Monday, 19 August 2013

Home from Gdańsk

I stood at the top of the Ryanair stairs with my overstuffed carry-on suitcase in one hand and my travel journal and a bouquet of dried Assumption Day flowers in the other and decided that I really didn't want to descend in the rain wearing my high-heeled shoes. So a nice bearded man came up the stairs and took my suitcase. Thank you, kindly baggage handler, wherever you are.

On the bus ride from airport to Historical House, I reflected that my comprehension of Polish is much better today than it was on Thursday, but that I have lost my ability to understand Scots.

But now I am home, and B.A. has rearranged the sitting-room furniture, and I am really very tired. I bet my hostess Marta is just as tired, if not more, and is asleep already. Marta took very good care of me, showing me everything, and taking me to Mass every day and making me not only read and speak Polish, but write it too. Then she covered me with amber, Polish foodstuffs and German liqueurs and delivered me up to airport security. But I had one last adventure.

Final Border Guard (in Polish): Good day.
Seraphic (in Polish): Good day.
Final Border Guard (i.P): Why are you in Gdańsk?
Seraphic (i. P): I was visiting my friend in Gdańsk.
Final Border Guard  (i.P.): Where were you before you were in Gdansk? I cannot see the entry stamp. Where is the entry stamp? Did you get an entry stamp? Actually I am not really saying this stuff. You are just guessing at what I am saying, and you should admit it now.
Seraphic (i.P.): I was only in Gdańsk. I'm sorry. I don't understand.
Final Border Guard (smirking with great amusement but absolutely not going to try to speak English because it might sound as bad to me as my Polish does to him, and therefore i.P.): Oh, here is the stamp. Okay. Have a nice flight.
Seraphic: Dzięnkuje. Do widzenia.

I have many reflections from my time in Gdańsk including a whole sermon about the difference between freedom and slavery to sin. Yeah, Marta knows what I am talking about. I started working on this homily on Saturday night when Marta and I were walking along the Motłąwa River listening to a 22 year old European girl explain in English, international language of youth, to a South Asian guy that she is sexually liberated.

Meanwhile, the South Asian guy, though vaguely interested, looked by his body language more interested in the silent Polish-looking girl on his right. Thus, the first girl's overly loud hints were rather pathetic, and what was even more sad was that she was speaking English as though everyone else around were deaf.

(Attention European Students of the World: Everyone speaks English now, including 360+ million native speakers. You are not THAT special. Meanwhile, your English might not be THAT good. When you tell men on the street in English how sexually liberated you are, e.g. that you don't want to get married and you have boyfriends (plural), and that you "believe in freedom", you might be sounding more pathetic [not to say sluttish] than cool to everyone around. It's the nuances, you know? Have some dignity.)

Poor thing. All she did wrong (I hope) was to suddenly say dumb stuff in front of two ladies by a river, and now she will be immortalized by my blogging. On the other hand, I bet Marta prayed for her. Everyone send up a quick prayer for the European (possibly Italian) bespectacled girl in the black skirt who scandalized Seraphic on Saturday night. She was only 22, poor sweet, as I know because she mentioned it. I don't know  what other personal information she broadcast to the good people of Gdańsk, for Marta turned left and I followed after, tak jak baranek.

1 comment:

Kate P said...

Oh dear! Praying for safety and guidance for Young European Girl.

Welcome back, Seraphic!