Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fucking Britain, I can't escape its ineptitude even when I'm almost two thousand miles away. I shouldn't be surprised by my current predicament, we are talking about Her Majesty's handywork after all.

Yesterday, we decided it would be a good idea to head to the British Embassy to get some information on me living and working in Poland. The polite (or maybe not polite, I can't speak Polish) security guy told us that we needed to go to the British Consulate. At this point, I made a bet with Ol - 1zł says that the consulate send us back to the embassy.

So this afternoon we headed back into the city. First we went to the British Council, where the Polish girl at the desk misunderstood me and told me to email a CV if I wanted a job at the Council. After Ol's intervention, we found out that we had to go to the Consulate around the corner.

At the Consulate, or rather the reception of the building the Consulate is housed in, the security guard told us that we needed to make an appointment. How do we do that? He gave us a piece of paper with the London address of the Polish Embassy and a few website addresses.


Checking the website, which gives information on: recording a birth/death, retiring and applying for residency in Poland, I'm still a bit stumped. What if I hadn't brought my computer with me? Am I the first British person to come to Poland to work, ever? All these stupid questions. And no stupid fucking answers. Just yet.

Fucking Britain!

Monday, October 06, 2008

What a difference a weekend makes. It's Monday morning, in the last 72 hours I've gone from Stansted to Interzone, and after only two hours sleep: made it to Warsaw.

Friday: All the joys of low budget* (not including taxes, airport and baggage charges) airline travel. Somehow, I found myself asleep for most of the flight. One minute I was looking out to the clouds 30,000 feet above the earth, the next I see the tarmac of Łódż airport's runway through the window. The round of applause customary for Poles to give after a successful landing assured me that I was awake, alive and in Poland.

Saturday: To ease the pain of being dragged around the shopping centre Manafactura, in Łódż, Olivia decided that some drinks were in order. Two White Russians and two shots (apparently the standard measure is 40ml, we ended up with 50s, essentially double what I'm used to back home), made wandering around in circles looking for shoes all the more bearable. The booze also fueled my shock when I realised that this tram

wasn't any ordinary tram, but a modified road going tram. The dude who gets to drive it has the best job in the world: He drives from one end of the plaza to the other. After two or three minutes, covering about 400 meters at around 5km/ph, he stops for a cigarette break. That's it. Genius.

Anyway [I've just realised what time it is, and have to get a shifty on], in the evening we went to the TV studios to see the Klaxons.

The gig was different to any I've been to before. It was some Pepsi sponsored event promoting local music (with about a dozen bands playing a song each) with awards or something. What this meant was we stood waiting for about an hour while each of the bands collected their awards. Then through the soundcheck. All the while we could've been at the bar drinking, instead of standing like plums. Regardless, the Klaxons were kick ass. After their set, we wandered around deciding what to do, which meant that I could only catch a glimpse of Primal Scream. This didn't stop me from telling Bobby and Mani, 'Good work guys,' when I saw them in the VIP bar after the show.

Sunday: By the time we got back to the hotel and got to bed it was about 4am. We were back up at 6.00 to check out and get the train to Warsaw. Not getting any sleep on the hour and a half journey, we finally passed out when we got to Ol's place. Not content with showing me half of Poland in thirty seconds, Ol decided that we should go to the ballet. Facing an ultimatum of, 'If you get bored, I will rip your balls off,' I was a little surprised that I didn't find it boring. What with being a guy and everything I will use the phrase, 'I don't want to sound like a queer or nothing' but I really enjoyed it. Coming from Newquay, where the height of culture is renting a video and drinking a bottle of Lambrini, the ballet was really mesmerizing. How those guys bend that way is incredible. The only down side was being sat in the same section as a bunch of school kids, fucking kids. They deserve a slap. And seeing the male dancers junk through their sprayed on tights, that wasn't particularly pleasant either. But at least I could move my eyes from smuggled bananas to the camel toes on stage.

Monday: I'm now sat in a cafe, and instead of searching for language schools to approach to work for, I'm sat here writing this. Time to go.