Saturday, June 20, 2015

Our kids don't have everything

Our kids don't have everything. By our choice.

I had pretty much everything as a child. I did grow up in America after all. My husband a child of PRL had adventures, not toys.

Years ago we bought a house about an hour outside of the city in a village of 500 people surrounded by farms and forests. A house is an overstatement. It was more likes a collection of bricks. No heating, no electricity, no water, no bathroom, but one hectare of land and peace and quiet all around. 

Now the house has new windows and a new roof. It has electricity and water and heating and its first ever indoor bathroom. Ameryka, po prostu. Our kids have a big room, shared, full of books and toys - it is true. They have less than what I had, and more than their father had. 

There will be no gaming systems, no iPad per kid, no television sets in their rooms, nothing like that. There will be family bike rides, their own personal flower beds (weeded out by Mom), worms, snakes, frogs, bug bites, swimming in the lake, and family barbecues - emphasis on experiences, instead of things.

I must admit it is often harder for us as parents to say no than for the kids to hear it, especially the parent who had less as a child. Yes, one Coca-cola won't kill them, but today it's a coke, tomorrow a candy bar, the next day a video game. It's a slippery slope ;)

If you know Polish, here is one parent's perspective on the "kids with everything " issue - from a parent who grew up with "nothing".,nasze-dzieci-maja-wszystko

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Half naked

Poland has a new President, well, President-Elect until he's actually sworn in. President-Elect Andrzej Duda won out over current President Bronisław Komorowski. Duda is strongly supported by the conservative right and won overwhelmingly in the eastern side of Poland. The east-west split in Poland falls along the lines of history with so-called Polska A of the west including territory acquired after WW2.* Polska A tends to be less conservative, less religious, and better off than Polska B. It follows that Polska B is less well-off, more conservative, and more religious. In some areas in the east, Duda received even 70% of the vote. Voter turnout hit about 50% if I remember correctly. There were 2 eastern areas where Komorowski won out. Those areas are Eastern Orthodox which goes to show how much of an impact religion had on the election results.

*Noted* First commenter below reminds that this division existed prior to WW2 as well.

Recently Duda was asked about the possibility of homosexuals working in his cabinet. His reply speaks for itself:

"I cannot imagine that I would ask employees how and with whom they live."

Good, good.

"But I also cannot imagine that some half-naked people would be parading around my office."

Duda, you should have stopped while you were ahead. So homosexual = half naked. Maybe if we are talking about a hot, gay club at 2 a.m. or at least that's what I've seen on TV. Maybe Duda has more experience with half-naked homosexuals than I do or perhaps we just watch the same TV programs.

Mayor of Słupsk, Robert Biedroń, when asked about Duda's comments, made an excellent point, "Duda should remember the he is president of a serious country. If he holds such a stereotype about gays, just imagine what he thinks about Jews, or Roma, or Germans or Russians. That's not an appropriate stance for a politician of this stature. He's not doing me any favors sitting at the table with me. I'm just as much a citizen as anybody else." I should mention here that Robert Biedroń is not only the Mayor of Słupsk, he is also homosexual.

It's supposed to hit 28*C today so I think there are plenty of people who'd like to be parading around half naked at work...including me!

Article in Polish,robert-biedron-nie-przystoi-by-prezydent-tak-wypowiadal-sie-o-gejach