Post of Abandoned Posts
One major thing with blogging is that it's a momentum play. When you feel like writing, posts just flow out of your fingertips. But when you don't feel like writing, it's hard to force it. Plus, as opposed to the travel blogging the Mrs. and I did while on the road, Poland is our life. And I still find it a bit strange to write about my life. It's somehow more personal than writing about traveling. But I digress...
To kickstart blogging momentum, here's a post of several of the posts I began writing, but then abandoned for some reason or another.
The Post About Moscow
The Mrs. and I went to Moscow at the beginning of September. It was my first time going. Here's the post I started to write (beginning with this photo):
"My first trip to Mother Russia. The internet and Hollywood have prepared me well for what is to come. Cossacks, bears, vodka, lines, the opposite of excellent customer service, Ivan Drago, concrete buildings, lots of smoking (people, buildings, factories, cars), snow, ice, those dolls that all fit inside each other, black leather jackets, black range rovers, black mini skirts (does anything even come in another color?), rust, tanks, KGB, Lenin, CCCP souvenirs, and the overall general craziness that comes from a place that has only recently shaken communism and still can't decide if it's Europe or Asia (or both). I buy a pack of cigarettes so I can smoke on the plane. Not that I smoke, but when will I ever get this chance again? I'm ready. Expectations are high.
First disappointment, there's no smoking on the plane. Stupid Air Baltic. I'm buying Aeroflot tickets next time. First expectation met, when we arrive to the section of the Riga airport where all the flights to Russia depart, no one is smiling. In fact it looks like everyone is actively frowning. Second disappointment..." End of writing.
My plan was to transition this into something about expectations. I had been trained to think that Moscow was going to be a certain way. But when I arrived, I found most of what I thought Moscow was going to be like to be untrue. I was really expecting a massive Soviet cityscape consisting entirely of grey apartment blocks, massive boulevards full of traffic and dour looking people all dressed in black. Instead, Moscow was much more stereotypically European than I thought it would be, lots of old buildings, very colorful, small winding streets, small shops, even smiling faces from time to time. It was great. It was even normal somehow. And so, I didn't know how to follow the above introduction. How do you go from that to "it's just normal"? Short answer. I couldn't, so I just moved on.
The Post About Grey Skies
Summer transitioned into fall (which has already given way to winter). Towards the end of October I wanted to write a post on just how freakin' grey the skies were in Warsaw. I never even got started on it. So here's a brief version of what it would have looked like.
Take a look at the photo below:
It's a photo of Plac Konstytucji, right down the street from our apartment. Not a terribly exciting photo. The thing that makes it special is the sun. This is the first time the sun has come out in three weeks. Literally. Here's the non-sunny view.
Warsaw is a grey city, and I knew the weather was going to be worse than California, but three straight weeks with no sun was tough. I was looking forward to getting the temperatures below freezing just to have some blue skies (which is what I was told would happen).
Note that the sun has come out more as the temperature has dropped, but there are still a lot of grey days here, even into December (plus the sun now goes down at 3:30pm, so that doesn't help anything).
The Post About Why Poland?
The Mrs. wanted me to write a post explaining why I thought it was good idea to move to Poland. I started to write some really deep thoughts, then promptly got lost down a rabbit hole of memories, emotions and philosophy. It was actually pretty good, but I've since lost the file. However, I can sum it up in one word, Serendipity.
The Post About Kampinos National Forest
The Mrs. and I went to a forest. I find this exciting, so I thought I would write a post about it. But what can you really say about a forest? Maybe not enough for a whole blog post. The summary. We went hiking. The day was cold enough to see your breath, but looking back on it from December it now seems positively warm. Despite the warnings, we went off the trails. The reward was natural beauty. The cost was a couple of ticks (no bites luckily). It's nice to be able to reach a UNESCO biosphere reserve and Polish national park in one hour via public transit from the center of Warsaw. Photos do it more justice.
The Post About Polish Highways
Or lack thereof. We've taken a couple long(ish) car trips here in Poland to date. Poland only has what we think of as highways in a couple select regions of the country. Famously, there is no proper highway between Poland's two most famous cities, Krakow and Warsaw. Driving primarily takes place on two-lane roads with no shoulders. Some roads have lane markings, but depending on where you are, many don't. There's lots of frustrated passing, inexplicable construction delays and getting lost as the routes run through towns and villages where you have to turn four times just to stay on the same road. So, while Poland is not that large, it takes much longer than one would think to drive from place to place.
There are, however, pluses to this system. You do get to pass by some pretty cool scenery. Every village generally has a massive church... two if you're further east (one Catholic and one Orthodox). There's some pretty amazing fields and forests as well.
The Post About The Whore Forest
Speaking of Polish Highways and roadside attractions. The Mrs. and I were driving from Krakow to Warsaw. Our route to Warsaw took us through a forest somewhere south of Radom. As we entered the forest, we notice a woman standing on the side of the road. She's in a mini-skirt, heels and a tank top (it's summer, so not unusual in Poland, except for the heels). I think to myself "That's strange... did her car break down somewhere or something..?". Not thinking much of it, we drive on. A couple minutes go by and another similarly dressed woman appears. "Now that's double strange... what are the chances of that happening twice... maybe they're friends or something?" I say, as I begin to wonder what's really going on. Then we pass a pair of women together. Something's definitely fishy. I've seen this before, but I can't quite put my finger on where or why. However, most of mental energy is devoted to avoiding getting my driver's side door ripped off by the oncoming semi-trucks driving in lanes built for cars the size of a mini-cooper, so I don't ponder it too much. A bit later I see a truck pulled off on the side of road in a clearing with some more scantily clad women hanging around. It finally dawns on me that I'm seeing prostitutes. It had just been raining a few hours before. And instead of mushrooms, this forest apparently sprouts whores after it rains. Very, very funny.
And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.