Thursday, August 16, 2012

Poland Market

Day 13- Poland market and boat elevator

Quote of the day “The Schnitzel stuff is coming off of my schnitzel.” (Addie at lunch in Poland)

On the cabin wall of the Falkenburg hut where our hosts have arranged sleeping quarters for us, are the following words, printed and framed on the cabin wall-
“Berlin behind you in a trice
With heightened senses you’ll remark
Though cocks may crow and dogs may bark
Deep silences the ears entice
And the soft wind after dark
Caresses cheeks and tastes of paradise
When day returns you see how ancient ice
Chiseled the landscape of Mark
There is an inn above the plain w
here two oders part
And meet again
Here you can breathes the scent of pines
and feast on cauliflower cheese and maatjes twain
While down across the flats
a tiny train patrols the frontier of the east”

Lovely isn’t it? Maybe you have to see Berlin to feel it. I don’t know.
What I do know is that we racked up another country on the visited list today. We spent the morning in the Polish markets which resembled the bazaars in Turkey, selling much of the same items in various areas around the market. I'm not sure how I held down the impulse to purchase a plastic gnome or the vast cases of "zigaretten".
With limited German and zero Polish vocabulary, I approached a lady who looked like she had two melons shrink wrapped to her backside, about her pottery stand. She clearly hated her job and everyone on the planet. I felt like letting the kids finger all of the merchandise just to drive her crazy.
Once again, buying impulse suppressed.

We passed market stalls of various items, from shoes to plastic garden décor. Stalls with hunting supplies and fishing gear run men who looked like a drop outs from the local technical school. Other stalls where people sat in front smoking, playing cards, chatting, waiting on death, or dinner and all wearing expressions like Jack Nicholson in Batman. I have no idea how they earn a living as the line for purchases in each stall wasn’t exactly buzzing. The boredom surrounding this place seemed enough to cause brain damage. They stared at us as if they were studying our features for a police report. We stared back.
The one thing we did pick up was fresh fruit. Man it was the cheapest we'd seen in Europe and looked to be of decent quality. Even the butterflies were attracted.

We grabbed lunch at a little place along the way- might just be the only place we've eaten that had a menu made of posterboard.

 By the time we left, I was nauseated from the bratwurst grills and secondhand smoke. Matt filled the tank with cheap gas. We packed up the cheap fishbowls that we had purchased at a remarkably cheap price and headed back to Germany.
Upon our return to the Falkenburg hut, our friends, Regina and Rainer wanted to introduce us to their neighbors. The elderly folk across the street sport about 1 full acre of working garden and a bunch of chickens and bunnies. So we spent a bit of time getting to know them- well their garden really. Their 60 year old daughter would approach me and begin to speak in speedy German, as if I knew exactly what she was saying. This is always an embarrassing quandary for me. Do I nod politely despite the lack of comprehension? Do I just give her a perplexed look until she realizes my lack of intellectual skill? Do I try to communicate back? In this case I chose the latter option to which she responded by placing a bunch of fresh cucumbers and tomatoes in my hands.

We headed to a ship elevator next. This was a little slice of heaven for Emory. First to the museum where we learned how and why the lifts are used and then on to watch several boats lift from one canal to another. I’m no tech junkie but I have to admit, this was pretty fascinating.

Later that night Rainer sets up a little camping fire for the “campers” and Regina and Rainer sing a full production of songs in German. Regina has a lovely voice and the kids were either entranced or about to fall over themselves with exhaustion. We retreat for the night knowing tomorrow won’t be nearly as much fun.



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