News and more from around Poland, in English

Leaving Las Kraków

My trips back to England have been getting more and more frequent. Usually I only travel back "home" for only 5 days at a time. On this occasion I have a full 5 weeks planned in the motherland.

For ten days of that time I have a friend (from Poland) visiting me, so it's unlikely I'll be bored during that time. There are also various other mission objectives that I would like to achieve.

The last few times I have flown to England I have just had cabin luggage with me. This time, as it was a bit of a longer stay, I decided to pay the not-inconsiderable sum for checked baggage. So, on Thursday morning I walked to the train station with a fairly hefty backpack and various essentials in my shoulder bag (laptop, camera and a rather substantial cheese and tomato sandwich). My load was almost to much too bare (more because of the asymmetrical nature of my baggage rather than it being enormously heavy). I passed through Park Strzeleckie (Shooter's Park) which was full of autumnal colours and was soon on the rather slow-moving shuttle train to the airport.

I checked in my backpack (surprisingly there was no queue at all) and then began the ritual changeover process which prepare me for the imminent stay in the UK. First the keys to my Polish flat were exchanged for the ones to my English house. Next the money, swapping my tiny Polish notes out of my wallet and replacing them with the large English notes. Similarly with the coins in my pocket. I've never really got on with Polish coins, they always seem to small and fiddly to me. The final step in the changeover process is the changing of the SIMs. After some open-back surgery on my phones my Polish phone becomes an English one and vice-versa.

The flight was on time and at least this time I didn't have any babies kicking me. Minor annoyances on the flight. The flight attendant making the announcements during in the flight had the most annoying high-pitched voice. On the headrest in front of me was advertising KitKats for £1.20. How much!?! I had to content myself with my (smoked) cheese and tomato sandwich. Some chocolate would have been nice, but £1.20. No way. I'd rather go without. After the flight the aforementioned squeaky-voiced woman informed us how much they appreciate our business and "we never forget that you have a choice". A choice? Really? Not as much of a choice as we used to have. EasyJet is now pretty much the online airline that flies from Gatwick to Kraków. If I could use another airline I certainly would.

So, how is my stay in the UK going, I hear you ask. You didn't ask? Ok, I'll tell you anyway. The first two nights I spent in my hometown. The next two evenings have been spent quietly at home. Lasagne two evenings in a row. Friends on telly pretty much continuously. Quite a contrast to last weekend in Kraków where I spent most of the weekend in the studio photographing various models. The tidying up process at the house has already started. A new lodger has been welcomed. I am no longer in holiday mode. A busy programme of social events needs to be planned. There is a novel to write (if I can come up with a story). Drawings to be done. If I'm going to survive these five weeks I need to cut down on Lasagne, Friends and the internet. It's not going to be easy.

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