Irene, who holds forgotten memories - 16 August 2005

It's always good to go back to Poland. Old friends, old granparents, potatoes and vodka.

Showing my cooking skills

Palmiarnia, insideOn Sunday I should have gone to the Church. My grandma did, at 6am in the morning. They like their churches, in Poland.

I stayed in bed, with a growing neck pain, and to apologize for my lack of catholic activism, I took my grandparents to the Palmiarnia.

The PalmiarniaPalmiarnia, the coca cola palm, one of its kind in Poland, is a glass building with many different ecosystems that simulate different regions from the world, so characteristic plants and vegetables can grow. There is a desert area, a tropical area, a something else area and so on. It's not too big, but the interesting fact about it is that has been built thank to all the people collecting tin lids from milk bottles back in the late eighties. 30 years ago they completed it, but only half of it. Irene and EdwardThey closed it down for many years before asking the collective to help them raise enough tin / money to finish it. And 10 years later it is working fine and all the locals love it. I do too.
It's a good place to relax, and you always need place like that, if you local cinema is closed or nobody wants you to invite at the barbecue in his garden because the last time to got drunk and smashed the window.

Olaf in the countrysideIn the evening Dominik decided to take me and the whole posse to the countryside, for a day long barbecue at Marcin's summer house.

Chef OlafWe traveled on Sunday afternoon and get there in time to enjoy a lovely august afternoon. I was forced to cook my spicy pasta with my fantastic cooking skills while Dom, a long time Italian maniac cooked some mild version of the same pasta. Sausages!More people loved my version, but me and Dominik decided to have some pasta col pesto just for ourselves, so I can't really tell you if what I cooked was good or not.

Pasta!The barbecue with polish sausages, beers, vodka and strangely no potatoes was fantastic, and drinking in the empty countryside was another great chill out experience. I even managed to show my Lego abilities to the kids, building a massive Star Destroyer with the colored bricks. It's a shame they didn't appreciate it and started to add their own pieces, ruining the perfect symmetry of my spaceship. Kids. Lego. Olaf.

Vodka!Sleeping in the wooden house wasn't much of a problem, only the kids kept waking up in the middle of the night and walk like zombies looking for their mama. Scary stuff.
You are dreaming about the usual stuff, you hear some noise, you open your eyes and you have some 1m midgets looking straight at your face, almost crying and asking you "I want my mummy".
And you cannot ignore them. Never ever. Damn it.

Little ZombiesThe next morning was my last day of holiday before the 12 hours trip back to London. With Dominik, the not drinker, the only one with a hangover (probably for sniffing the aroma of the vodka in the room), I had to drive him to the local chemist to get something that could help him.

We moved back in the afternoon and I said goodbye to all the guys and girls. I spent the rest of the day still hoping to find someone who could give me a massage. The final result? Two weeks later my neck is still hurting. Nobody wants to help me!

Saying goodbye to my grandparents is always sad because my grandma tends to cry, while I have always my idiotic smile on my face. But I had to and I jumped on the train back to the crappy city, Warsaw.

Town HallI left Poznan at 2pm. I arrived at home 12 hours later. They stopped my train because someone stole some luggage and they caught him not far from where I was staying. Then the plane was delayed because it was overbooked. Then the bus from the airport to London had a problem with the engine and stopped somewhere.
Traveling is never an easy adventure for me, but once I'm home I always realized how much I enjoy all these delays, problems, food, toilet emergencies and weird encounters on my trips.

You have always great stories to tell your friends, if they're not too drunk to listen or if their only question is not something like "So, Poland uh? Tell me about the girls" (there aren't many... all the single girls moved to London!)

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