Sunday, 22 July 2012

Double milestone

Today, 22 July 2012, marks the 15th anniversary of my permanent move to Poland. On this day in 1997, I flew into Warsaw Okęcie airport, made my way to ul. Gajdy in Pyry, where we were renting a house. I moved into it entirely empty - nothing here but a mattress, the suitcase with which I arrived, and about three million mosquitos, all intent on draining me of my blood. By the time the rest of the family caught up with me on 20 August, there were well over 200 squashed mozzies splattered on the walls and ceilings of my bedroom, the repainting of which cost 200 zlotys. I recall the smell of the freshly varnished floors and, cycling to work, the smell of węgierki - small plums, and mirabelki - small apricots on the roadside trees.

I'd worked in Poland on short-term consulting assignments before, but being here permanently still felt like an extended holiday, full of novelty and charm. As work became more stressful, this charm faded (the usual stages of expat emotions) but at the end of the day, I'm much better off in Poland than I would have been had I stayed in the UK, happier, and with a sense of satisfaction at having seen a country pulling itself up from the shambles of communism towards becoming a prosperous democracy.

This also happens to be my 1,500th blog post, another reason to be cheerful!

More from Penrhos to follow.


Dyspozytor said...

Congratulations on reaching 1,500 posts. A worthy milestone. I'll be raising a glass of Zubrowka to celebrate your wonderful achievement.

Have you done the Welsh Highland Railway yet? W.H.R. = 40km of rebuilt narrow gauge through the best scenery that North Wales has to offer.

Take the car to Pwllheli, then the bus to Caernarfon, then the W.H.R. to Porthmadoc and finally the Cambrian coast line back to Pwllheli.

Or why not get up really early and do the Grand Tour? Car to Bangor, train to Llandudno Junction, train to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Festiniog Rwy to Portmadoc, W.H.R. to Caernarfon, then bus hop to pick up your car in Bangor.

Grand Tour = 66km of 600mm gauge travel. Sadly Poland no longer can match this!

Kolin S. Murray said...

Congrats on 1500 posts! You are a model of blogger dedication!