Text and mails to friends before starting this

Mail to Clare Tuesday

Bozena seems lovely but very organised! I’m feeling somewhat tardy that I don’t have a lonely planet gdansk with me! It’s very generous of her to invite me here, her English is a bit hesitant but good!! Mind you, she mistook me for someone she had met on a Couchsurfing trip to Berlin a couple of years ago so I think I’m here by default!

On Saturday we are going to the theatre, a Shakespeare’s ‘globe’, with subtitle screens, because ‘as you know, Shakespeare had a connection with Gdansk’!  

Sunday we have tickets to the opera, on Monday a classical concert in the basilica, possibly Chopin for, ‘as you know, he was Polish, not French although the French try to take him’!

Wed or Thursday we are going to Hel (narrow isthmus) on a boat but have to wait for a nice day and I will ride to Sopot with her friend on a bicycle another day, it is a ‘long way’, google maps says it’s 14k so should be fine except her male friend doesn’t speak English!

She has a daughter working as an immigration lawyer in london and a husband (that’s a surprise, didn’t know he existed) who is a gynaecologist but apparently he rarely comes home and they have separate bedrooms.

We’ve just eaten beef and mushrooms with lots of boiled potatoes at 4pm, I think it’s going to be a heavy meat week, and at 6 we will go into Gdansk for sight seeing. 

Feeling far more positive than Ive been though Ive been sent to bed to rest at the moment as Ive had a long day!

T xx
Text to Clare Thursday

Quietly going mad at some of constraints and issues!! Did you know it is very easy to live comfortably in England on minimum wage and have house and car? Her info comes from high flying London lawyer daughter with lawyer partner. Oh and Moslem countries should not be spoken of. And I may not drink tap water. Or choose to have a piece of salmon cooked with butter. Planning to try to continue avoiding alcohol!!!!!

Texts to brother Julian on Friday

I am in Poland. Gdansk. Staying with a lawyer. I have more questions about Poland than when I came!! Whereabouts are your friends from? You should take their invitation and visit! Sadly my host is very intense and I have no time alone, so no writing. I’m on a freebie holiday helping her improve her English!Photos on fb of course. Actually grabbed 20mins writing time this morn. We are planning some solo time so who knows…..

Mail to Clare on Friday

A week was too much. 

When she offered and I agreed she was working a 3 day week but has since retired. It’s claustrophobic. Total hotel waitress care. I’m not allowed to move a cup or plate at meal times tho am allowed to get a coffee in the mornings thank goodness. 

She disregards people with little money, says most people buy houses not rent but we pass acres of blocks of high rise. No she says people do not rent them, I push, she insists the council do not own them but then concedes that people with money buy them and then let other people live in them. Ah right, so that’s not renting? I darent ask or try to pursue my questions.

Ive seen no homeless but also not been to the areas that she says are ‘not nice’. 2 old women are begging, she insists they ‘don’t need the money and anyway they are not old but dressed up young’. She knows. We see a woman and child begging, gypsy I think, ‘these people are from Romania’ she says and I agree. People are selling bunches of flowers from gardens in an underpass, I like it and want to buy some but she frowns. We then have disagreement about allotments, there are many here. It is illegal she says. End of conversation. 
Everything in gdansk is the best the longest and the most beautiful. It really irks me when people have this attitude. At the same time I think maybe I let England down when I don’t do the same but I just don’t feel that way about any of it. 

The house is a simple enough. large 4 bedroom, but electronic gated, inner gate locked, 2 layers of doors locked, with shuttered windows, manicured but sparse big garden. 

I won’t be bringing home a number plate. I have realised she has been evading and ignoring my questions about scrapyards and flea markets. Last night she expostulated about being a lawyer and being on the news for aiding and abetting yet the number plate is not also insurance here therefore not the illegal issue. I have to leave it. 

Aside from all that, I think if not trying to defend her country and me not wanting to be enquiring, we would get on well! There are moments of warmth. 
Language improvement she wants but at the same time doesn’t want correction. It’s hard to know how to play it. I’m exhausted speaking slowly and clearly and struggling at times to understand and be understood about things more important than everyday niceties. Ive given up trying to pay for much, she lets me buy her a coffee but all tickets and our one meal out have been at her expense. Ive said I WILL buy our next meal so I think we will not eat out again!!
She LOVED that I loved the solidarity expo. She says I spent longer there than anyone else has ever done. I explain how important solidarity was to me as a student and young adult and we find common ground but when I try to ask about Polish experience of holocaust we’ve lost it and I don’t understand why. 
She dawdles incredibly slowly and constantly walks into me. I struggle with boundaries like that. If I try to up the pace, I find myself a bit ahead so have to stop as don’t know where we are going. She says I don’t need a map as I have her. 
We have an organ and violin recital this evening, Shakespeares merry wives of Windsor (that Ive read up on but am unfamiliar with tho she doesn’t believe me) tomorrow and the opera appears to perhaps be a collection of famous arias, I can’t pin her down or find out but yes thanks Clare I have of course been to opera and do _of course_ understand the importance of knowing the plot. lol I just did a _you_!

Just had a lovely breakfast chat aided by the Poland Trump Gif, if you haven’t seen it look on my fb page, it’s magic. Tradition here is women shake with women and Trumps face is a glory. The gif has not been seen she says here and nothing made of the incident in the media. She struggles a little to understand the implications or politics involved, is over concerned with her own disdain for right wing president here. Poland are desperate to be allies USA as still fear Putin. A good start to the day!

Can’t wait to come home! No, but am counting. Think we are planning an independent day for me on Monday tho she tells me I have to go to Malbork castle. It’s fine. It’s a day trip. 

She talks of coming to norwich and we have skirted with a jaunt to St Petersburg and Japan!!!! So things not all bad xxx
I miss aloneness and not writing

Xx

Text to Clare Saturday

Escaped for a bliss 5 hrs alone today because she doesn’t like art and I wanted to see some. Came back bouncy and revived to find her depressed having been alone. Spent very dreary evening with organ recital church music last night. Finally got list of 16 arias for tonight and I only know 4 of them but she insists EVERYONE knows them all! We have just listened on you tube and she doesn’t believe I dont know them. Different life circles! Counting down xxxxx And she was cross I didnt want dinner, said she had cooked it for me even though we discussed I would eat out!!! Aaarrhghh!

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