Wednesday, January 13, 2016

back to the beginning

Part I

The morning:

Out at sunrise to open the coop.

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Oh, but we do have a beautiful sky here in Wisconsin!

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And a beautiful breakfast.

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A morning with Snowdrop.

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Penguin, this book is about a goose that sort of looks like you.

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But I love you more...

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Sleepy before her nap. Goodnight, rest well. I'll see you on Monday. I love you, Snowdrop!

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And then I'm off.

Part II

My family history is full of the typical twists and turns, knots and tangles that you'll find in an extended family of anyone else. And the fact is, those twists and knots retain their convoluted shapes and consequences 'til the day you die. (That's right, Ed, we will forever be reaping the benefits and suffering the consequences of our positions within a family unit!) (Ed would like to think otherwise.)

The next three or four days for me are a classic example of this. My father died now almost three years ago. He had a small but very complicated estate (look back at my opening sentence here and you'll understand why). My sister and I (mostly my sister, with my passenger seat intrusions) have been trying to straighten things out and the last piece of it fell into place just this month, as his small country cottage (actually also my mother's, but she let go of her rights to it a while back, for complicated reasons -- see first sentence again) was sold to a lovely young family who, one hopes, will find the happiness that eluded my family there.

My sister and I have split the proceeds. If you think that this is tremendous, well yes, but in Poland, nearly everything is rather modestly priced. For example, with said sum of money, if I bargained well, I could purchase a garage spot on the fringes of the left bank of Paris (and Paris real estate is still undervalued as compared to other big cities of the world). I know because curiosity lead me to check. In Warsaw, you could buy a simple but pretty one bedroom apartment.

The deal is this: if I reinvest in Polish real estate (perhaps even European real estate, but my legal research need not go there because, for one thing, I have no need for a garage space on the left bank of Paris), I am spared a significant tax bite. But I must keep it for my own residential use, for at least five years.

And so I am buying an apartment in Warsaw.

Knowing that this was coming, I have been looking at Warsaw apartments for a long time. I do the search, my sister does the inspection. It's time to do a thumbs up or down on the final contender and so I am flying out to Warsaw to inspect the place that, if all goes well, henceforth will be my Polish residence.

I fly today, through Detroit and Amsterdam and I make no stops going there or coming back. I'll be in Warsaw until Sunday.

They say Polish people don't know how to leave their country. Maybe. But I think it's not just a Polish thing. I smiled when I read one of the many interviews with people standing in line to buy a lottery ticket in the latest lottery craziness. The man said -- if I win, I will hand out some twenty dollar bills to people and then I'll take the rest and go back to my home country -- Senegal, where I will be king!

I have more modest ambitions. Yes, it is likely that I'll travel to Warsaw more often than I have in the past. (And yes, I do know Poland is entering a difficult, politically charged period right now. It will pass.) But I wont give up on my ramblings to other parts of the world. Patrizia, I will come back to Parma this year! And whisky from the Isle of Islay will warm my soul come summertime. And most importantly, I wont forget that my heart rests with my home here, in the place of that beautiful sky and with the beloveds who are forever on this side of the ocean.

Anyway, that's the back story. Next post -- from Amsterdam. Or Poland.


  1. safe travels my exciting this is coming together. xx

  2. Bon voyage, Nina! I hope your travels are smooth and all goes well with your new real estate venture. I think you will enjoy having a space of your own on the Other Side of the Ocean. It's hard to feel "home" (at least for me) from a hotel room, but the entanglements of family don't seem quite so entangling when you have your own place.

    Also: no apologies required for long comments left on way-too-long blog posts! Many thanks for your kind words.

  3. Happy easy travels... Snowdrop will miss you!

  4. Nina, I somehow missed this post. Congratulations on your new residence! Can I come to visit? I hope you're having a wonderful decision-making trip and am glad to hear things with your father's estate have finally reached a conclusion. Safe, fun travels to you!


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