Sunday, 12 August 2007

Rainy days and Mondays

Our first Polish teacher was not a native Krakowian. When we were learning 'what to do at the weekend', she pointed out that, everywhere else in Poland, Galerias were for art. In Krakow, they are for shopping.

I'm going to Scotland in two days time, and I've missed two important birthdays (mainly thanks to Amazon not accepting my Polish bank card. As for my English account... ahem... let's just say that paying your Career Development Loan off in złotych is not the way to avoid getting a stomach ulcer. Don't try it at home, kids).
Furthermore, the footwear issue was starting to become ridiculous, and I decided that it was Perfectly Reasonable for a Responsible Adult to buy shoes once in a while when the need arises.

So, after mass, I trotted along to Galeria Krakowska, by the station. From this innocent beginning ensued a hellish day of traipsing from mall to mall, elbowing my way through the Sukiennice, deafening myself with countless CDs in Empik (not to mention trying to work out whether you can switch the Polski lektor off on a Polish DVD) and trying on tiny-waisted clothes whilst attempting to imagine myself in my sister's proportions (with considerable help from extra socks).

When it was all finally over, I headed for the doors with immense relief, only to be greeted by a solid wall of water slicing down the glass facade of the Galeria.
I was dressed in trousers, sleeveless top and the inevitable Birkenstocks.
Something inside me snapped. It was already seven thirty, I had wasted the entire day enslaved before the altar of consumerism and all I wanted to do was curl up with a duvet, a cup of tea and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And, for heavens' sake, what's a little bit of rain to a seasoned British girl?
I virtually had to swim through the underpass.
When I finally arrived home, slipping perilously up the stairs in my sandals, I resembled something that had been drowned at birth, but I felt an exhilarating sense of liberation. No-one else had seen the rain pooling under the benches in the Planty or lit up like sparks under a street lamp; no-one else had felt the water swirling between their toes.
No-one else was liable to contract pneumonia unless they got themselves into a hot shower pronto...

Last night I dreamt I met one of the best interpreters from our year at Bath (one of the ones who went Straight Up after graduation, like penitents in a Jubilee year). Sitting cross-legged in a garden full of lilies and waterfalls, she asked me a question in Chinese.
I didn't understand.
She looked concerned:
- I'm surprised you haven't learnt the symbols yet! What chapter are you on?

Suddenly I realised that it was four in the afternoon and I had forgotten to return from my lunch break. I clattered back down the ornamental steps to the office (by a rock pool) where my boss pointedly reminded me that, since he was paying my salary, I did in fact work for him.

At that point my alarm went off and I hit snooze, wishing I hadn't stayed up til one reading Harry bloody Potter.

No comments: