Friday, June 08, 2007

Hello from Warsaw!

And here I am in Warsaw for the next conference, the Planck 2007. I am very happy to report that this time my-stupid-bag arrived with me. However, at the airport I noticed that I managed to book what I thought was a hotel without having a street address. It took me some back and forth to find it out (since my Polish is even worse than my Italian). The taxi driver dropped me off and pointed vaguely into a direction since the address turned out to be in a pedestrian-only zone. After pulling my-stupid-bag through several cobblestone roads, I found the house. There I was explained that it's not an hotel at all. They rent apartments in 'the old town', and mine would actually be in another building, and also, would I please pay in advance, preferably in cash.

I probably didn't exactly contribute to Germany's good reputation by simply refusing to pay anything before I had seen the apartment. However, I shouldn't have worried. The apartment is great, larger than mine at home, has a living room as well as a completely equipped kitchen including washing machine and dishwasher. And is less expensive than every hotel I could find in this area (I was pretty late with booking).

The only drawback is the absence of any internet connection. (The reason being 'there are mostly older ladies staying with us'). Right now, I am sitting on a bench in the middle of Warsaw's old town blogging over an open access wireless that has a pretty good bandwidth. There is a small fountain in the middle and the place is surrounded by lovely colorful old houses, most of which have restaurants. Lots of people are sitting here, chatting, having dinner, drinking beer. Pigeons are hopping around, children are playing with the water in the fountain. A guy behind me just started playing the violin, its incredibly bad. Oh no! I recognize that song 'Und wenn wir alle Englein wären....'.

I spent a considerable amount of time trying to get some fruits or vegetables, but none of the grocery stores I found had any. On the other hand they had a truly impressive selection of sausages, bacon and all other kinds of very dead looking meat. I figure it's not a good place for a vegetarian. The only person who I could find on the street who spoke English was a German and explain he had only arrived two hours earlier, and whether I had an idea where to change Euro in Zloty (the stores still don't take Euro). Ah, the guy with the violin moved on. Now there's somebody with an accordion approaching...

I just love to sit an watch people. Meanwhile it has gotten dark and next to the fountain is a women juggling with torches. Unfortunately, I can see lots of clouds in the north and it looks like rain. Plus, there are plenty of mosquitoes, and the accordion isn't convincing either. So I'll pack my laptop and try to get some sleep to be fit for all the physicists tomorrow.

PS: Ach, und könnt mir vielleicht jemand sagen was 'Wo bitte bekomme ich Damenbinden?' auf Polnisch heisst und wie ich das ausspreche?


  1. Helllo to you in Warsaw! Was the security from BushCo not a problem for you, at either end? No Deutsche Hunde sniffing you suspiciously or machines from the Transformers guided remotely to your laptop, while you grabbed a coffee?

  2. The answer is:

    Podobać się , gdzie czynić ja dostać pani wiążący? Czechi zawołać ono vlozski mezi nozski. ;-) Oprócz ono powinien być higieniczny wstawienia rezygnować pewien kaktus pochodowi.

    Sorry, my Polish isn't perfect but they will get it. :-)

  3. Oprócz ono powinien być higieniczny wstawienia rezygnować pewien kaktus pochodowi.

    Erm, *kaktus*??? I'd be careful before I used that phrase. Very careful.

  4. I was very careful to put the rest of the sentence in it, too.

  5. Dear Amara:

    No, security wasn't a problem. In fact they were pretty sloppy. They didn't even pick out my Coke from the hand baggage. Best,


  6. I was very careful to put the rest of the sentence in it, too.

    Hmmm. I've asked two Polish guys what your translation says, but they both said independently it doesn't make sense. That means either a) it indeed doesn't make sense or b) it's too embarrassing or c) their English is as bad as my Polish.



  7. Hi Bee,

    you may try in Russian via

    Schöne Grüsse aus Vorpommern, Stralsund!

    enjoy the summer!



  8. Dear Bee: The transformation of Rome into a high-security area appears to have happened overnight (last night). Ten thousand police are on duty today and the thousands of protesters had their say against Bush too. (No, I wasn't curious enough to go into the city and see for myself.) You can see photos from the day (you might recognize a few places), and also TV clips.

  9. This comment should go in your other Rome posts, but I'll put it next to my other comments about Rome security.

    There is a remarkable video at YouTube showing Bush's limo breaking down on via del Tritone (you'll recognize it, Bee) in Rome. Some kind of engine failure, in the middle of his motorcade! Ripe picking for a sharp shooter too; no wonder the police were pushing people further back, off of the street. It looks like the solution was to switch limos. (If only Bush's other broken actions could be fixed so easily.)

    Let's see if this tidbit makes it into the American media....

  10. hmm, if the limo had been a Fiat...

  11. never would have rolled out of the plane? Sorry, I've seen too many broken crappy Fiats around me. Why do Italians think that because it's an Italian car, they have to buy it?

    I admit that I'm giggling (and fascinated) that Bush's presidential limo broke down in the middle of the motorcade. The Roman comedy continued when Bush's newly-switched limo was apparently too wide to fit into the Embassy gate and he had to walk in. One couldn't write a comedy script as fine as that one if they tried. Alberto Sordi would have been proud. :-)

  12. 'Wo bitte bekomme ich Damenbinden?'

    Prosze, gdzie mogę dostać podpaski?


    prosheh gdzheh mogeh dostatsch damskie podpaskee


    Thanks = dzięki (pron. dzhehnkee - rhymes roughly with 'yankee')

    By the way, English is more useful in Warsaw than you might expect....

    Good luck!


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