Thursday, 17 January 2008

Return to Normalcy

So Wyspianski Unwinding tagged me in this thing known as 'meme'. I'm still not sure what this means actually: generally it seems to consist of answering arbitrary questions on facebook when it's not even your lunch hour.

The rules are that you have to reveal Seven Random Facts about yourself which are Strange but True.

The problem is I'm fast learning that most things about me seem to be verging on the somewhat odd. Being English is the big glaring one, not to mention enjoying rain and Marmite and thinking that Polish grammar is cool. And naming a blog after a family pet.
Apart from that, finding out strange facts about other people is often not as interesting as you'd hope. "Oh so your toenails curl inwards? That's uh... nice..."
It'd be much more of a challenge to think of seven normal things about me.

(You saw this one coming, didn't you...)

1. I like cake. Everybody likes cake. The only time I've been unable to finish cake was in Balice airport waiting for my brother's plane to land in the snow. This particular slice of cake was beautiful, appetising, with layers of chocolate sponge, cream, pastry, pretty much everything- but after two forkfuls it became mysteriously and incontrovertibly inedible. It was the cake you go home with after ten pints and then chew your arm off trying to get away from in the morning. Even Car Guy didn't like it and that's pretty telling. I'm willing to bet my dog wouldn't have touched it.

2. Going by the last time I checked, I'm pretty certain I have two of everything that I'm supposed to have. Actually you can almost see them in the Christmas post below. Y a peu de monde au balcon. Hélas.

3. I don't like to put together flat-pack furniture at two in the morning. Neither will I do DIY, test crash helmets or hold tap-dancing classes for baby elephants at this time of night. If you happen to be my upstairs neighbour and you have any vestiges of a survival instinct, you would be wise to follow my example.

4. I have brown hair. About 60% of people in Europe have brown hair. Contrary to popular belief, the hair-colour map on Wikipedia shows a higher concentration of blondes in the UK than in Poland. Clearly I fit in here. That doesn't fully explain why Polish people keep asking me for directions though. Today, some very spacey-looking babcia in a mohair hat asked me for something like 'great street' or 'garden street', or possibly 'great garden street' and for the first time I had absolutely no idea where it was. Shame on me. Normally I know exactly what they are talking about: the main challenge is to get them there. Sometimes I wake in the night and have visions of bewildered non-Krakowian Poles circling the Aleje in their Fiats, repeating to themselves: 'But she looked so trustworthy...'

5. Just like everyone else, I lose everything that isn't tied on. The mohair beret is now doing the rounds on the number 132 from Nowy Kleparz. Sorry Maria...

6. I'm a coward. This is a very normal human trait. It is what makes me afraid of the Bad Obwarzanki Lady and all other purveyors of ring-i-form baked goods. It is possibly why I am sitting at a desk translating stuff instead of leaping around in dungarees saving the world. It probably explains why I am not earning pots of money like my friends in London. It definitely explains why I haven't been upstairs to help my neighbours with their DIY yet.
The unfortunate thing about cowardice is that it is often combined with curiosity e.g. "I wonder what will happen if I rollerblade down this apparently gentle slope without using the brakes"; "Hmmm do you think I could get across Basztowa before that tram comes around the corner?"; "What would it be like to move to a Central European country where I don't speak the language and don't know anyone?"
The sad result is a life spent in a state of continuous downhill rollerblading terror.

7. My dog is called Hodge One. OK, I made that one up.

And seven blogs to tag, without any obligation at all to faff about with meme (which is quite difficult to make into a decent blog post, actually), just purely cos it's the rules and it would be rude not to and I want to excrete this increasingly-tiresome post from my system and get onto the next thing: - hilarious and scarily well-informed about climate change.

Polish blogs:

Random selection from the Guardian Abroad:


Anonymous said...

It's the second time I've been asked to do this meme, but it's ok because I'm strange enough to get away with it. Thanks for passing this onto me! Will try to do it soon.

pinolona said...

oh sorry! I feel sort of uncomfortable about the whole meme thing actually: like it would be rude not to reply but I don't really want to impose it on someone else.

Hmm, who'd've thought there'd be a whole new set of etiquette issues in the blogosphere...

Flowers said...

hodge one now that really would be a good name. is there a story behind the name?

pinolona said...

It's cos all Polish dogs are called 'Hodge Two' and I wanted to be original.( Ask a Polish friend, out loud.

pinolona said...

While we're on the subject, W-wa, why does it matter that Polish women are prettier than English women? Why is this the first observation anyone thinks to make about persons of a feminine persuasion?

What's the first difference you think of when comparing Polish and English men?
Ok so it probably involves haircuts, or manners (more on that later) or something to do with highlanders and sheep, but still. The first thing you can think of to say in the year 2008 involves the relative attractiveness of two different female populations.

Where guys are concerned, once again central command has been delegated, and not within the cranium.

Becca said...

Ooh, I saw this when you posted it and promptly forgot... sorry! Will meme away this weekend. Honest.

pinolona said...

agh, s'no problem. I've realised I've not blogged for a week and a half and have been cheerfully flipping through all the other blogs I can find (the alternative would be work) without the slightest intention of creating any content of my own.
There's a half-hearted post about Polish men and chivalry marked draft, maybe I can sex it up a bit. But it's January, there's nothing to write...

Anonymous said...

I just invented the term 'plogging' to describe blogging about Poland and i intend to use it in the next sentence. Ahem…

W-wa is the Chuck Norris of plogging; he doesn't say much but when he does it can damage you genetically unto the seventh generation.

God, the whole "polish women are the prettiest" thing must be damn annoying for persons of the opposite persuasion. That's a good point and I'm ashamed to say it never occurred to me before, as obvious as it is. Hmmmm… that's the sound of me trying to think outside of the trouser region. It hurts me.

I know, I feel bad about passing on the meme too. Who'd've thought it (lovely use of apostrophes).

Anonymous said...

Polish men and chivalry… do it now, do it now, do it now!!

I really want to know how this goes down with a female fellow Brit.

Michael Dembinski said...

Just caught up with this one. The 'prettier' comment was inspired by my first day back in W-Wa after a week on the Miserable Grey Little Island. I did the weekly shop at the local Auchan and was just visibly staggered at the differences in faces between the two female populations. In the UK, Pani Ola (my check-out girl) and Pani Ela (the floor supervisor that day) would not be working at Tescos but doing something rather more glamorous. But here, female good looks are slightly more common.

Just an observation, Pinalona. BTW most well-educated, sensitive Polish men would agree that the vast majority of their male compatriots are knuckle-dragging, shaven headed, gauche, malodorous baboons.

There. I said it.