Friday, May 20, 2005

(From Warsaw): changes

One blogger leaves, another, along with B., arrives. Madeline is the bridge. I am the one with the yellow bag and the camera, recording and writing and not sleeping.

Everything and everyone pushes me to slow down and so eventually I do. Oscar is speaking Polish and I am listening. Czy pani mowi po Angielsku?

The sun is trying desperately to take the chill out of the air. We set out to explore Warsaw and as always, I gravitate towards the parks. There, we join the countless others who use this setting to talk. Because really, talking, in one form or other is what we, humans do best.

Out on the street, we come face to face with a large protest march. Miners and laborers demanding improved working conditions. What’s interesting is that none of the people out and about seem to care. I ask several to tell me about the march and most shrug with indifference. The police expect altercations. We leave before we’re swept away by the force of a defiant protesters.

In the afternoon some of us eat delicious salads and pastries and some of us feel obliged to clean the apartment that was left abandoned after the party of the night before. And those of us who clean, talk. Talk is good, talk is forward moving even as it relies on recounting the past.

Madeline and I move to the hotel where Oscar and B are staying. I remark on how I feel like Martha Stewart, switching residences from her estate to a more institutional setting. The new hotel is actually an old hotel and I like it for its location and clean sheets. That’s all.

We visit a gallery in the Old Town where a friend and photographer, Konrad, is displaying his work. I have one of his pieces back in the States and I have blogged about him here. In the gallery I am extremely aware of how different the light is. The sun is winning the battle against the cold, wet skies.

We sit at the Old Town Square and drink beers and black currant juice – two beverages that to me are as Polish as… apple pie.
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