Saturday, 10 November 2007

First snow

This morning, as usual, I leapt out of bed at 7.30am, made coffee and scurried along bright-eyed and enthusiastic to French class at the interpreting school. Oh all right, it wasn't exactly like that.

Last Saturday, when I went through this same routine, I scrambled up the stairs at the university to discover all the lights switched off on the second floor. I switched them on, thinking they must be saving energy (the only institution in Poland to think of doing so) and marched over to the classroom door. It was locked. They all were.

I went back down the stairs and tiptoed over to the porter's desk at the front door.

- Is the UNESCO school closed today?

- Yup. Rector's day.

(n.b. for me a 'rector's day' in a university context involves dragging Clement Freud around all 32 pubs in St Andrews' three main streets on a chariot. I do hope there's a wikipedia article for that because it's a long long story...)

At least this weekend the lights were on. There was a class going on, but it certainly wasn't French consecutive interpreting. I made a hasty exit, and wondered what to do with the morning stretching unexpectedly out before me. I thought I would walk over to the language labs and check the class hadn't moved there, and then maybe get coffee and go rollerblading.

The weather, as usual, had other ideas.

To travel between the two university buildings takes about five minutes on foot. Unless of course it starts snowing on the way.

Around fifteen minutes (and ok, three or four photos) later I was battling my way along the Aleja, head down into the wind, the front of my duffle coat caked in icy white fluff.

I'm beginning to wonder whether this stubborn attitude was a little misplaced. Surely quick thinking and a good turn of phrase are more useful in the booth than resistance to precipitation? As far as I know, the European Commission are not going to bundle you into a rain booth* if you get through the first two rounds of consec to test how quickly you get soggy...

In any case, the lab was firmly locked. I dripped puddles all the way up to the ninth floor and then got back in the lift and made my way down again (not without first taking in the impressive view of the blizzard-stricken city from the top floor window).

If you ever find yourself in Kraków in the snow, I recommend hot chocolate at Prowincja. Or Nowa Prowincja, two doors down. Warning: you may have to eat it with a knife and fork.

* cabine douche in French. Brought to you by Auto-Terminology of the Day...

Here are the photos:

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