Saturday, 27 June 2009

Polish word of the Day #09222: Duszno

Summer in Kraków: like that song, you're hot then you're cold, you're yes then you're no, you're in then you're out....

... and you have No Idea what to wear.

Yes, Monsoon Season has hit Poland. Lightening ricochets across the evening sky and we fall asleep to the distant rumble of thunder, only to wake up to the clatter of rain on the window. Nothing has been dry for weeks: indoors smells of damp towels while outdoors smells like musty soil.

Summer is a sartorial minefield: with a glance to the grey skies above, you pull on thick jeans and a scarf, only to be puffing and sweltering by the time you reach the end of the street. If you go out in shorts and flip-flops, guaranteed the heavens will open the minute you head for home. If you're not sweaty, you're shivering: either way you're soaked. For the first time since I left university, trench foot is becoming a serious concern.

- It's... I don't remember the English word... duszny; said a Polish friend. I replied 'stuffy' - but it's not stuffy. Stuffy is when you play hide and seek and end up shut in the wardrobe for half an hour. Stuffy is a euphemism for 'why did we have to have beans for tea? Please for the love of God let's open a window!' Stuffy isn't quite what we have here. It's damp, the air is thick and heavy, muggy, close, sultry, stifling, devoid of anything resembling oxygen...

And it's not just here: floods are sweeping across Central Europe - according to BBC News, Reuters, Gazeta Wideo.

As another friend said: If I'd wanted to live in a country where it rained every day for the whole of June, I'd've stayed in Ireland...

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do not worry Pinolona. On thursday you the rain should stop.

Foreigners always think that in Poland the snow comes in November and the heat in July. But that's wrong. The cold temperatures and snow come usually in January and the heat comes in June and lasts until late October. Even 40deg.C is possible in the Polish summer...

pinolona said...

Oh thank goodness for that!

Hang on - I was here in November 2007 and there was tons of snow! Which promptly melted away after Christmas. And for the past three years it's definitely been hot by May. This year I got sunburnt here in April :)
So I'm not sure I'm with you on the Polish weather front...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is mosty right. There are of course variations, but at least on month of hot summer is guaranteed every year.

pinolona said...

I know that - this is my third summer in Kraków. What I was saying was that I don't think the heat necessarily comes in June (clearly not this year) and foreigners of all types certainly don't have any opinion about it starting in July.

Your phrase 'at least one month' fills me with gloom, since I suspect we've already had it...

Anonymous said...

The Polish spring (april/may) is an other story. It is has usually some warm and sunny weeks. But at the beginning of the summer there are very often heavy rain periods...which is good for truskawki and co. ;)

Island1 said...

"Humid." The word is "humid."

Completely unrelated note: The word verification thing I have to type in to get this comment accepted is "nutypino" :)

Bartek Usniacki said...

pino, isn't it rather "close"?

pinolona said...

yes but humid is a very technical term. It's boring. There are lots more exciting ones. And Bartek, I DID say close!! Read carefully. Afterwards there will be a short test...

Bartek Usniacki said...

next time I'll read, instead of taking a peek - I overlooked your enumeration...

What kind of test? language test? ;-)

Tomasz said...

Pinolona, do you know why ,,duszno'' must be over? .. Harvest is coming in Poland:)

pinolona said...

Bartek: yes. A nasty one, with lots of grammar and phrasal verbs.
Tomasz: really?! already?
Doesn't feel very over to me!

Apparently in England at the moment it's 70 degrees F (sorry but my UK correspondent dates pre-metricity). Couple that with some lovely Kentish beaches and I wonder whether it wouldn't have been a good idea to go home for the summer after all...

Tomasz said...

Krakow is strange. Country is what makes Poland!:) (syntactically too).
I have some relatives who will appreciate if you could come and help in this beautiful time of polish year...

Bartek Usniacki said...

I can't wait to take it (I adore (unlike many Poles) phrasal verbs).

It's no longer close - the big storm sets in...

Anonymous said...

You should go to Sopot or to Hel(l), Pinolona. There's a nice beach with lots of sexy guys from around the world. :D