Saturday, 26 May 2012

Late evening, Śródmieście

After a night on the town, beer and curry with fellow Polish scouts from 3. Drużyna Harcerska, West London's Błękitna Trójka*, time to get the 22:17 from W-wa Śródmieście back home to Jeziorki.

Before descending into the underground station, I notice the poster welcoming football fans for the Euro 2012 championships which start in two weeks' time. The wording in English is controversial; "Feel like at home". Now, some voices are saying it should be simply "Feel at home". The "like" is superfluous. I must say it's not the most glaring of errors, as the word 'like' is inserted in, like, every other sentence by today's teenagers, like. Although it doesn't sound 100% right, it sounds, er, like an attempt to coin a marketing slogan like (no avoiding the word!) McDonald's "I'm lovin' it" or KFC's "So Good". At least there's no article, definite or indefinite, squeezed in there - "Feel like at the home" would suggest Czuj się jak w domu wariatów.

Actually, I think the slogan should have been given to a Polish law firm, government ministry or urząd to translate into English. This would have resulted in "Experience the sensation of the verisimilitude of residence within your own place of abode"**.

With the evening's rush over, time to see about those leaky ceilings. Both Śródmieście and Centralna (as I pointed out last week) have pools of water on the platform floors, even when it's not raining upstairs. Above: some strong-smelling chemicals were being applied to the ceiling on Platform 1 by workmen dressed in sinister NBC suits. Picture slightly blurred (1/10th sec, which shows the need for vibration reduction even in an ultrawide lens).

W-wa Śródmieście, which will soon be welcoming thousands of visitors, has not had any pre-Euro 2012 remont work done to it, unlike all the other Warsaw stations from W-wa Wschodnia to Zachodnia except W-wa Ochota.

I'm delighted to see a vast amount of work (at long last!) at W-wa Zachodnia, primarily focused on the provision of proper information and signage. Whether the work will be ready in two weeks' time remains to be seen.

Representatives of Warsaw's youth today; the cultured, sophisticated end of the spectrum (above) and a young representative of the city's somnolent community (below) .

What kind of impression will Warsaw make on the largest influx of foreign visitors ever to descend upon the city since 1939?

* Along with other expats, last night's gathering brought together four of us old harcerze from Błekitna Trójka. I reckon there's around ten of us who were in this West London Polish scout troop in the 1970s living and working in Poland, plus more from Czarna Dwójka from Ealing.

** A little family favourite here... "Circumnavigate repeatedly the cultivated enclosure/in the manner of a diminutive ursine" = "Round and round the garden/like a teddy bear"

1 comment:

Rose said...

Hi Michael,

I have to tell you that my pedant's mind rebelled against 'feel like at home'!