Monday, July 9, 2012

Just another poniedziałek

...that's "Monday" in Polish.  I still need to learn my days of the week better.

I went in a little early to work today in order to better prepare for the week ahead; that simply means there was a bit less time than usual for exploring (and pictures).  There are two observations I'd like to pass along, though.

Firstly, in my wanderings through the downtown areas, it's becoming more common to be approached by beggars.  They're usually older, two have been women and one a man, and rarely do they speak more than a few words of English.  I'm fairly certain one has approached me twice.  They aren't aggressive, but they are persistent.  My lack of knowledge of Polish provides a decent defense; the one that's approached me twice has left both times after realizing I had no idea what she was saying.  

It's always been difficult for me to know the right response to these situations.  The humanist in me wants to help, but the logician and economist knows that helping does not equal giving coins.  If anything, that may make it worse.  Kraków actually has signs up (in English and Polish) that read "money may hurt a child" and showing an icon of a child begging.  Thus far I have given no money to the beggars, but I have given some to a more official-looking coin collection that appeared to be for disabled people.  (Pardon my lack of knowledge about the cause, but as mentioned before, my Polish is pretty weak.)

The second observation I'd like to give is that at the English night of the language club tonight, I was given a most wonderful gift: a Kraków newspaper in English.  It was free, not very lengthy, and has plenty of ads, but this is a great item!  I've seen lots of freebie Polish papers, but they do me no good.  This periodical, on the other hand, will give me something to ponder for awhile.  The paper is monthly and apparently has recently gone through some reorganization, but at least I've got one, and a contact for getting more if needed.


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