Friday, 27 July 2007


My boss has been back from holiday this week, so I've had to re-learn the art of social interaction at work. Halfway through Monday morning, he looked up from the computer where he had been proofreading and exclaimed: 'This is all Mumbo Jumbo, isn't it?!'. And, not being an automotive engineer myself, I had to agree.
There's a children's game where you have to read a text, any text (e.g. the back of the cereal packet) out loud, replacing every noun with the word 'pants', all the while keeping a straight face. Occasionally terminology feels like that.

Today I went back to the Bad Obwarzanki Lady for a re-match. I smiled, greeted her, and ordered one apple and a small bottle of mineral water (this requires a different case ending. Very smooth). Before I got to the end she butted in with 'gazowananiegazowana?'. But by her tone of voice I could tell she was admitting defeat. I made sure to give the closest possible to the correct change, to indicate that I had understood (confusingly, the till in the kiosk displays three different figures, none of which are related to price. They may have some kind of cosmic significance that I am unaware of.). There was a certain amount of impatient tutting behind me, but I was too pleased with myself to pay very much attention.

Clothes are still a hot topic at the language school, proving revelatory in some cases ('At the weekend, Ben likes to wear a dress'). I can now describe from head to toe what I am wearing, including the colour plus one useful adjective from a list of six. I can also ask other people what they are wearing.
This skill will be invaluable if I ever decide to set up an X-rated chat line in Kraków.

And finally, I have discovered something I don't have to conjugate: the humble kiwi fruit. (in Polish: kiwi. Plural: kiwi).
I can like or dislike the kiwi, eat the kiwi or not eat the kiwi, live in a kiwi, give a present to the kiwi, go to the cinema with the kiwi and even take the kiwi for a walk.

If things don't work out with the Sacristan, the kiwi is going to become my new Best Friend.


Anonymous said...

Is that kiwi pronounced in Polish the same as English or does it use the v sound?

I asked for a twix once on the train and he didn't know what I wanted

pinolona said...

no it's 'v', like 'kivi', but I usually forget.
I think Twix is the same but you have to conjugate it, for the same mad reason that you conjugate 'sms' and 'mail' I think i.e. 'proszę Tvix'a'. I *think*...