Saturday, 5 May 2007

Robbery in the Planty!

Yesterday the sun was shining, so I went out to buy myself an obwarzanek (special bread twist- a cross between a bagel and a pretzel) and wandered through the Planty looking for a place to sit and sunbathe. The Planty park is a ring of lawns and trees which follows the old city walls. I finally settled on a bench in a small square, opposite two mothers chatting and a couple of toddlers staggering around like miniature drunks.
Now, the Polish lessons are going ok, but I've still not had many chances to practice. There are plenty of people with charming dogs but the opportune moment to compliment them never seems to arise.
As I was finishing my pretzel, one of the toddlers tottered over to my bench. At last! I thought. A chance for my first casual social interaction in Polish with a real Polish person! (albeit one who is less than three feet tall). The small Krakovian gurgled and placed both hands on the water bottle I had left standing on the bench.
-Woda! I said, conversationally. The small person gurgled again, seized the water bottle firmly and started to toddle away, chuckling to itself.
I got up and followed it, gabbling: 'prosze, butelka', but my tiny assailant took no notice. Finally, I was able to prize the water bottle gently away from the young delinquent (managing to slip in 'dzienkuje bardzo' and 'pa pa' for the sake of extra practice), to the great amusement of the two apologising mothers on the other bench.
Don't believe what they tell you about Krakow being a safe city: a life of crime begins younger than ever here. And remember what your mothers told you about talking to strangers in the park, however small and innocent they may appear...

1 comment:

the dad said...

A delightful story, but a cautionary tale for potential tourists. Clearly we will need to keep our eyes peeled for vertically challenged individuals pretending to be drunk, and take extra precautions to safeguard our valuables in Krakow. One doesn't know who to trust these days.