William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

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paper blog, one week old, will now blog more often

Written on paper yesterday last week:

I take my blogging opportunities where I can get them, even if it's on paper. Our bus took Monika and I (Czarek and Miranda were sick) to Lisewo so late that the principal of the gymnasium just told me to sit in the office and have some tea and wait for the next class. Right hospitable of the fellow, I must say.

I wonder if the little things about being here are starting to get to me. Every day I think about going home, and it's not just to collect the Aeroplan miles. I miss being able to communicate with people. I get that in small doses, and my inabilities often lead to great amusement, but it is getting tiresome for me.

I shouldn't spend too much time contemplating things, because it makes me sad if I do it at the wrong moment. If I were to blog at the end of the day, it would be a whirlwind-happy post, because I tend to be on fire when I teach. But this morning? Wow, I dreaded coming here like I dreaded coming to my high school every day.

Anyway, last night Czarek and I were translating a chilli recipe into Polish (for a meal on Thursday that I am responsible for) and we couldn't figure out what a pound was. I had to go on the internet.

Our Saturday trip to Toruń was generally wonderful. That night, I made another attempt to phone home to Canada using the public payphone in conjunction with my local and long distance calling cards. I want to stay with my cousins in Edmonton for a few days after the program ceases there.

It took about a minute to figure out how to put my local card in properly and then a few aborted dialling attempts before I decided to haul out my flashlight in the 6:10pm (9:10am Edmonton time) gloom so that it would be easier to see whether I had dialled two consecutive 1s with the sticky 1 key. I finally got through to the calling card's Toruń-area local access number, and then started to put in the phone number. This is when I realized I needed my pin, so I hung up and started over, depleting my local card of more precious impulses.

I finally get everything done in what I think is the proper order, and then I get a few beeps and a pre-recorded Polish message, followed by the original "dial your number" prompt! Augh! So I dial the number more carefully this time, then get the same error message, and then they hang up on me.

By this time I'm starting to get a little frustrated, as I can barely see, and I'm freezing my fingers off in this phone booth, while simultaneously hoping not to be mugged as I no doubt had "TARGET!" written all over me. I mean, Płużnica is a small village, but even Płużnica has places you don't want to be by yourself in at night, or so the locals say.

I decided to try again, very carefully, not wanting to have to do this ever again. I tried the number once, got the error, then tried again. This time I heard odd clicks and squeals. This went on for a minute, so then I gave up. I was rather irate by now, and my language wasn't exactly the Queen's English.

One last time? On my two last impulses? What a bloody waste of złoty! I was furious. I thought about it, but then I noticed that the phone was buzzing static whether hung up or not, and a new message I hadn't before seen adorned the dark two-line LCD.

Argh! Argh! Argh! I stomped my way home, promising myself that I'd never use that … phone ever again.

At home, Paulina offered me the use of their local line (it does cost them a little bit of money, otherwise I would have asked), and we figured out what the problem was. I was dialing "00+11+1" before the ten-digit Canadian number, when I should have been dialing "001." I had thought I was so smart, getting the information I needed off the internet, but I must have been wrong.

(Later I reflected on the irony of a great-great-great grandson of Alexander Graham Bell's being frustrated by a telephone, of all things...)

A few hours later (but still last week)...

Had another great day at school today. I guess I'm just not a morning person. I love teaching the students at the gymnasium and I love the kids in the primary school. It's good times, but dragging oneself to Lisewo in the first place… argh! =)

Some dialogue:

"How do you like the school?"
"Oh, I love it here…"
"Psssshhh…" (accompanied by his facial expression, I'm pretty sure that meant "bullshit!")
"Okay, okay, so in the mornings..." and so launches a spiel where I'm imitating myself in early-morning conversations, saying "Oh, you like football, that's just great shut the hell up..."

And sometimes when the kids swarm me with "Good morning!" when I don't feel like it, my instinctive response is "Leave me alone!" Of course, this is only on the inside, and on the outside I am gracious, and in an hour or two I really do become gracious, so it's all good.

Well, I guess it's time to go. No internet where I'm typing this, so it might be a few more days over a week before you see this. Cherrio!
Tags: poland, poland 2005

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