10 August 2006

Visitors From the West

My mom and sister are coming to visit me tomorrow. Which means they're getting on a plane in Seattle today. It's not really the best day to be dealing with airport security, but we've been planning this for months, so there's not much we can do about that.

I have to say, I'm annoyed that 21 people (and however many more were involved in the plotting) can screw up everyone's travel plans so completely. When I fly, I always bring water with me, because the drink service rarely comes around when I'm thirsty. Thanks to some assholes, that's not an option now. And neither is (this is my favorite one) toothpaste. (??)

What is it about religious fanatics that makes them think their personal deity wants them to kill people? Which god supports that? For that matter, what sane person decides to plan out that kind of thing? It's not like it can just happen, there's got to be a lot of details that have to be worked out before something like that can be put into action. You would think (or at least I would) that at some point during the weeks or months of planning, someone would stop and go "Hey! Maybe we're interpreting this whole thing wrong? Maybe we're NOT supposed to be murdering thousands of people? Maybe that won't actually get us a ticket to paradise, because it's really not a good thing to be doing!"

Or am I being too logical?

Anyway, my mom & sister are coming to visit, I'm excited about it, and I think it's stupid that they're going to have to deal with 2 hour security lines just to get here. But I do think I'm worth it. :)

Oh yeah, and I probably won't be posting for a few weeks, but I'll spill everything about the trip when I get back.

07 August 2006

Polish Health Care

So I had a routine doctor's appointment today. (Stop worrying Dad, I'm not sick) I had two options.

One: I can go to a public clinic, sit in the hall for 4 hours, and eventually get to see a doctor who may or may not (want to) speak English, all for free because I now work for a public university.

Two: I can go to a private clinic where the doctor will definitely speak English, there will be a minimum of waiting, and I get to pay for it.

I chose two. I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford to go to the private clinic, which cost me, including the exam, lab test and prescription, about $60. And that's a year's worth of the prescription.

A lot of people in this country can't afford that. They have to wait the 4 hours, or more, to see the free doctor, who will probably spend about 10 minutes with each patient.

And the doctors, so I hear, are rather poorly paid. Which is why so many of them have started moving to other countries after they complete their (free) education here in Poland.

What's my point? I have no idea. I just have a hunch there must be a better way.

06 August 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For

I should have known.

Ever since my post where I mentioned how I miss the rain in Seattle, it's been raining in Poznan. Every. Single. Day.

Although so far, I'm really ok with it. And it's definitely needed, after the July we just had.

Unfortunately, it looks like it's planning to stick around while my mom & sister are visiting next week. Sorry about that. We'll just have to go hang out in lots of museums. And the salt mine in Krakow is underground, we won't even notice the rain there!

05 August 2006

Sort-of Done

Yes, the finish line is definitely in sight! The bulk of the writing portion of my thesis is now complete. I still have to get it approved by my prof, and then I can have it bound and register it.

That may prove to be even more fun than writing it, since I'm still not entirely sure what the registration process entails. I have a list of what I have to do. Naturally, it's in Polish. And the office where the registration takes place? To my knowledge, the women who work there don't speak any English.

Now, it's not that I don't or can't speak Polish. I'm generally happy to spit out my garbled, un-grammatical version of things and see what happens. But when it comes to the more important stuff - you know, work visa, residence card, oh, and whether or not I get my MA - I'd really prefer to be 100% sure about what's going on.

I suppose there's nothing I can do about it right now. I won't even know if my prof will accept the damn thing until the end of the month - she's on vacation now, and when she gets back I'll be gallivanting around with my mom. So stay tuned, the 25th of August is the date I'll find out if I have to start rewriting, or if I can start stressing out over the defense.

03 August 2006

A Slight Case of Nostalgia

I've been inspired by Ginapalooza! to compile my own list of things I miss about Seattle.

1. rain (honestly!)
2. being surrounded by mountains and water - wherever you look, there's one or the other
3. Dick's Drive-In
4. diversity
5. feeling like restaurants, stores, etc. actually WANT my business
6. hills
7. Ivar's
8. always knowing which direction is west

These aren't really in any particular order, other than what came to mind first. And believe me, many of these are not things I would have predicted that I would miss.

Please don't misunderstand me, I am in Poland by choice, because I WANT to be here. Just because I miss one home doesn't mean I want to leave another one. But there are moments, like when I've been sitting at a restaurant for 20 minutes and have yet to have my existence acknowledged, that I would really love to find a way to export Nordstrom-style customer service all over the world!

By the way, here's a little Seattle attraction I didn't even know I was missing: Giant Shoe Museum If you're in Seattle & have a chance to check it out, please do so & tell me all about it!