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Hey, Nice Airport Wrocław! Or! Day #1 for an American Ex-Pat in Poland.

ShawnH 8 | 1,507
28 Mar 2013 #91
and that can't be particularly good for them.

But I am sure it is better than tumble time!
newpip - | 140
28 Mar 2013 #92
I much prefer a tumble dryer as opposed to ironing everything because my clothes are air dried and crunchy.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
28 Mar 2013 #93
You mean tumble dried clothes don't need ironing? Why didn't someone tell me that before???

Nice observational posts Jason, btw.
Maybe 12 | 409
28 Mar 2013 #94
I have no idea what anyone is talking about since my wife refuses to let me near the washing, in case i turn everything pink.
Krakman 4 | 58
29 Mar 2013 #95
Nice thread Jasondmzk!

Can I take the opportunity to recommend a dehumidifer to go with that suszarka (drying rack). Your clothes will be dry in a few hours and it cuts down tremendously on humidity/condensation.

Beware of some cashpoints swindling your greenbacks!! I used a Worldnet bankomat recently (with my Pekao SA debit card). To my utter dismay, a charge of 99PLN appeared on my statement. This figure represented 4.75% of the entire transaction. Probably my own fault, as I did notice a huge black Dick Turpin style mask pinned on the ATM, just thought it was a promotion of some kind :)
OP jasondmzk
29 Mar 2013 #96
Can I take the opportunity to recommend a dehumidifer to go with that suszarka

THAT'S what it's called? Huh. Who knew? Thanks for the advice!

Beware of some cashpoints swindling your greenbacks!

Yeah, I only seem to be able to use my bank card from back home at Euronets, and they give the option of a fixed rate or the going rate, and the variable rate has always been reasonable. Thus far.
Wroclaw Boy
29 Mar 2013 #97
You are going to get absolutely robbed on the exchange rate, get yourself a dollar bank account attached to your normal Zloty account in Poland, wire transfer your US funds into that in Dollars and change to PLN at a Kantor.

Its one of those subtle little things which we cant be arsed to do, but the banks are having a fcuking field day with these little side lines.
OP jasondmzk
30 Mar 2013 #98
So, we're on the way to IKEA, and I snap this as I'm getting in the car:


Hordes of Christians, flooding the street! Apparently, they take those baskets (if you squint hard, you can see em) full of eggs and salt and some kinda green branch lookin' thingy, and the priest blesses them, and then they take the baskets back home and display them for some undetermined period of time before eating the contents. This is some serious Easter basket.

Okay, we get to IKEA, and.....
They're back!


Swedish meatballs aka klopsiki! And yes, I had them pour some of the meatball gravy on my fries. America is always in my heart. And my arteries.

They were tearing down this old mill-looking structure, figured I better snap a few while it's standing:



Last one

Oh, and I've always loved this weird shack by the river, and I just happened to be a passenger next to it at a red light today:


Apparently, it used to be a toll station for those entering the city on the south side of the Odra.

Tomorrow's Easter, and it looks like these guys start early, so after doing both sets of in-laws, I should have plenty to report. Happy Easter!
Lenka 3 | 2,733
30 Mar 2013 #99
for some undetermined period of time before eating the contents.

It's eaten the next day before breakfast and is called "dzielenie się Święconką". That's when you wish others everything you want.
Paulina 12 | 2,042
30 Mar 2013 #100
baskets (if you squint hard, you can see em) full of eggs and salt and some kinda green branch lookin' thingy

Not only eggs and salt, there's more food in there as it symbolises certain things:

My favourite have been always the lamb (it's been part of Święconka already in the 7th century, in Poland since 17th century) made of sugar and pisanki, of course :)

and some kinda green branch lookin' thingy

It's bukszpan (boxwood) or borowinka (vaccinium).

And as Lenka wrote the food is being eaten on Easter Sunday.
OP jasondmzk
30 Mar 2013 #101
And as Lenka wrote the food is being eaten on Easter Sunday.

You don't eat the branch thing too, do you or is that just symbolic? Thanks for the link, it's all new to me; as I'm sure everything we eat tomorrow will be, as well.
Lenka 3 | 2,733
30 Mar 2013 #102
Or is that just symbolic?

