Well it’s been quite a long hiatus from the blog but I owed it to myself to get at least one final post in before 2015 makes an appearance and we bid adieu to yet another year! Already owe an immense backlog of posts relating to Kilimanjaro, Poland and just general life though this has never been more than just a vanity project.
So I shall attempt to sum up roughly what’s been happening since then. So first up, I graduated. I now officially hold a degree in English and History which isn’t too shabby though the graduation went into a bit of a blur after that of…..
So it begins…
Yes there are pictures at the conclusion some 48 hours later but there’s no way that’s being uploaded! Having gotten all that out of my system, it was time to prep for Poland, I was heading there a week later. Thankfully since I had luggage and spoke absolutely zero Polish, my boss was kind enough to pick me up at the airport which was reassuring since the 3 hour early morning flight with wailing children and turbulence meant nerves were frayed and I was running on no sleep.
Naturally being the fantastic individual that I am with first impressions, I promptly fell asleep in the car five minutes in with my boss struggling to wake me when we finally arrived in Racibórz, my new home. Shown my flat, I went to explore, looking a right proper tourist. And yes, on a mild day in September, I got sunburnt.
Rynek, the town centre.
The town itself is somewhere between 50-60,000 people. A city for me, considering the place I grew up outside just past the 20k mark a few years ago. But for a place the size of Galway….there’s comparatively little going on. I’m probably fulfilling the stereotype of the alcoholic Irishman here but the amount of pubs/bars per resident is severely low. Anyone attempting a 12 pubs extravaganza or a game of pub golf would find themselves making repeat visits.
Not that nightlife is the sole indication of life in a town but it just strikes me how quiet this place is. That said, it is pleasant and there’s little trouble. Some people even leave their bikes unlocked outside their flats or the shop when they visit it. Quite interesting to think that this town is also the home to one of Poland’s maximum security prisons!
The town symbol. Eagle and broken wheel.
Supposedly the town was settled when the wheel on a noble’s carriage broke and he decided that this stopping point was where he’d establish his rule. There’s quite a lot of history in the place, even though most of the old town and historical buildings were levelled during the war. The town would have been predominantly German-speaking until 1945 and a lot of the older inscriptions here, if they’re not written in Latin are written in the former tongue.
The people here have been fantastic, friendly, helpful, open. As far as being an immigrant here is, I’ve no complaints! My job likewise though it has it’s ups and downs, is still a great one overall. And it has been reassuring to know that moving to a country where you barely speak half a dozen words of the language is not so insurmountable an obstacle as it initially seems!
I think I’ve rambled on just about enough. Posts on work, travel and the omnipresent terror of the Polish language can wait for another day. I guess it’s just good to be back writing. And even better than that is knowing that I’ll get to see the ocean in less than a day. And with luck, get a hike or two in as well over the inevitable madness that is Christmas.
A view from back home, one that I’ll be glad to see.