The Polish language has a formal and an informal form of address. The word for the informal “hello” is cześć (I am devastatingly bad at phonetics, but I guess it would sound something like cheysht or even chaste (ha!)). Anyway, Poles like being formal to strangers even if they are roughly the same age. Which to my mind is ridiculous, having to address someone as Madam or Sir who happens to be 27 years old and looking after my kid in daycare. But that’s just a cultural thing I guess. I tend not to abide by it and skip the formality by quickly establishing first name basis by providing my own relaxed offer first, “I’m no madam, call me Justyna”. Or something to that effect. It’s a bit harder to convince three year olds to call me ‘you’ after being well trained by their parents to be polite. I’m a loose canon in their courtesy sphere. Anyway. There is one area of informality that is completely, culturally acceptable in Poland. And that’s out in the mountains. It’s one of my favourite interactions with strangers in this country. You trek through and you come across a stranger and you greet one another with the informal ‘cześć’, even if the oncoming stranger happens to be in their seventies and probably in every day life finds the informal address as a sign of a deteriorating world. But the mountains are a true egalitarian environment and we’re all mates in the wilderness. A lovely thought. Wish Poland was all mountains.
On a different hello note: hello! We’re in hospital for Easter!!
This could be a nice tidy post about the health care system in Poland, as in hello! Look what crod I have to put up with, type of a post. But I’m trying to be optimistic. Jules has pneumonia. Got sick from Kazek. Now me, the boob, and the three month old, are hospital bound. Apparently this will take a week. My mobile phone internet access won’t last that long. But today Michal is bringing me a portable wireless plug-in thingy, so I will not be going insane. My parents are driving down for Easter so I will also get some herring salad. My in-laws are going to visit me and Jules on Sunday so will be sorted out with cheesecake. Won’t be so bad.
Happy Easter everyone. May all your eggs be painted accordingly!!