rarely though, and it was extremely hot today. Have a heart - we had to pick the guy up. After some pleasantries, he asked to be delivered to the main square if we could, but quickly decided that the local swimming hole would be better. He looked to be about 20, possibly a student home for the summer.

The usual hitchhiking protocol involves some kind of conversation, but since the trip was so short I couldn't really think of anything to say. Turned out I didn't have to as our passenger explained his predicament (but not before asking for a cigarette and expressing his disappointment that we don't smoke). 

You see, the police dropped me off there on the road. I got arrested, and they dropped me there and told me to walk home. They said if they see me back in town today, they're gonna lock me up, so I kind of want to check if it's true. 

Well, that's pretty clear. 

We dropped our little criminal off and picked up the girls. After lunch we too decided that the watering hole was a good idea to beat the heat. And who did we see there? Our hitchhiker with a group of friends drinking vodka with beer chaser and generally horsing around. As we were leaving, the police pulled in. We were on our way out which is a pity because I kind of wanted to check if it was true too.

P.S. I couldn't think of a title and "Hitchhiking" seemed too lame.