Saturday, January 23, 2010

An evolutionary phenomenon

Everyday I wake up and go to class. In order to get to class, I must walk to the tram. In order to walk to the tram, I must cross the daunting sheet of ice that covers the parking lot and conveniently all the sidewalks leading to the tram. Without fail, I slip everyday and there have been several full wipe outs. Granted, a bruise on the thigh hurts but more than anything else its my pride that's damaged. What's crazy is why/how my pride is hurt. You may think, "well, Laura you did just wipe out and fall on your butt. That can be embarrassing. But it happens to everyone." Yes, it can be embarrassing. But fortunately for me, well rather unfortunately slipping on ice lies on the lower end of my embarrassing spectrum. Oh, college.
And, more importantly... No! No it does not happen to everyone! Not to Polish women for sure! They alone are the ones who make me feel and look like an idiot. They manage to skate by on the ice, without slipping, let alone falling. It amazes me. They scurry across in HEELS and manage to successfully make it to their destination with ease. Thankfully, I am not the only one who notices, several of my friends observe this bizarre phenomenon too. I swear its genetic. Somehow over time, polish women's genetic makeup was altered to adjust to this seasonal occurrence allowing them to not slip and fall when walking on ice.
So until spring hits and the ice melts, I will wait and hope that maybe someday I'll see a Polish woman wipe out therefore disproving my theory and making me feel a little bit better.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Is it sad when an animal understands more Polish than I do?

I want this dog. Perhaps it will force me refine my pronunciation of Polish words.

P.S: The people in the video are pronouncing the words incorrectly. So if you were thinking of being cool and attempt to utter some Polish yourself, do not repeat what they say. No pole will understand you... even a dog. ;-)

For your enjoyment.

Friday, January 8, 2010

How pigeons make my resume interesting.

After living in Krakow for a couple months, there are several things I've come to realize.

1. You wait, because that's just what you do. Especially in the post office. (This is Poland as a whole, not just specific to Krakow)
2. Sidewalks need not be shoveled after it snows.
3. Always give exact change
4. Pigeons are everywhere.

The list goes on.

However, I realized I can use these bizarre traits to my advantage, especially those relating to pigeons. Yes, pigeons (I prefer the name, rats with wings). The city is full of them. The market square is constantly carpeted by these annoying creatures. They are so plentiful, that I've seen children drowning in pigeons because their parents think its a great photo opt. You see, parents hand there kids some bread to feed the pigeons, and within minutes they are swimming in a sea of feathers, poop and filth.

So, how can I use these creatures to my advantage? Well, another thing one must be wary of while in Krakow, is that pigeons do not feel the need to avoid you. You must avoid the pigeons. On numerous occasions I've seen people nearly taken out by these birds. Whether you duck, jump or just hold your hands to your face for protection, you must be on the look out for those stray birds coming right towards you or for those sudden flocks that just take off from the ground, regardless if you happen to be walking through.

Over these few months I believe I've mastered the art of avoiding pigeons. Everyday is an adventure. By the time I leave, I believe I can add it to my resume, perhaps as a special skill.

Laura Mikulski, Professional Pigeon Dodger.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year's Eve!

Being home in the United States for a week at Christmas was wonderful. It was nice to be in a country where I actually understood what was going on and felt comfortable. Seeing my family and friends was amazing.
My flight back to Poland was fine... for the most part. LOT airlines lost my luggage, which I convinced myself it was really stolen. I blame my hazy half-asleep comatose state for my delusions of "seeing" my luggage being loaded on the plane in Warsaw.
However, after a few days, I was back to a semi-normal sleeping schedule and my luggage arrived. Hand delivered.

So why did I feel the need to cut my time at home short? Only stay home for week? Because I wanted to be in crazy Krakow for New Years. It was a great night, cold, but filled with excitement. The Rynek (city square) was packed with people. Admittedly mostly full of tourists, but still fun nonetheless. There was a huge concert, fireworks and crazy lights flashing all over the place. I was with several friends and we danced and celebrated the night away. I'm glad I experienced New Year's Eve in Krakow. What I found most hysterical, was the aftermath of the celebrations. By 1 am the crowd significantly lessened and one could grasp the damage made. There were broken bottles, wrappers, and streamers everywhere. It was quite a site, and I feel sorry for those whose job it is to clean up post celebratory trash. In fact, a week later and silver confetti can still be found in the square. Below are some pictures from the night.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year! All the best to you!