Monday, 9 March 2009

Picture thief

Hurrying back to school down Grodzka in the grey afternoon chill, I was approached from the right by a shaven-headed young man in a green military jacket. Now, having lived near two major tram stops in Kraków, I've become adept at side-stepping those poor souls who have to stand in the rain every day handing out ulotki. However, this particular character was not in fact a slave to the publicity machine: rather, he was handing out small cards displaying pictures of the late Pope John Paul II.

Since it would have been rude to say no to The Pope, I took the card and hurried on before crew-cut guy had time to start his spiel.
Contrary to my expectations, my picture-purveying friend began to hurry after me, aggressively pushing another card towards me and muttering something that I couldn't quite catch.

It is my custom, when pursued by strange men in the street, to run.

(this may be why I don't have a boyfriend)

Crew-cut guy shouted in outrage and began to chase after me; I dashed across the street, picking up the pace, but he cornered me on the pavement beyond St Peter and St Pauls' church. By this time a few particles of reason had filtered through the fight or flight hormones, and I realised why the gentleman was pursuing me with such indignation.

The little prayer cards were actually for sale, and I had just run off with his merchandise.

Longing only to get away from the situation and the aggression of the picture seller, I flung the card back at him, accompanied by some distinctly unladylike phraseology, and fled the rest of the way back to the school (mercifully on a slight downhill slope).

Now you know.

I steal pictures of the Pope from Polish catholics.


Karolina said...

Buhahahah, classic!

Anonymous said...


The Pope is the Polish combination of Queen Mum and Lady Di.

Kitsch for the "70+ generation" and catholic nuns.

Pinolona, You brobably looked like a nun :D

pinolona said...

Karolina: I know, I should know better by now, right?! :)

Anon: Damn, I knew I shouldn't have worn my wimple to school.

Anonymous said...


that guy is tricky guy he just wanted money for the Pope's picture. They often gave you sth but not for free! When I was student they gave me on Sławkowska street some book about buddhism. I wasn't interested very much, but if for free I could got it. But the guy stopped me and said: it's for the free OFFERING/ALMS. So I gave him the book back!
Another time on Krupnicza street the guy presented himself as the student gave a flower to girls and women. I said thank you and was keeping my walk. He stopped me and wanted money, so I gave him back the rose!