Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Laurel has been suffering from a sore throat, cough, and loss of her voice for the past few days.  It started on Friday night, which meant foregoing the language club's weekly Friday meeting.  Although she's been able to go out and about a little, that's part of the reason blog posts have been scarce of late; she's trying to do unexciting things to let her rest.

In association with Laurel's illness, we've gotten to go to a pharmacy, or apteka, for the first time.  Unlike at home, pharmacies are not located within large grocery stores at all.  I don't know if these stores even sell medicine.  The aptekas seem to sell everything from prescriptions to sunscreen. One thing we quickly noted about the medicine boxes: they're covered in Braille.  The Braille has nothing to do with the packaging design, it simply just goes on top of whatever image or letters are present. It looks weird, but makes sense for those that would need it.

In spite of Laurel's illness, I still went to the language club's Monday night English this week while she stayed behind and rested.  Some of the regulars had heard I was coming back, but I got quite a few surprised looks and even double-takes from some of the other members that had no such warning.  It was fun to see everyone again, and it gave me another chance to delve into Kazimierz.

I haven't gotten a picture of one, but I wanted to explain a little about one of the frequent sights around the apartment.  There are enterprising companies that run tours on golf carts.  Yes, golf carts.  They hook up speakers and play automated tours in various languages to tourists.  I have not been on one of these things.  I can't really figure out where they go; I rarely see them in the main square, although they're located just off of it.  They go all the way down to Schindler's factory, but you don't see them on the main roads.  I figure they must have some secret underground network of tunnels that go from place to place.  Either that, or they've finally figured out how the streets in Kazimierz work.

On rare occasion, there's a special type of tour that comes around.  As near as I can tell, they simply get a couple of bottles of vodka and the tourists take shots every kilometer or so.  Then, we can spot them on their way back because the tourists are usually singing loudly to whatever music the driver has chosen to blare at that moment.  You'd be surprised how fast a golf cart with 4-6 drunken tourists can go!  

In other news, there's a random festival coming to Maly Rynek soon.  We haven't figured out what it is, but it has those chocolate covered bananas, so I really don't think the premise of the celebration is that important.  Here's Laurel standing in the middle of the festival setup.

I'm trying to convince Laurel to go to the market next to my work, but she has to feel better first.  Maybe tomorrow.  I'm sure she'll have some interesting perspectives on it when she gets to visit.  Here's a hint: there's a very limited number of vendors that speak English.


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