It's added for beauty and maybe symbolic (I'm an atheist so I wouldn't know)
Paulina 12 | 2,042
30 Mar 2013 #103
You don't eat the branch thing too, do you

No, of course not ;D

or is that just symbolic?

It's used for decoration and I've read it's been used instead of olive branches, since olive trees don't grow in Poland. It's supposed to symbolise hope.

But to be honest I doubt people know about it, I didn't - I decorate the basket with this green thingy because my mum does this, and my grandma does this and my great grandmother did this, etc. etc. So, it's... erm... tradition ;)

Thanks for the link, it's all new to me; as I'm sure everything we eat tomorrow will be, as well.

You're welcome :) Well, there will be żurek (it's a soup) I imagine (the decorated eggs, sausage and bread that was blessed the day before are put in it) and probably some traditional Easter cakes like babka wielkanocna, mazurek and some less traditional ones. There's less eating than on Christmas ;)
scottie1113 7 | 898
31 Mar 2013 #104
There's less eating than on Christmas ;)

That hasn't been my experience, and thankfully there's no damn carp on the table. :)
Maybe 12 | 409
31 Mar 2013 #105

...... in jelly, vomit...
OP jasondmzk
31 Mar 2013 #106
Bells and violence. No one told me there'd be bells. Midnight, clanging, much clanging. Back home we'd get the occasional tornado siren, never church bells. And singing, mustn't forget the singing/chanting that accompanied the bells. Was that how they woke Jesus back up in the first Easter? It went on forever, and when I finally fell back asleep I was awakened by the much less holy (but just as cacophonous) sound of my drunken neighbors screaming and fighting like there was no tomorrow. Which, seeing as how it's only a few hours later, and I'm waiting for my wife to get out of the shower, there hasn't been. So, it's early, the clock skipped an hour, and religious revelry and drunken revelers have made this the second worst Easter for a Jew in record history, so far. I'll probably feel better after I eat.
rybnik 18 | 1,461
31 Mar 2013 #107
Brings back memories Jason.
May I wish you a belated "zissen pesach"..........................and keep posting.
I enjoy your perspective: fresh and delicious.
Maybe 12 | 409
31 Mar 2013 #108
my drunken neighbors screaming and fighting

I had neighbours like that a while back, he ended up in prison, she ended up in the nut house and the kid went to the grandparents, tragic but that's what alcohol can do.
OP jasondmzk
31 Mar 2013 #109
Easter 2.0. Lo', and there was drinking! I was right, I felt much better after I ate. First, we went to my wife's cousin's crib. And what did I eat? Well, Miss Lenka and Miss Paulina were right on the money, we started off with that magic egg, sectioned off and put into a (magical?) soup:

And Then, There Was Ciasto And Butter Shaped Like a Cow:


My daughter, chillin' like a boss:

My wife's handsome uncle, speaketh not a word of English do he:

Easter 3.0. And such Ukrainian vodka did pour forth like the mighty springs of Eden! So then we went to my teść's house, and he got me... well, let's say, "ripped", and that's pretty much where we stand, now. And man, can my wife's stepmother cook. They have their own smokehouse outside of town, and my teść has a brewery:

Then, my sister-in-law (the Polish word escapes me) brought out her Guinea Pig, "Boczek":

Helluva Easter, folks. Hope you had a good one, too.
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
31 Mar 2013 #110
Everyone knows the Japanese take off their shoes when entering theirs or someone else's home. I had no idea the Poles were just as inclined.

Yea you were slippers once inside. Some see it as backward, i think it's not. Keep the floor clean longer, nothing wrong with that.
jon357 67 | 17,530
1 Apr 2013 #111
nothing wrong with that.

Nothing wrong with it at all. Protects the parquet too. Though not everyone does it - the higher up the social scale, the less likely it is.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
1 Apr 2013 #112
Butter Shaped Like a Cow

it may be a lamb or ram
OP jasondmzk
1 Apr 2013 #113
I bet you're right. It once (now eaten) had a little leaf for a tail, and cows have long tails... so.
Rysavy 10 | 308
1 Apr 2013 #114
tearing down this old mill-looking structure

Wow I love that building! I'd buy it and make Condo suites! tragic they are tearing it down...
Wroclaw Boy
1 Apr 2013 #115
tragic they are tearing it down...

