Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A postcard from... Budapest, Hungary

I got it from my friend who travelled there. Made me want to go to Budapest :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Street legends

Talking about Warsaw I could tell about  all the monuments and buildings but I’d rather  concentrate on something you can’t read in guides… which is famous buskers! Those who are stable element of the city life, who play every day in main places like for example in front of Metro Station in the city centre. When I walk there, there are always the same people, changing days… I wonder if they have some agreement who plays when…

Number 1 is Indians band. I think they are from Peru. They’re performing in Warsaw for many many years so they’re well recognized by everyone. Their music is amazing – it’s either calm, mysterious sounds or more energetic by which they also dance. They have Indians costumes and sell their own CD’s. It’s always a pleasure to listen to them.

Number 2 is an “Orchestra from Chmielna Street”. They usually play in the underpass by the metro. They play pre- and after-war songs that were popular in Warsaw at that time and are dressed in 50’s style. They’re the legend!


Number 3 is Mr. Witek aka Dude from Atlantis. I haven’t seen him under the metro for a long time, maybe he changed location. He is always dressed like a cowboy and sings these naughty songs. If you stop and look at him longer he might dedicate you one of them;P The guy is freaking funny, always talking with young people. He’s very famous, a few years ago he even was in jury in some program on MTV and performed in our Woodstock festival. OMG, he even is in Wikipedia;P

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In Praise of the Stepmother

Another book of South American writer, this time from Peru, one of my favorites – Mario Vargas Llosa. “In Praise of the Stepmother” is an erotic. It’s pretty naughty even for an erotic because one of main characters is a child who is seducing his stepmother. It’s light and funny though. I always have a good laugh while reading Mario Vargas Llosa’s books. He describes even the most disgusting physiological activities in an enjoyable way and leads readers into the world of art, or rather “inside paintings”.

Plus, the Polish edition of his books is very nicely designed. I don’t judge books by their covers but I do judge the covers. It’s not like I only read good looking books. Although if a cover is nice I always appreciate it. And I really like the photo on the front of “In Praise…”! The paper inside is a bit shiny and there are some paintings printed. They’re the part of a story so I’m sure foreign editions have them as well.

Francois Boucher "Diana resting after her bath" (1742)

Tiziano Vecellio "Venus with Organist and Cupid"
Fra Angelico "The Annunciation" (1437)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Broken mirror, grandma's names-day and anchovies pasta

I broke a mirror today. Is 7 years of bad luck awaiting me? Luckily, I’m not superstitious. However from my observations I’d say Polish people are very superstitious. If you ask an average Pole about it, they’d say they don’t believe such things but all the time I watch my friends knocking in un-painted wood not to allow something what they’ve just said to happen or slowing down when a black cat crosses their way. Another proof is when you look at an advertisement-post splitting over a sidewalk in winter. There’s always a path in snow beaten on it’s sides, because it’s unlucky to go under the post. The statistics from 2008 confirm my statement – they say 58% of Polish are superstitious. I belong to the 42% of non-believers but I find the superstitions charming in a way.

I decided to investigate further a superstition about a broken mirror. It’s genesis starts even before the mirrors were invented. People believed that in reflection on a water surface, and later in a mirror, lives soul. If a mirror gets broken, the soul can’t come back to the body. It takes 7 years to renew body and soul, according to the Ancient Romans (who actually invented mirrors), therefore it’s 7 years of bad luck. There is a way of undoing a spell - first of all the pieces of broken mirror should be collected with closed eyes, and then buried in the ground. I just threw mine to the bin, so I guess there’s no rescue for me now ;)

I bought a waffle cake and visited my grandma – it’s her names-day today. Young people celebrate birthday, older ones celebrate names-day. Isn’t it brilliant? You can switch to names-day after you turn 40, stop admitting your age and still not resign from wishes and gifts. Grandma happily listed everyone who called her with wishes. She gets very upset if someone forgets.

And finally I decided to open a jar with anchovies that my mum brought from Italy two weeks ago. I found a recipe in a culinary book and made pasta.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The most beautiful description of a kiss

I’ve just finished reading “Hopscotch” by Julio Cortazar and I am totally enchanted by it. I fell in love with the unique style of the author, the way he plays with words (something I always enjoy in books). It’s an absolute masterpiece. I’ve made a lot of notes during reading but chapter 7 especially got my attention. I am absolutely convinced I have found the most beautiful description of a kiss ever!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Memories on a piece of paper

Those who never got a letter probably don’t know this wonderful feeling when you spot a colorful envelope in your mail box, from a friend living hundreds or even thousands of kilometers from you. It’s amazing how such a small thing can mend a bad mood and bring a moment of happiness. Whenever I find a letter for me in the mail box, my heart beats faster, my mouth changes in a shape of banana and my legs gain an extra speed to get some knife or scissors to open the envelope and dip myself into the world of a friend.
Letters have been a part of my life since I was 14 years old. My first penpal was a girl named Ola who I met at the age of 10 when my parents bought a summer house by the lake. We were spending every vacation there and to keep in touch during a school year, we decided to write to each other. I still have these letters and come back to them from time to time. They always make me smile. So childish and innocent - our memories on a piece of paper. I got hers, she’s got mine. What a shame the Internet interrupted us and we stopped writing letters to each other.

One and a half years ago I bumped at a penpalling site and happily discovered that there are still people who love writing letters. I found new wonderful friends from all over the world. My mail box isn’t empty any more and the lost feeling of excitement came back. Till the moment I re-started penpalling, I didn’t realize how much I missed it. It’s one of the best things that happened in my life.