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Hurry Up & Wait

September 10, 2012

Well, as you can see below, I’ve organized my workspace until it is uncharacteristically tidy.

This is because I have a lot of time on my hands.  And that’s because I found out today that my work permit is not ready.  “Call back at the end of the week,” is the message that was relayed to me from the Polish bureaucracy, with whom I have had no personal contact, not that I could understand the simplest thing they might try to tell me.

You could say that’s a bit frustrating.

I walked over to the school to make a copy of my visa application before I start scribbling on it.  (I had to get one from the consulate in person, as I was unable to download it from the website.)  The school doesn’t have a copier.  Apparently, it’s only in America that even teenagers have their own scanner/copiers, which is probably a good thing, since I like trees and all.  I needed to learn about Polish print shops anyway, since I need a visa photo.  Another learning opportunity.

Overlooking the rynek, from a second story window at the school today.

On my long (50 meter) walk back to my place, I stopped at the Tania Odziez (Cheap Clothing) shop.

My flat is in the same building as a clothing resale shop, which is quite nice.  (The door to my place is on the left.)

I bought some jeans and a shirt.  I need some new things.  What I have are basically a couple of overly-dressy things for work… and a bunch of rags.  Fortunately, nice used clothing is very cheap here.

I called America to inquire about my bank balance—still can’t access it online or via bankomat—and it’s not too bad, so I guess I will buy a new pair of sneakers at Auchan.

It’ll give me something to do.

UPDATE: I’m feeling a good bit less cranky now.  I walked to Auchan, where I found a pair of canvas loafers, and… and… tortillas, AND refried black beans… they even had salsa! It’s Fiesta night here at Dave’s.  (Ladies, take note, you’re not the only ones who deal with stress by shopping.)

UP-UPDATE: The beans were fine and so were the tortillas.  The salsa was a little peculiar.  It had some kind of spice in it that I associate with Indian food.  (I have noticed that all spicy foreign cuisines seem to be lumped together here.)  But it wasn’t bad.

Yes, it may look like the world’s saddest Tex-Mex bachelor cuisine to you, but it made me happy.

I ate three tacos, which is like 800 calories, so I guess I’ll take another walk.  It’ll give me something to do.

UP-UP-UPDATE: For Carrie.  I think it’s paprika which made the salsa taste Indian to me.  Poles seem to consider it a hot pepper.

The ingredients in Polish.

The ingredients in French.

UP-UP-UPDATE: My friend Stuart Gourd, who speaks Polish and is hoping to move here, informed me that papryka is the Polish word for peppers in general.  I could have easily deduced that myself, had I not assumed that it meant the same thing as in English.  So I was wrong to make fun of Polish packaging that used papryka with pictures of flames and devils.  Some of that stuff might actually be hot.  Tonight at Auchan I bought some papryka that were definitely hot peppers.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. Nerbort Bevaer permalink
    September 10, 2012 5:10 pm

    Hey, looking snappy there, like a man who keeps a tidy work space!

    Make sure you find a copier that copies in English, otherwise it’ll be a nightmare to read.

  2. September 11, 2012 2:05 am

    Oh I would love to know what the weird ingredient in that salsa was.

    • September 11, 2012 9:14 am

      I think it’s paprika, and lots of it. Poles seem to consider it a hot pepper. It’s the main spice in lots of foods marked pikantny, with pictures of flames and little devils, which is just… to this border mutt… weak.



      • September 11, 2012 4:29 pm

        I have my doubts about paprika giving it the strange flavor. But could be since there are variants of it as with curry. Want some chili pepper flakes? ❤

      • September 14, 2012 2:31 am

        Papryka zielona is green pepper.

      • September 14, 2012 9:26 am

        So papryka just means pepper? Ah. I should have noticed that.

      • September 15, 2012 5:36 pm

        Yep, “papryka” is pepper (like regular green or red peppers), except “pieprz” is black pepper. Probably we called the spice “paprika” because some Eastern European brought it over at some point and called it that. I’m really not that great at speaking Polish though I have learned a pretty good amount of words (maybe about six or seven thousand) and if people speak slowly I can usually get what they are saying. I’ve mostly concentrated on studying vocabulary so I understand the words on paper better, but recognizing them in conversation is a different animal. Also Polish has some of the most byzantine and tortured grammar on Earth, and each word usually has a different ending depending on how it is used. For anybody who has studied Latin or German, they get a taste of this, but Polish takes it to a whole ‘nother dimension. I think I read somewhere that there are 17 different ways to say the number “two.”

      • September 15, 2012 6:38 pm

        Ah, yes, the dreaded specter of Polish declension… it haunts my nightmares. I’m finding a lot more cognates than I thought I would, and I don’t find the pronunciation all that difficult, but that grammar is going to be tough on me. I’ve been speaking Spanish exclusively in the Present Simple since Carter was president.

      • September 15, 2012 11:22 pm

        It’s more than just declension. It’s imperfective vs. perfective aspect, the fact that there are different words for words like “where” depending on whether the “where” is moving or standing still (gdzie vs. dokąd), verbs of motion are different for moving on foot, by vehicle, over water or by air, nouns can be divided into animate vs. inanimate, or masculine personal vs. everything else…and that just scratches the surface.

      • September 15, 2012 11:39 pm

        Dude. You’re harshing my my mellow.

      • September 16, 2012 2:03 pm

        It’s really kind of interesting…sort of like figuring out a puzzle.

  3. Stacy Hightower permalink
    September 11, 2012 7:43 pm

    Maybe you have finally shed light on the mystery why my father-full Polish, thinks anything I cook is “WAY TOO SPICY”, it is genetic. This includes any spice more than a pinch of salt. Maybe next time he visits I’ll try a bit of paprika……

    • September 11, 2012 10:15 pm

      Well, when something is cultural, it might as well be genetic. Some things we can’t unlearn. I think for most of us, our preferences in food and music are pretty fundamental.

  4. September 12, 2012 3:35 am

    I need to see wider shot of you. Are those skinny jeans??? Awesome.

    • September 12, 2012 8:37 am

      They are skinny jeans. That’s as wide as the shot’s going to get until I lose more weight. I let out a BIG breath after the beep.

      • September 12, 2012 12:44 pm

        Well that cinches it! I’m off to buy my first pair of skinny jeans!

  5. vicki lynn permalink
    September 13, 2012 11:46 pm

    I LOVE the new threads! And yay for sort-of-Mexican-dinner!

    • September 14, 2012 9:27 am

      You would love the resale shops here. I’ll try to take some pictures of cool Euro fashions. When I reach my target weight I’m going to buy lots of clothes.

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