Thursday, 12 September 2013

Return from Radom

Radom... what a strange town. Just as Opole indicated that not all was right economically with a display of employment agencies offering jobs in Holland and Germany, so Radom suggested something unusual with a series of bureaux de change (kantory) literally one next to the other. Migrant workers changing their pounds and euros into zlotys big-time? And the shops... second-hand clothes, pay-day loans (lombard = pawnbroker) and 'everything for 3zł/4zł/5zł' shops. Precious few restaurants to be seen. This is a town with 23% unemployment (Warsaw's is less than 5%), and it looks it.

I feel sorry for Radom; the city of 220,000 hit a bad patch after the 1976 riots - it was punished by the communist party which switched off investment - and it never recovered. Unlike Łódź, which has been very successful in attracting foreign direct investment, has focused itself on the manufacture of fast-moving consumer goods, household appliances and electronics, and has a world-class film school and thriving creative sector - Radom has little to show for itself and consequently its unemployment rate is double that of Łódź. And five times that of Warsaw.

Anyway, I left Radom by the Koleje Mazowieckie service direct to Jeziorki, and caught a glorious sunny late-summer evening from the train, dreamily watching the sun go down over some lovely rural parts of Our Province...

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day...

...and each slow dusk a drawing down of blinds.

This time last year:
Up up up with the Cosmopolitan

This time two years ago:
New urban toponyms: "P+R Al. Krakowska" = Okęcie

This time three years ago:
Politics - a change of gear

This time four years ago:
On preference and genetics

This time five years ago:


Bob said...

With it's proximity to Warsaw and being in the center of the country it should be in a position to do better. Seems as though the local government has lacked ideas for development and/or has been asleep at the wheel.

Little Piotrków Trybunalski has developed into a logistics hub - seems they have done well. Radom needs to wake up or be consigned to failure.

Michael Dembinski said...

@ Bob

Strykow, Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Mszczonów... there's a lot of towns getting successful on the back of logistics. Radom's leaders have yet to devise a strategy (all they have is a slogan, referring to the precision engineering for which the town was famous in its heyday)

Bob said...

There is an old saying apropos for this: Some people make things happen, some people watch things happen and some wonder what happened" - Radom looks to be in the latter category.