Monday, 3 September 2007

Don't Just Speak German, Act German

1 September - Having enjoyed my time in Berlin so much I decided to take the adaptation of being a jelly doughnut to the next level so after waking and fortifying myself with a light breakfast of eggs and bread with home preserves I gathered up the troops and invaded Poland. A little bit of trouble at the border with one of us travelling on a foreign passport but after a fair whack of scrutiny we were waved through with minimal resistance - of all the places we could have tried to secure we ended up in Kricyna (i know I spelt that one wrong) which is a spa town (like Bardejov!) and ski resort (a lot of good that does at the tail end of summer) so not really a hell of a lot to do except drink some local chocolate and then withdraw back to the home country where our hapless Australian suffered more delays from the border guards (i think the guard was just doing a bit of mental vacationing at the long list of Eastern European tourist hotspots that were plastered all over the passport). And as I always say, if you consume something or excrete something that is not the air you've visited that country so one more added to the list (does that make 20? It has to be more than that). Spent the afternoon with the family having a fairly satisfactory lunch at one of the strange local eating establishments (i really don't think you call them restuarants) before having to say that inevitable goodbye that happens at the end of any reunion - one of the better visits to the home country partly due tothat it is technically the home country now and the next generation has truly come to a contemporary stage with language barriers slowly being broken down (not really due to much effort on my behalf I might add - if anythifng my slovak has become worse than the last trip if that is possible). Had to return to the site of one of my greatest failures in order to reunite with one of my greatest quasi-pseudo relatives but bad memories are worth dealing with. After leaving the paternal to deal with a contemporary I found the Ambassador Café for the rendesvous with my pre-stopmother who was as beautiful and elegant as always yet still has a fair number of babushka mannerisms that just don't gel with the outside appearance - took some sage advice from her before dad found us and took us up into the mountains (well, uup a hill out of town) for a fair meal in an isolated, almost empty, almost The Shining like hotel where I had some deer and finished off most of dad's meals whilst catching up and trying to enjoy the last of what Slovakia has to offer - always difficult conversing with a couple of trilinguals - constantly drifting in between english, slovak and russian - with the occasional translation made for me when appropriate - I think dad hatts the responsibility of acting as translator but loves the power. Very pleasant night eventually but ... Like the rest of the enjoyable periods of the trip, all good things ... Headed back to the rather luxurious hotel (which I would say i've earned after some of the sleepingconditions i've had to deal with in the past month) where I tried once again (and promptly failed again) to work out how to use a bidet. I'm sure there's something on the internet to assist. That place has a solution to everything.

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