Thursday, 24 May 2007

Everyday life from the outskirts

The outskirts being Jelonki - “Young Stags” in English according to Kompas's PC translator programme. This is part of Bemowo (pronounced: bemovo) on/near the Western border of Warsaw, facing the fields, just above the Poznan road. Jelonki (pron: yelonki) is basically blocks of flats, areas of houses, a park and services. Nothing fancy, except people.

As a family man with a wife and young daughter (aged 9) here; a Polish family in Warsaw (my wife's); and with a limited early retirement income, my life is very home oriented. I tend not to get involved in the tourist or Arty/Party life in the information sites on the Web.

So all in all, I can only talk about the mundane elements of a life that I am quite happy to live as a bemused and, normally, amused participant. Life as it is lived to the half-full.

Take yesterday and you will see, although it was exceptional for me. I woke up early, listened to music, read a little, drank tea/coffee and smoked on the balcony. Got tea for my wife, helped dress my daughter and was alone when they left for their schools at 7:30. Messed around on the computer, ate and other functional activities plus music, reading, etc as before. Had to go out for cigarettes and popped into Bar Lidia for a couple of poli (pron poo-lee – half litres) and popped back. Welcomed the family home about 2:30, functional activities again and then sat down to be sociable in front of the television. Our resident neighbour had five minutes laughing over my bad Polish pronunciation, which persuaded me to go out again – a roughly once a month manoeuvred freedom. It had been a long time since I went to Patrick's (Irish Pub) in the centre, so jumped on the tram and then off and then in. Had a limited chat to an Irish guy – not standard in Patrick's, had a few and “got rotten”. A few? What can you do in an hour? I really must try and raise my tolerance – three poli of Polish beer and I start to waver and stagger. Add vodka and ... tram, home, collapsed on bed.

Wild excitement, hey? Mind you, I should really have gone down to (I think) Drzeworytników (pron: roughly dshev-or–utnikoov – wood engravers) a road in Jelonki where there a couple of reasonable looking bars on each side of the road. I have only been to each once, but one had an air conditioning unit (but will it work) and the other (opening in the evening) had a friendly barmaid. Such are life's major mistakes.

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