January 6th, 2005


greetings from Płużnica

As I sit next to a 500ml bottle of notpop, I am making my first post from Poland. We've been here for almost a week now, but while we were doing POC (Participant Orientation Camp) in Chelmno, we were a little out of touch. We don't even know who won the World Juniors. Maybe I should look that up. =)

Czarek and I have a fantastic host family (no curfew la la la la la la - like it matters in a village of 600, but it doesn't hurt) and a great work placement (we hope). We got our first choices of both. Monika tried to steal my thunder by saying that other problems could develop later - I know that's true, and there will be rocky points while we're here (and this isn't helped by the language barrier, although this will lessen with time*), but maybe she's just envious because she and Miranda live in the apartment with the "crazy ladies." A cool kind of crazy, though, so I've gathered.

A word of advice about the notpop - you'll want to nurse it, because it's like drinking a Colt 45 that actually tastes good. I'm glad I've conditioned myself to exercise restraint.

I can't wait to check my e-mail... there must be some real gems in there. Well, I hope so anyway.

We flew over here on Lufthansa, which was a unique experience complete with real food and attractive flight attendants, things normally lacking whilst flying Air Canada. We also discovered that Frankfurt Main has a unique idea of "Non-Smoking Terminal" - in Canada, "No Smoking" means no smoking, whereas in Frankfurt no smoking means "No Smoking Unless You Are A Customer."

Well, I'd better wrap this up and get on with things - I'm at TRGP now, which is our group meeting place, and it's been blessed with an internet workstation and a DVD player, among other things. Like my mother's always said, it's better to be born lucky than rich.

* - There's a plus side to it. Since I have to tell my jokes via proxy, I tend to be more selective about them. Just about every joke I've managed to communicate has been met by uproarious laughter. I think I'll be fine as long as I keep my sense of humour.

(I had a misadventure with my GSM cell phone that I don't even want to think about. Suffice it to say, I wasted about 60 złote (about $25) on a SIM card before I found that my GSM phone doesn't use the same GSM that's found in Europe. Boo-urns. Anyone want to buy a Fido phone when I get back to Canada? =) Anyway, there's a cell phone with a given particpant at every host family, so we should have no problems staying in touch. I wish I was the one doing it, but I suppose I can survive without all that responsibility anyway. In Grande Prairie, I was one of only two participants with a cell phone, and the other one left partway though. I liked being asked all the time if someone could use my phone, but I really didn't like all the roamer numbers I had to tell people and all that related hassle.)

Okay, time to post. More to come later. I didn't even tell you guys about that photography-souring incident yet. I'll get to that, I promise, because it's really kind of important in a "story-in-a-can" sort of way - I don't see the experience becoming a profound influence on my life or anything. Unlike the experience I'm having now, which can't help but be profound.