Sunday, 1 June 2008


The cukiernia* on a Sunday morning is not the best place to be when you've suddenly realised you need to be somewhere in a hurry.

At the front of the queue, a young-ish Polish woman was ordering a cavity-inducing sugary breakfast for her family (consisting of small, chubby child and rather larger- surprisingly British - chubby husband). The stout little lady behind the counter was puffing up and down between tongs and teacups, trying to keep up with the ever-increasing number of requests.

Two rather overheated babcie were sitting either side of a table against the wall opposite the counter, apparently just there for the hell of it.

The requests continued. The small chubby child refused to believe that there was no strawberry juice (there were definitely Cappy bottles with something pink in, but Mama insisted it was orange or apple or tough luck).
Three or four young Polish guys in shorts came in, walked to the other end of the shop, and launched into a deep discussion about what to eat and what to do later. Another babcia entered stage left and stood by my elbow at the counter.

At this point, I realised that I should probably get home and have a shower in order not to be late for class. I gave myself about an hour and a half to eat breakfast, wash and dress and walk to the school.

I waited for the stout little lady to finish her pottering. For once I'd had plenty of time to decide what I wanted, and I'd even managed to glean a bit of vocab from the woman in front. She paid and I moved in for the kill.

Except I had reckoned without the marauding babcia forces to the starboard** side. With lightning speed and deadly intent, she swooped in with a 'Prosze wpół kilo...'.

I checked my watch again. Maybe I wouldn't be on time for class after all...

*Patisserie. From 'cukier', from German 'zucker' (according to Wikipedia, so take with pinch of salt: I'd have thought from 'zucchero' cos of the Italian queen but hey) and both come from Sanskrit roots via Arabic sugar traders in Sicily... isn't this fun? Disclaimer: Pinolona studied 'storia della lingua italiana' as a hungover Erasmus student and is therefore not a reliable source.

**Disclaimer. Pinolona does not claim to know anything about sailing - however she does know about words, and 'starboard' sounds cooler than 'port'.


Anonymous said...

Was it ?

They have great self-made cookies.

pinolona said...

No, no no!! It was a Real cukiernia, not a tourist-trap place!

Having said that, I do like a bit of Ciasteczka z Krakowa. My favourite are babeczki z kajmakiem. mmm.
Also, they do the best-value takeaway coffee in town: 4PLN for a decent cappuccino...

(by the way... - and apologies for replying with my lektorka hat on - 'home-made cookies', not 'self-made'. Images of entrepreneurial little cookies running their own businesses and building their own houses...)

peixote said...

I wouldn`t underestimate cookies.
I am sure they are capable of great achievements if given the chance and a little encouragement. They said the same thing about women thirty years ago, and look at you now.

Anonymous said...

Definitely starboard side is much more cooler than port side :-)))Actually my vessel is anchored near Angra Dos Reis,Brazil.Guess which anchor in use? :-))) Love Your blog.Dama literatka...hmm.