Saturday, 9 February 2008

Glass half empty

At a bit of a loss with no work or school on a Saturday, I decided to try and repeat last week's activities: as far as I can remember it was a pretty happy day.
I've always wanted to see the Manggha Centre in Kraków and it seemed like as good a time as any to do it. I recommend the historical Japanese Art gallery (the one upstairs) but not so sure about the contemporary one downstairs. Although this may have just been because it was on the quiet side of the river and the concrete and clouds meant there was too much grey around.
The miso soup saved my life (not so sure about cherry-flavoured green tea, but at least it's healthier than Wiśniowka). If in doubt, go for the food.

Massolit was the next stop on the list. Culture first, then bookshop. I like Massolit because there's a series of back rooms with old-fashioned armchairs, where you can hide out. You can pretend to be in the library of an Edwardian townhouse rather than alone in a foreign country: it's very soothing.
On Sundays, they have a group which reads children's books out loud in English. I'm secretly longing to go but a) At 11am on a Sunday I'm usually more occupied with Sanctuses and Offertory Hymns and b) I'm probably too old for this sort of thing and I don't have a convenient child to borrow.
And the first title on display on the front shelves?
'How to get married after 35'
Oh God, get me out of here...

Last Saturday, I really enjoyed Reserwat: a sort of pretty cheesy film about a photographer who splits up with his posh girlfriend and has to move into the dodgy end of Warsaw. Naturally he makes friends with all the local drunks, takes the local tearaway in hand (after first rescuing the kid from a hit-and-run) and drinks vodka with the local tough-talking tart-with-a-heart. Of course his gritty images of the district are a major hit.
Pod Baranami are showing another Polish film with English subtitles, so I thought I'd continue with my forays into the Polish film industry (this all started with a pessimistic film in Wrocław back in July- I hope you haven't forgotten, there's a test later...)

Now right now, I really want to see upbeat, lighthearted, feelgood films. It's February. I think you can see where I'm coming from. This is precisely why I've been avoiding the Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It says 'uplifting' but it sounds pretty terrifying to me.
I approached the ticket kiosk somewhat anxiously:
- This film - I gave the name - is it positive? Happy? Good? (again my vocab isn't all that specific)
The guy smiled, and shrugged.
- Haven't seen it. It's good. (I suppose he had read reviews or something)

I bought a ticket.

The (almost) first line of dialogue:
- My girlfriend just died. Can you refund my plane ticket?

Fortunately the film was short.

Here's a brief overview (Spoiler alert!):
- Boy's girlfriend has died
- Boy gets knocked down on bicycle
- In hospital, Boy meets cute blonde
- Boy and Cute Blonde hang out for the day (we discover that Cute Blonde is one of those annoying whimsical heroines in the Amelie Poulain vein)
- Boy remembers that he has been kicked out of flat
- Boy and Cute Blonde stay the night in a posh hotel with the money from the ticket (by the way, the girlfriend wasn't dead: she moved to New York and fell in love with someone else)
- In the morning, Cute Blonde won't wake up
- We discover Cute Blonde has advanced stage leukaemia
- Boy visits Cute Blonde in hospital
- Cute Blonde asks Boy to put her out of her misery ...

Aargh! Enough of this Polish pessimism, stop it now!
Place your bets: which will happen first, February ends or I hurl myself into the Wisła??*

*To re-emerge in a salt mine in Hungary, enclosed in a giant ring (... no-one got that ... never do that one again ...)


artur said...

weren't you suposed to be flying back to Albion ? that is at least what I would have bet on...
incidentally, hurling yourself into the Wisła is not actually all that easy to do considering the river banks in Cracow are not cliffs of Dover or anything near that ....

pinolona said...

Hey Artur,

I can't fly back just like that: I'm supposed to give notice and all that. But the contract on my flat runs out in a month or so, so I'll be homeless.
I could always hurl myself off a bridge: there's no problem there. The only thing is, the water is so thick with pollution that I might bounce...

inquilins said...

I love Massolit!

pinolona said...

anch'io uwielbiam Massolit! (Ma non quando i suoi scaffali mi dicono che per forza mi devo sposare dopo le 35 anni).
Sono l'utente-anonimo-senza-figli che non riesce a crearsi un nome utente su di Splinder.
E leggo avidamente il blog inquiliniano a lavoro perche temo di dimenticare tutto l'italiano che tempo fa (mal) conoscevo a causa di un'invasione risoluta di vocaboli polacchi...