Has anything altered in Poland?

2024-06-05 @Travel

Since the five-six years I’ve been away? Nothing I can readily assert save for the inflation of values, a heavy increase of Russian speaking migrants from mostly Ukraine and the electric cigarette smoke I simply don’t recall in such voluminous cataracts.

All the time away from Northern climes caused me some marvel to find this much pale complexion.

Though presently in Poznan, Kraków’s shared bike system is no more. In contrast, electric scooters roll along through much of Europe in general.

Is any of this significant? The socio-economics feel largely similar.

Trams and buses tarry across town while pedestrians patiently await the cue to cross the empty crossways. The wide alleys easily accommodate the low population density and their air sniffing house dogs.

Now I’ve yet to identify a single cat over the last two weeks. Just about everything about Poland communicates the Moroccan antipode.

Parks and forested areas with ultra convenient rest areas are everywhere in sight. Working on the go feels simpler than ever. Robbery appears less eventual.

Polish, despite the heavy loan words and the vulgarities, still makes for the dominant language of one of the more beautiful sonorities I know. Granted, the Russian demographic flux likewise disseminates the respective tongue.

I’ve previously expressed criticism towards Russian, my birth tongue, as inferior to the ear. But its minor presence across Poland makes for nothing remarkable. It loomed throughout the Soviet era. And it loomed throughout the eastern part of the country for far longer.

But despite the country’s Prusso/Austrian/Russian partitioning over nearly 150 years, despite the Soviet repression, the identity feels very much united; the persevering indigenous language, one and the same.

The gastronomy hasn’t altered. It’s still the Żabka and Biodronka convenience stores and supermarkets. It’s still the tworóg and kefir, naleśniki, płacki and pierogi, kapuśniak and rosól and delicious eastern European dark bread.

In both cities thus far I’ve found impressively stocked and reasonably priced Yerba Mate shops.

Concerning heavy alteration, I can hardly identify it anywhere over the past ten years, that is, anywhere I’ve spent significant time. That’s not to say development is wanting. But it acts more wily. It doesn’t blow herald trumpets in my field of attention, not the way I interface with persons and the internet, handle my affairs and generally avoid the clamours of everyday harangue.

Brazil introduced the PIX payment system whose heavy reliance causes me occasional annoyance. In the US I’ve encountered more self driving capable cars.

War wages. And war has waged throughout, usually at many places at once. We just tend to consider it characteristic of developing nations, yet precarious once closer to home, to the developed economies, to the Euro/Dollar/Sterling/Yen.

But I couldn’t deliver a valuable chronicle for I don’t consider an average ten-year period of much historical consequence, whatever the weight contemporary uproar associates.

The Mamelukes and their descendants have composed the Egyptian sovereignty for some two and a half centuries. The Ottomans dominated for centuries, the Byzantines for longer. Let’s not neglect the Khazars or the Sassanides. And then the Gregorian reforms and the inquisition.

All now historical blemishes for many; if not dots. But read chronicles and how men considered their epochs. What does that say for interpretation of events and perception of time?

Questions, comments? Connect.