Well, there's been a lot of things happening in this sleepy little area lately.
On Saturday night, we went to the Rink-Wies disco (here, a disco means a dance/nightclub - think of The Atrium at The Dome, or perhaps The New Palace) in Wieldządz. Well, it's the only disco in Wieldządz, which is about the same size as Płużnica, but people come from all over Northwestern Poland to go there, because it's famous.
Why is it (in)famous? It was built in a former church. In Poland - keep in mind the population is over 90% Roman Catholic, and most of them are practicing - the discos in the smaller cities close for Lent (all of it!), so you can imagine how notorious Rink-Wies must be.
My thoughts about the place? Cool music, albeit repetitive. Also it is very cold there. Most of the churches in Poland don't have central heating (except the new ones, which are few), so neither does a disco built in a church. They try to heat the place starting Friday morning, but it's never enough in the winter. If you see dancers wearing gloves, it doesn't necessarily follow that they're doing it because they are ravers.
I'm told I must come back to Poland in the summer. I agree. The cold dampens my spirits. Mind you, it is actually ever-so-slightly warmer here (currently -4°C) than it usually is in Halifax (-2°C, okay so not warmer now) (and I don't even want to talk about Prince Edward Island (-4°C) or <shudder>Grand Prairie (-15°C, must be a warm spell!)</shudder>), but in these places I was never foolish enough to be touring. Take the Malbork Castle Museum for instance. My goodness, it was beautiful. It's a Poland "must see," especially if you are facinated by the history of religious warfare or, like me, you just like old things.
But the Teutonic Knights didn't have central heating. Therefore, at Malbork, only the exhibit rooms are heated, and maybe some of the interior restored rooms. But it's mostly just cold. I don't notice the cold in Halifax because, again, I am not touring - I'm not standing still looking at stuff. Even when I'm with friends, we generally move fairly quickly through the streets, don't we? Anything to get inside ASAP.
The people here generally don't wear touques. Some do, but many think it's the epitome of uncoolness. Whatever. I don't wear my touque because it makes my hair go crazy, so now I rely on my hood.
Well, enough about the cold. Let's talk about girls, music, gadgets, and my travel plans.
Girls: Things on this front look rather encouraging, after a fashion. In Wieldządz I laid eyes on this very cute blond-ish girl, she returned the favour and sort of saddled up beside me in a beer-mooch sort of way. Still, it was some flattery, and I liked her already, so I asked her, "Would you like something?" but in my nervous and quick English that I use when I'm embarassed to be saying something and want to get it over with. (This usually has the opposite effect of the one desired, because people often ask me to repeat my embarassing comment or question more slowly.)
She stood there aghast, whispered something to her friend, they pointed and laughed, then went elsewhere.
We're going to a disco in Toruń tonight (yes, on a Tuesday...) because even the discos in Toruń close for Lent, so this is our last opportunity to visit a disco, and this will be a normal disco with central heating. On the way there, I intend to learn "Would you like something?" in Polish - either that, or I can just speak more smoothly. I'll figure something out.
Music: The music on the radio here is great. I like RadioZet, RMF FM, and Radio PiK, and probably more that I don't know the names of. They play lots of techno and Euro-rock and Disco Polo and all kinds of neat stuff - 80's hits, countless songs that are/were big in Europe but not so much in North America, songs I first heard on the Lufthansa flight here but am now surrounded by - you name it.
We also get to sing Karaoke one night every two weeks. This has been grand fun; people have been complimenting me on my singing (including a girl in my Tuesday-night language class who is cute, speaks good English, lives in an adjacent village, and is over 19), and I'm quite pleased to say the least. I think I need to have an attitude of some kind when I try out for Canadian Idol in Charlottetown. I think I can make it to the celebrity auditions if I prepare myself beforehand.
Other than karaoke, I am probably famous for liking Warka. And everyone here knows my name, including people I've never before talked to. It's just like CPA, except that it's all positive this time. Score. Anyway, stop me before my ego imitates the Hindenberg. That shit's dangerous to my mental health.
Gadgets: Well, you can forget the troubles I had with my phone (except that I have to sell it when I get back to Canada, and I'm already thinking about the copy in my eBay auction page). It relieves me a lot to say this. Yes, I am now connected, and my number is:
(this dials out of North America - this is the country code for Poland) this is my phone number
My phone is also text messaging capable, so maybe I'll see if I can configure my LiveJournal to work with that. Probably not, but I'll try.
Wait, it's actually Monika's phone, a Nokia 3310 identical to my 3390 except that it works with European GSM. She got it for her mother, but she won't see her until the end of the program, so she let me use it in the meantime. Thank you thank you thank you.
In Wieldządz the LCD burnt out. I was left with half a screen and a black blob. It happened for no reason, as the phone wasn't subject to any undue stress, heat, or liquids. (Her phone is rather old, and right now it has my 3390 Fido faceplate since the numbers are too sticky on her own faceplate.)
So I was pretty desperate to fix this, it being someone else's property that failed on my watch. I was prepared to install the LCD and membrane from my phone, and I would have done so if only I had the appropriate screwdriver bit (a funky, small, star-shaped bit).
Last night we were at the petro station in Płużnica, enjoying a few beers after volleyball (I'm actually almost good at volleyball now, since we play it so much!). I happened to be talking about my phone when an electrician friend-of-a-friend was present. He had the bit, and an old Nokia of his own that he didn't use anymore. Voilà, the phone was fixed. My phone was repaired at a gas station. LOL, to say the least. So Monika and I are pretty happy now. I bought Piotr and his electrician friend some beer for their trouble. So of course I needed one too to be social, and then it turned out the electrician left without finishing his. This was a Monday night, and I had only intended to drink my 3zł, 355ml Miller Genuine Draft, the weakest and smallest beer available (but far from the cheapest). Of course Kristof, Piotr's brother, bought me a beer... yikes. Way too much for a weekday night, but the important thing is I got the phone fixed.
Tuesday, March 8th, 2005
Lufthansa 3301 - Depart Warsaw 0930, Arrive Frankfurt 1120
Lufthansa 470 - Depart Frankfurt 1330, Arrive Toronto 1620
Air Canada 159 - Depart Toronto 1840, Arrive Edmonton 2057
Friday, March 11th, 2005
The program is officially over, and I am free to spend time in Edmonton; I'll probably be with my relatives, but if any of my friends happen to be in Edmonton, call me (dial 446-7626 (or 1-780-446-7626 if it's long distance to Edmonton from where you're calling), wait for a second dial tone, then dial 902-877-9455 (no "1")) and we'll find time to do something. This is a long shot, but I felt it was worth typing.
Monday, March 14th, 2005
Air Canada 158 - Depart Edmonton 0025, Arrive Toronto 0611
Air Canada 146 - Depart Toronto 0710, Arrive Halifax 1010
I guess that's all the damage I can do to your eyes for now. =) See you soon!