They rang the church bells at 10am yesterday, followed by sirens. The bells rang again around 12:30, when the service in Rome finished. I didn't actually see any of the official funeral, since I don't have a TV, but I'm told it was very international.
I did go to a gathering in the evening, which turned out to be a mass. There were more people on the trams than I've ever seen before in Poznan, all headed for the same place. When we got there, we weren't able to get close enough to even see the stage, but they had big screens set up so everyone could see the priests who were presiding over the service. It lasted just over 2 hours (why do I only end up at the really long masses??), during which it started to rain twice. Ever been in a crowd of thousands when people suddenly decide to put up umbrellas?
Afterwards, we walked around the city a bit, since it would have been hopeless to try to get on a tram. I was really surprised by how many restaurants were open, I thought everything was going to be closed all day. I guess they decided that people still need to eat, even when their national hero dies.
I didn't really get much of a sense of despair or loss from the people around me, which could mean they've had a few days to get over it, or I'm just not that observant. Some of my students suggested that people are only going to all these church services because they think it's expected of them, and they don't want the neighbors to think less of them. I hope that's not the case for everyone, but I kind of think it might be for a lot of people.
I'm really interested to see the reaction here to whoever gets chosen as the new Pope. No matter who it is, it'll never be John Paul II, so they'll probably have a tough time winning over the Poles. But we'll just have to wait & see.