contains mild peril

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Coal but no shades of black

Zory, a mining town in Southern Poland, and my first smell of coal smoke again. Its kinda nostalgic as I have family in Rotheram and I can remember the smell, but I don't realise that this omnipresent smell could drive you nuts after a few years...
Meet my friends husband for the first time. First impressions are tricky, but do I suspect that there are 'issues' going on? I put whatever awkwardness down to language gap on my part, a noisy bar and the fact that I was best man at her first wedding!
Meet a couple who are far far too attractive. She's Polish with glittering eyes and a really delicious smile, and he's Columbian with longish curly hair and a flashing smile. Jeezus it makes you sick. He's also a talented guitarist and is hosting the "Latin night" in this actually-quite-cool cellar bar in this small mining town.

And Zory is where I get my first taste of Stalinist tower blocks and estates of housing. Ok, these estates can be daunting but actually its pretty much similar to where i grew up in a Soviet New Town called Stevanage. Really, the only difference is that we had more houses, and their blocks are 10 stories high and are twice as long as the estates in North East London. It leaves a lot of countryside as countryside and not as 'sprawl'.

Katowice. I have a day to spend here as Ronda is teaching, so I walk round it. Twice. Three times. At first I thought there'd be a lot to see but actually the town centre is pretty small. Encounter pedestrian crossing where to be honest, if you put you foot out then there's no real guarantee that a car will stop even if its seen you from yards away. Given this I can't see why they don't put lights on all of them. Then i realise that the ones with lights usually stop traffic but not unless someones actually got the bottle to walk out. Gotta watch those trams too.... they ain't stopping for anything....

Is it odd not seeing anyone black brown or beige? Except of course for the perma tanned women with an inch of foundation the colour of terracotta. Maybe it IS terracotta.

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