First of all, I want to share some words of wisdom from one of Chelsea’s professors (she is in medical school), an ancient woman who strikes fear into everyone at the university:
‘I hope that when you are a doctor, you make a lot of money so that you can have a big estate with enough land to BURY ALL YOUR PATIENTS.’
‘I hope that when you are a doctor, you make a lot of money so that you can have a car big enough to carry all your textbooks in, because there is nothing in your head.’
Second of all, I am back in action via an ethernet cable. My olde laptop still refuses outright to connect to the network wirelessly, which is infuriating. Cable! Like a sucker! Gah!
Third of all, yesterday was a blur of airports, loud, funnily accented Austrian bikers (seriously, I couldn’t understand 1/100th of anything they said, including articles), cheesy bready snacks, and a couple of interesting Polish beers. (One, a honey-spelt concoction, was especially nice.)
Fourthly, I wandered around Poznań for about five hours today, accomplishing nothing but buying my ticket to Berlin (revisiting Poznań Główny), buying a sandwich and coffee (and consuming them), and taking lots of photos. Y’know, in between pulling up my left sock about 900 times. That’s not a euphemism. These are just terrible socks. (They are new! I didn’t know!)
The city is really interesting because there is quite a lot of EU money here, some of the most expensive real estate in Poland as well, and yet salaries haven’t caught up. The town has a lot of interesting old/new mixes in terms of, well, pretty much everything. Some of it was quite bizarre to me, though Piotr insists you get used to it quite quickly.
Here are some of the results of today’s meanderings, a mix of boring architecture, WTF, and everywhere in between:
This is a stunning war/army memorial. Inside are hundreds of red candled lanterns, which, judging from their numbers in the cemetery across the street, is a traditional remembrance thing.
This cat was hanging out in the Cemetery for Distinguished Poles (Cmentarz Zasłużonych Wielkopolan). I must learn more history about this area, 'cause I thought this was way more Germanic in the 19th century.
Speaking of those pesky Prussians, these are Kaiser Wilhelm II's local digs. Not bad, eh? He helped design the place, but only came here three times. It's now a cultural centre and houses the 1956 Museum, which is dedicated to one of the first anti-Soviet uprisings in Poland.
Speaking of tensions of a racial/nationalistic variety, there are some bastard fascists in Poland. However, obviously, there are those who oppose them too, as this tampered-with grafitto illustrates. (This was in a park named after Chopin.)
Speaking of parks (I'm segueing the shit out of this post), parks here are complicated. I think this one indicates that you aren't allowed to do anything but relax. (Richard's guess? "'no children, unless safely stowed in the bushes.' My kind of park.")
Speaking of children (okay, I'm out). This is just to illustrate that Polish people know posters.
They have ghost bikes in Poland too. (And lots of bike lanes, thanks to EU investments.)
This is the History museum.
I guess some details are new.
Some buildings in the Old Town. Methinks the Hanseatic league made some connections 'round here too. (See also: all of the Baltic region.)
Yeah, you wouldn't have seen this during the Soviet times either.
And, yeah, this place is a Southwestern U.S.-themed restuarant. That DEFINITELY wouldn't have gone over so well pre-Iron Curtain dismantling (even without the pro-Americanness, Communist-era food shortages would have been a major road block to making fajitas). This place was blaring November Rain initially, then switched to twangy country music. In the town square. Near a 15th century clock. Super weird juxtaposition.
Speaking of which (and returning to segues), after that marathon of walking and uploading, I might have a nap. Dinner’s not until 9. We might be having sushi. As you can/do here now.