Saturday, July 18, 2009


Yesterday it rained so hard that part of the subway flooded (or so I was told; I was inside the entire time.) The downpour lasted only a little while, and the sun came out in time to turn everything into a muggy sauna. It's like living in a gym sock.

This past week, a lady showed up at the lab, chatting with all the professors and my supervisor. She was rather small, about 40 years of age, and wore an elegant, sexy black evening dress (as if she was off to a high-class restaurant.) On her feet, she wore sparkling silver slippers.
The next day, she showed up again, taking a tour of the lab. Again she was decked out in fancy attire, which struck me rather odd. I later asked my supervisor who she was and why she was dressed so. He replied that she was his professor when he was in Paris and she was in Warsaw on vacation. She had studied in Warsaw in her youth, so she could speak Polish quite well. Her manner of dress was because apparently that is the current style for women in Paris.

One of my students and I went to Powsin, the Park of Culture in Kabaty. We went to the line park (it's difficult to say what exactly it is. It's part zip-line course and part obstacle course.) You get into a harness with a couple of carabiners and a pulley attached and you climb up into the canopy of Kabaty. There's a course that goes from tree-to-tree, each span has a different type of 'bridge'. They range from a zip-line to a net that acts as a bridge to several logs that act as stepping stones. It's actually rather cool, rather new, rather fun, and rather makes-me-uneasy. I personally don't think the whole construction of the thing is really up to par (they use a lot of duct tape and clamps; the duct tape is mostly used to cover the sharp ends of the steel cables.) You're supposed to be clipped the entire time to some sort of anchor, usually a steel cable. This brought me little relief, because I was sure that if I did fall off, my harness would then crush my nuts while I dangled in space. I think I'd have preferred to fall to the forest floor below.
We did the second-hardest course (about thirty feet up. The hardest one is apparently forty-five feet up.) I'm actually not the hugest fan of heights, so the first few things unsettled me a little bit. I got the hang of it and began enjoying myself. It was near evening, so being up that high with the sun sinking low was a nice experience. My camera ran out of battery power before I even got there, so I don't have any pictures.
Mid-way through, a guy from the office (who runs the whole course) came and started talking to us. They wanted to close and he kind of wanted us to hurry up. As we made our way through the course, he'd tell stories of people on that particular span or would shout advice ("Left, right, left, right!") Towards the end he wandered off back to his post to sit with his friends, leaving us to finish up and return the harnesses.

In Powsin, there are a whole line of faucets which pour clean water and you can drink. The only place in Poland I know where on can drink the water from the tap! (I know there are other places; don't get all huffy.) There's about twenty faucets and people come to wash up or refill their water bottles (bikers and runners especially.) I first sipped the cold water with some trepidation, but I saw that others were gulping down huge quantities (and I haven't gotten the shits yet, so I figure it's OK.)

Analysts think that the Polish stock market will decline.

Oh, so very hot.


Anonymous said...

I know Powsin. The water you drank is actually equal in quality to top end bottled water. They have acces straight to ultra pure aquifer.

PolishMeKnob said...

That's good to know. I should lug my 5L bottles down there to refill them for free instead of paying for water at the store (it's such a scam!)
Any other places in Warsaw with such water access?