23 October 2003

Polish Yoga and Oddly Flavored Yogurt

Greetings and salutations to all!

Yes, I'm taking a yoga class in Polish. It's an unusual experience - I
can understand the words for legs, arms, body, etc and whether it's
right or left. Other than that, I just do what everyone else is doing.
The hardest part is when we're lying on the floor - we're supposed to
close our eyes, but I have to keep mine open so I know what to do!

My trip to Warsaw last weekend was a lot of fun, I got to hang out with
a lot of the teachers from my school & try to chat with them. We
weren't always successful, but everyone was really nice. We went to a
musical cabaret-type show, which was pretty awful, but the music was
nice. And everyone else seemed to really enjoy it, so I guess I'm just
a snob. :)

I've discovered some very unusual yogurt flavors recently. My current
favorite is papaya-lime. I've tried orange-pineapple (not as good as I
hoped), kiwi, and pear (very tasty) as well. Why is Darigold so
attached to strawberry & peach? Or was I just shopping at the wrong
stores at home?

Anyway, I'm off to Poznan this weekend, which is my favorite city in
Poland. I'll be staying with the friend who got me the job here - it'll
be nice to spend some time with her! And to be in a city - my town is
nice, but there's not much to do here. Though I hear the lake freezes
over in the winter & people can walk across it. There's an adventure to
look forward to!

As always, please write back & let me know what's happening on that
side of the water.

13 October 2003

Our Story So Far

We join our heroine (that would be me) in the Polish town of Walcz
(sounds like vouch), which has just celebrated it's 700th anniversary.
That's right, this town has been around 500 years longer than the US. I
arrived just over a week ago, my luggage came 2 days later, and now
we're all together in my huge apartment. Seriously, it's about 3 times
the size of the studio I had on Capital Hill. It's also sorely lacking
furniture, but we're working on that. For the moment it's pretty empty,
but at least the heat has been turned on, and I'll have a great view of
the lake once the leaves all fall off the trees.

I live in the same building as the college I'm teaching at, but I have
a separate entrance on the far side of the building, so it's not like I
live where I work. I teach 3 days a week, Monday-Wednesday, and the
students seem pretty good so far, but it's still early, I'm sure
they're saving their evil sides for the 3rd or 4th week of classes. The
other teachers have been really helpful, quite a few of them speak
English. I'm working on my Polish with the others, slowly. I had to
communicate with the computer teacher to get to use the net today, and
that went ok. I don't have a phone in my apartment (yet?), so I haven't
been able to get online very much. I just got a cell phone today, but
I'm still figuring out how to work it - I should get some instructions
in English tomorrow. :)

The town itself is nice, kind of small, but nothing like the village I
lived in last time I was here! I can walk to town in about 10-15
minutes, where there's a nice open air market and some shops. The
nearest city is a 50 minute bus ride away, and my favorite city is
about 3 hours by bus or train. I haven't been there yet, hopefully in
the next couple of weeks I'll be able to go for a weekend. I'm going to
Warsaw this weekend with a group of teachers, so that should be a nice
chance to get to know some more people.

I guess that's it for now. I have to go to a school inauguration
ceremony. I probably won't understand much, but I'm sure there will be
snacks afterwards! :) Please pass this on to anyone who might want to
see it, I neglected to get all the e-mail addresses I wanted before I
left, so print and post at your discretion. And please write back, it's
always good to get news from home.