Monday, April 13, 2015
I am official
Today, I took a train trip. I went to Gdansk by train - all by myself. Yesterday, we went to the station and bought my ticket so Alicja could tell the ticket clerk what we needed since they do not speak English. So, the hard part was done. But, I did travel alone while Alicja was at work. Going on a trip like that alone is an experience since I don't speak Polish.
The purpose of the trip was to go to the immigration office and get my PESEL card. It is much like a US green card.. I was approved for residence a few weeks ago and they gave me the PESEL number. It is like our Social Security Number. A national identification number of sorts. So, I had the number, but I needed my card. Everyone in Poland has a national identification card. It is necessary for work, medical treatment, etc. And, as a legal resident, I needed my card for similar purposes. So, I went.
The trip itself was uneventful and Marek, Alicja’s son, met me at the train station. We took a taxi from the station to the immigration office. Once there, I was thankful Marek was with me since the place is a confusing maze of offices. Once we were directed to the correct office, it was a matter of waiting a short time until our number was called. My card was ready and all I had to do was show my passport and sign some documents and I was out the door.
I know. The photo looks like a bad mug shot. But, the rule is no glasses and no smile. Just a "mug shot" type look. And, the first thing Alicja said when she saw it was that I look like a criminal. Yep.
After that, it was time for some lunch and a beer. We had lunch at a restaurant across the street from the railway station. After lunch and a couple of beers, Marek helped me buy a train ticket back to Malbork and I was on my way home.
So, now I am an official resident of Poland. I can work legally and I am on Alicja’s health insurance through her work. So, life is a bit more stable.
But, the weather is getting warmer, the days are getting much longer and I do not have my golf clubs. I need my golf clubs. There is a golf course at Pasłęk (pronounced “pahswink”), a community about 35 km from here. It is a pretty easy drive and I am looking forward to going. The summertime days here are quite long. In June, daylight is around 3:30 am and dark about 10:30 pm. I need to take advantage of it.