There are thousands of those throughout Dolnoslaskie, old German buildings and speaking from experience they really are rock solid. Problem is from a developers point of view its cheaper and MUCH less hassle to demolish and build houses, apartments or what ever from the ground up...........that is assuming they dont hit any corpses or such.

Get out into the coutry and you will see those types of buildings all day long and most of them are way past sensible economic repair.
jwojcie 2 | 763
3 Apr 2013 #116
They are tearing down only this gray structure (though there is a controversy if they can tear down the tower). This huge red brick building behind is for renovation. Probably for condos, but I'm not sure.
OP jasondmzk
6 Apr 2013 #117
Art. Artists. Champagne with berries in the glass. Some things are the same no matter the continent. We went to an opening last night, at Galerię M Odwach, which means "Gallery at the Guardhouse". Can you guess what the building used to be? It's across the street from the Opera House, and if you've been to Wrocław, I guarantee you've passed it, probably a kajillion times.

It's on this street:


Fun Fact! Ul. Świdnicka is one of two of the very first streets cleared and later paved in Wro. Can you name the other one?

And the gallery on the left:


So, a bunch of people in dark clothing stood shoulder to shoulder for awhile, listening to a woman talk about how great art is, and Wro's art scene in particular.

And the people clapped politely:


And it was damn crowded.

Art. Yeah.

When they served champagne the atmosphere improved considerably.:


And so we looked at art.


Hi, soldier.

More art

Okay, that was some great culture, right? Right. So then we headed out into the night!
Hipsters disembarking outside the gallery:


You can't see it well, here, but the City Seal on the public transportation i Wro has a disembodied head on it. No, seriously. I think it's Saint Peter's?

Here it is:

Walking in downtown Wrocław is like wearing those shoes they had a few years ago, remember the ones that were supposed to help you balance and improve your muscle tone, because they were lopsided or something? The cobblestones are quaint and beautiful, but they are tough on the tootsies, let me tell you. Here's another pro-tip: If you're lucky enough to find yourself in the company of a bevy of Polish beauties, buy them all some flowers at one of the Rynek's (downtown's) many many flower stands. It's de rigeur to give flowers here, and always appreciated. So yeah, we walked.


And where did we walk to, faithful reader? "El Barrio"! No kidding. For those that aren't in the know, el barrio back home is idiomatic for a Hispanic neighborhood, and to some, it's a ghetto. But the place was nice, with lots of tables so you don't have to stand around and hold your drink like a frat boy.

And so began the cocktails.


Did you catch that painting behind us? A butt = classy establishment:

more art!

Instead of charging a cover, many bars have a "coat check", which just means you still have to pay a cover, but now you have to be colder and keep track of your claim key.

Case in point:


Okay, now check out the doors on the exit:


What's that about, I wonder?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384
6 Apr 2013 #118
Fun Fact! Ul. Świdnicka is one of two of the very first streets cleared and later paved in Wro

ul. Świdnicka is one of the original Wroclaw streets. It did indeed lead to Świdnicka. but one would have had to pass through a city gate first. It was just beyond this city gate that serious fellons were hanged.

I think it's Saint Peter's?

John the Baptist

The cathedral on Ostrow Tumski is: The Cathedral of John the Baptist.
OP jasondmzk
7 Apr 2013 #119
Went looking for gypsies, today. Didn't find them, but I can tell you this with certainty; north of the River Odra is a different creature than it's southern-banked counterpart. The roads are knobby, twisted affairs, crooked like an old-woman's bones. It stinks of sh-t, mud, motor oil, and the effects of time applied liberally to all three. The buildings come almost right up to the street, and hover there, menacingly. It immediately transitions from busy metropolis to this:

Nice, huh

Then these guys:

Mural in back.

And in the middle of nowhere:

Fun times

You start to see a lot of:


Mixed with lots of:




I took an art-house looking one, just for kicks:


And you'll see German on some of the buildings, still!



Macht cool

But there's also tell-tale signs of Wro's darker past, such as bullet-riddled buildings from WWII:
Such as:




But mostly?

f-ck communism it says.



And this:

Gotta live somewhere.

Putting off the search for the ever-elusive Roma to another day, we went downtown to eat at Greco, and whatta ya know, a fire.


At least the flames are warm.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161
7 Apr 2013 #120
But mostly?

Yep. So much for "the only economy not affected by the crisis blah blah blah".

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