Monday, July 31, 2006

Letter from GB

Hi there Adam

Just been visiting your blog:-)

Have just come back from Poland - two weeks traveling with some Polish friends who now live and work here - and who I have helped a great deal to settle in this country, bank, jobs, house, school, furniture etc.
In return they wanted to show me their country. On July 9th we traveled to Krakow, stopped 3 days - then off to the Mazurian lakes, Sopot, Gdansk, Zyrardow and then back to Warsaw.

I can't tell you how pleased I was to get on that plane - having parked the hire car full of petrol and having driven well over 1,000 miles (the driving I thoroughly hated and was stressed no end).

Fortunately we had our Polish friends with us the whole time - they were brilliant translators! I couldn't and wouldn't have made the journey without them.
But I have to admit that the whole time we were there (this was my second visit - I went for a few days in January this year when it was -28 degrees) I was uneasy and felt unsafe. Even when I hired the car - I couldn't take out insurance against theft! - What a worry! What would I do if some git stole the damn thing? it didn't happen but that's because we paid an enormous amount of money for it to be locked away when we weren't using it. The roads were absolutely dire - bloody awful
- I have never been so scared in my life as I was driving in Gdansk - the ruts, the holes? The trams and huge bloody lorries - how I didn't wipe us all off the face of the earth I don't know. My Polish friends were driving in a right hand (British spec) car and I had real trouble keeping up with them - they were doing 130 km per hour - perfectly acceptable apparently by Polish standards - (no speed cameras you see) but very scary - I never want to experience driving like that again - it was absolute torture.

I don't know if we will go back? If I do I will never drive again over there and it would only be for a w/end visit. Like I said there is something very sinister about Poland - can't quite put my finger on it? But no wonder they leave there in droves. Thomas (Polish friend) couldn't believe security and police here in the UK - thought it was all very strange, and naive? He taught me how to say 'I don't understand'in
Polish and advised me to cough up at least 100 zloty if for some reason we were separated and I got stopped by the Police (fortunately it didn't happen.)

Ah well am rambling - am going to read more of your blog in the next few weeks - and hopefully your book!!

Take care
Isobel - Preston - Lancashire