Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Three Kings Day
Today is January 6. It is Three Kings Day in Poland. In some countries, it is called Epiphany. Regardless, it is a national holiday. Banks, government offices and virtually all businesses and stores are closed - by law. In 2011, Parliament decreed that this day would be a national holiday of no work. This made it an official holiday. The communist government had outlawed it as a holiday some 50 years earlier. It had been celebrated unofficially since the collapse of the communist regime. But, in 2011, it became official. It is important here because Poland is predominantly catholic and this holiday is an important part of their religion. As a heretic, I don't have an opinion one way or the other.
It snowed last night, so we woke up this morning to a bit of snow on the ground. Not much, maybe half an inch.
I am a house-husband now.
Last Friday, Alicja started back to work. I told her it was then end of her two-year vacation. She accepted a position at a pharmacy in Nowy Dwór Gdanski, a small town about 15 miles from here. She is the manager of the pharmacy, so she is the boss. Of course, that involves a lot of responsibility and stress. But, it is a good position. And, now, I stay home and she goes to work. I’m officially a house-husband. So far, not a bad gig.
Yesterday (Monday), I was doing some stuff on the computer and the cartridge ran out of toner. That was a problem because I needed to print some things. So, I called Alicja at work to find out where to buy a replacement. She told me the place - a copy center about a mile from here and near our bank. Since it was so close, it was not worth the trouble of taking the bus, so I decided to walk. Put on my heavier coat and warm shoes, grabbed my backpack and took off.
The walking was the easy part. It took about 15 minutes to get there. But, no one who works there speaks English. At least, no one I dealt with did. Fortunately, I took the old cartridge with me and wrote down the printer brand and model. And, I had written down the word for printer cartridge. So, I did the best I could. Fortunately, it worked out. I got the cartridge, paid for it ( I am getting better at counting and numbers in Polish) and walked back home.
All in all, it was a successful venture for me. And, a healthy one since the cardiologist says to walk a lot. I am doing a lot more walking here than I did in the US. Many times, Alicja and I will walk to the grocery store near here. It is about half a mile from the house. We usually decide to walk for the benefit of it. And, it is a pleasant interlude. Everyone here walks, I think. Next up is to consider getting a bicycle.
Last Tuesday, the 30th, we went to Elblag to have some work done on the car there. It had snowed, so everything looked white and frosty.
Railway Station in Malbork:
Road to Elblag:
We dropped the car off and took a taxi to Old Town. It was pretty chilly out, so we did not do much wandering around. We went to our favorite little cukiernia for coffee and a sweet snack. We also visited a car dealer to look at new cars. Alicja has a Suzuki Swift
which is very, very small. We looked at, and test drove, a Suzuki SX4 S-Cross.
Still small by US standards, but larger. We are leaning heavily toward buying one of those.
New Year’s Eve was a quiet one for us. Many people here in Poland celebrate with dinner and dancing. And, many, many people buy fireworks to set off at midnight. A large number of our neighbors did this, so we were treated to an unofficial show. But, otherwise, we stayed in and relaxed since Alicja had to work the next day.