Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Super Optyk

Cisza pinolony trwa...
I've been lax about the blog for a while and now the word 'election' is but a distant memory (except in a rather lame yet naughty xenophobic joke relating to the Manggha Centre for Japanese Culture. What's that scraping sound? Oops, must be the bottom of the barrel.).

Talking of lame jokes, here's a good example:

A Pole goes for an eye test, and the optician asks him to read out the bottom line on the chart:

- Sure! S...Z...C... Hey- I went to school with that guy!

I've been having trouble focusing beyond the middle distance (very useful if I were acting in an ITV Sunday night detective series, but sadly not helpful for reading cinema screens, Departures boards, etc.). On the plus side, I can use my ever-increasing myopia to excuse my appallingly poor hand - eye coordination (although my foot-mouth coordination is pretty much spot-on). And if I take half an hour to find a place it's because I'm too blind to read the road signs. Absolutely nothing to do with my sketchy Polish reading comprehension.

Kids, what your mother told you was true. Don't read under the duvet with a torch, don't spend all evening in front of the computer screen chatting on Skype, and Never, Ever, translate Anything.

To cut a long story (relatively) short, I have to go to the optician. My boss told me there was an English-speaking one near the Rynek, so at lunchtime I stepped out into the rain to try and find it. I followed his directions, and, Success! There did indeed appear to be an optical establishment in the place he described to me. I pushed open the door.

-I've been in Poland six months... I began
-No problem, you can speak in English (an encouraging sign)
I asked her a couple more questions and then tried to book a test.
- Oh I'm sorry. Here we only sell glasses. We don't test.

Three doors down, I found another optician. The sign directed me through a passage and up some stairs. Wafts of early-90s Central European rock mingled with the damp smell of the carpet. Grainy posters photocopied onto yellow A4 advertised student discounts. As I approached the reception desk I thought of an auto-repair centre near Oxted where I temped once. The guy behind the desk was clearly not the English-speaking optician recommended by my boss. We established that I could obtain contact lenses without a prescription, and that I could book a test over the phone (i.e. Not Now) and then I backed out through the door slowly and calmly before clattering at top speed back down the stairs and out of the passage.

I have since decided to give up on my boss's directions and take matters into my own hands. I mean, I don't have to find an English-speaking optician, do I? Surely even my limited Polish skills can handle a simple eye test! It's just a matter of 'read the letters, focus on the red and the green, wiencej, mniej, lepiej', right?

How hard can it be...?

To be continued...

1 comment:

Becca said...

Oh. Good luck. Really, I hope it's a piece of cake... it *might* be.