The report of a very quick visit to Europe - 07 August 2009

All I need is my dear friends. And a good European quantity of alcohol in my blood, in London, in Poland and in Italy

Chapter 2. In Poznan, Poland

It has been a while since the last time I went to Poland. It was 2007 (again, I did a lot that year...). As some of you know, I was supposed to get there in 2008 with Lindsey , but an outbreak of chickenpox in my body stopped us from going there. And so my granddad never had the chance to see my wife.

I left London on Tuesday, with a trip back scheduled only two days later, on Thursday (on Friday I would leave to go to Italy…), so I tried to do as much as possible in these two short days.
It the 4 days spent in London brought back a lot of recent memories, the 2 days in Poland brought back those distant ones. Poland was never my home, and yet I used to spend up to three months almost every single school holiday until I turned 18.
Then my wasted time at university began, and later my army service, and then London.
And yet, I always feel some a deep connection, with Poznan in particular, which reminds me of a time that holidays meant more than 2-3 days away from a computer.

In PolandIn PolandIn Poland

Yes, it was another wave of nostalgic moments. My grandma greeted me at the airport, and she looked much smaller than usual. She has always been an incredibly strong woman, but the death of her late husband left its toll on her.

She found some energy to cook and generally look after me for those 2 days (even sewing some of my well-worn clothes…), but her house seemed different. Everything was exactly at the same places where it has been for past 20 years, and only some new pictures of Lindsey and me on the memory wall were the only addition.  The papers were still in the same spot where she used to leave them in the morning, but they were still folded. There was no more a man who unfolded them, read them and commented over a cup of tea. I also noticed how she stopped doing the crosswords on every single edition.

In PolandIn PolandIn Poland

Yes, it was quite sad. It’s strange to talk with a person that you see maybe, if you’re lucky, once a year but that she used to take care of you in a time that you can’t even recall.

So, after a quick visit to the cemetery to say goodbye to my grandpa, I decided to get out of the house and spend some time with Dominik and friends. It wasn’t the best time for neither of them, since it was the middle of the week and everyone was working, but they all made an effort to catch up with me.

Dominik’s sister, Ula, moved with Marcin to a new house in the countryside (these days everyone is buying/moving houses!) and we spent some time there to generally chat about a over glorified past. This always happens with me. In Poland, in Italy, and now even in London.
I’m stuck in the past, and I have nothing to say about the present, simply because there aren’t enough memories worth sharing. It’s quite sad.

After few drinks, and another evening spent with my grandma talking by my bed (for hours, it was more of a monologue but I think she needed one), it was time to get ready, fly back to London, and leave Poland behind for God knows how long.

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