Thursday, February 12, 2015

I was interrogated....twice, and we went to a ball.


It has been a while since I posted.  And, there have been some new events here in Poland.

On Wednesday, January 28, I had to go to Gdansk.  Back in December, Alicja and I had gone there to do paperwork for my resident card.  Like a US green card.  It will allow me to remain in the country as a resident rather than just for 6 months as a tourist.  So, after doing all that paperwork and paying the requisite fee, we waited.  Then, we got notice that my interview would be on January 27.  I had to bring my own interpreter and it could not be my wife.  Fortunately, Daria, who owns the school where I am doing some tutoring, agreed to come with us and be my interpreter.  That was very gracious of her.  So, we went.  First, Alicja was interviewed and questioned at some length.  Then, it was my turn.  I was asked many questions about how and when we met, where we live, our friends, neighbors, etc.  Finally, that was over.

Then, later that same day, I was visited here at the house by two officers of the border guard - the straz  graniczna.  Immigration officers in other words.  They, again, asked me many questions very similar to the interview in Gdansk.  About the only thing they did not ask was my shoe size.

And, now, we wait.  Today, I got a letter from immigration in Gdansk telling me they needed more time to make a decision about allowing me to stay.  It seems the Malbork Police are a bit slow in doing a background check on me.

I need the resident card - PESEL card - to be able to actually work for money here and to do other things.  Most important, of course, is the permission to remain in the country as a resident rather than just as a tourist.’s hoping it goes well.


The following Saturday, I went to Gdansk again.  This time at Daria’s invitation to attend a seminar for English teachers.  It is sponsored by a company that prints English language educational materials.  Fortunately for me the program was also presented in English.  Some of the introductory remarks were in Polish but I just ignored them.

We got some very good coursebook materials at the seminar and, although I expected to be quite bored, it turned out to be fairly interesting.  The main presenter is a Polish lady who is quite fluent in English.  With a distinctly British accent.   Overall, it was an enjoyable day.

We went to a ball.

Last Saturday, the 7th, we went to a ball in Olsztyn.  This little soiree was for pharmacists and was sponsored by a pharmaceutical company.  Alicja was invited, so we booked it.
Based upon the food, drink and entertainment, I think the pharmaceutical companies here make money like the ones in the US do.

We stayed at the Przystan Hotel and Spa which is right next to the Przystan restaurant where the ball was held.

This was a coat and tie event because that is the way things are done in Poland.  Everyone dresses up.

The ball started with dinner.  They served 200 people and, surprisingly, it was beyond good.  The food was just wonderful.  It started with an appetizer of herring and cheese rolls.  Then came a white vegetable soup.  The entree was pork loin cutlets with vegetables.  All the food was served hot and timely.  At each table they provided water, coffee, tea, juices, two types of wine and a bottle of vodka.  The guys at my table were serious vodka drinkers.  (I, of course, helped a little just to be neighborly).  Each time a bottle was emptied, it was immediately replaced.  I think my table had four bottles of vodka and several of wine.  There was a self-serve table of various dessert dishes.  After dinner, there was a live band playing and there was dancing.  Later in the evening - about 11:00 p.m. - they set out a buffet of cold foods, hot foods and sushi.  I was surprised since we were in the middle of Poland, but the sushi was really, really good.  I had two plates of it.

At the ball:

The price for the ball and hotel was 300 zlotych - about $80 US.  That also included breakfast at the hotel Sunday morning.  I am told that most European hotels include breakfast with the room.  It is European breakfast.  There weare cold cuts, breads, cheeses, fruits and a few hot foods - kielbase, etc.  This one had some bacon (sadly, not good ole US hickory smoked bacon) and scrambled eggs.  Runny scrambled eggs.  Europeans seem to like their scrambled eggs half cooked.  No biscuits and gravy.  But, regardless, it was a very nice breakfast.

We had a really good time Saturday night and Sunday morning.

It was quite cold in Olsztyn.  There was a lake outside our hotel.  A frozen lake.  We saw a guy out fishing.

View from our window.  It snowed intermittently and was snowing when I took this picture.

The following day, we visited Alicja’s parents who live in Olsztyn and had dinner with them.  Then, we drove home.  At times, it snowed and the wind blew strongly, but we arrived home without incident.

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