Question of the day.

What was the last book you purchased/borrowed from the library?

My answer:

I wanted to read a book by the Polish positivist writer Eliza Orzeszkowa called “Marta”, so I downloaded it from our online library for the blind. Actually, some of the books of Orzeszkowa are compulsory readings at Polish schools, so I’ve never had particularly warm feelings to her works as I found most of compulsory readings unbelievably boring, but I wanted to read that particular book, not for anything particular, just because I thought it could be interesting and thought provoking. It was, I read it in two days. It describes fate of women in Poland at the time of positivism, their occupational situation, how all the fields were dominated by men, to put it very basically. It is described on the example of a woman called Marta, who has been just widowed at the beginning of the book, and although her financial situation in her marriage was very good and stable, and she led a happy life, from now on she becomes poor and is forced to look for a job for herself to be able to feed her little daughter. She is an educated gentrywoman but her education turns out to be not enough to find a job just anywhere, it’s just what usually young ladies were taught, a bit of everything, but nothing deep enough to be really useful in life long term. It is a very dramatic book and it describes how Marta is slowly forced by life to beg to provide at least basic things for her daughter, and finally when her daughter becomes ill with severe bronchitis because of the incredibly poor life conditions and Marta isn’t able to give her what she needs to recover, she commits suicide. So as I said it’s very dramatic, but also incredibly thought-provoking, and Orzeszkowa has definitely a talent for describing people, their emotions and stuff, which made it even more pleasant to read, as I really like detailed descriptions, if skillfully written. So I devoured the book much quicker than I thought I would. I supposed it can be very interesting as I said, but I thought it also can be much harder to actually get through, so was quite surprised.

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you prefer cake or pie?

My answer:

It really really depends on what cake or pie it is. Plus, for me this difference isn’t really that important, because in Polish we usually call both the same name, which is ciasto. Of course, you can call a pie placek, but it’s rather rarely heard nowadays, placek is actually in some regions more like a pancake, so just no one cares what is a cake, and what is a pie. 😀

How about you? And what are your favourites, btw? My Mum is just making mole cake, I’m curious what it will be like, as she has never made it before. She is making it with blueberries, not bananas, as most people, because all of us absolutely hate bananas, well maybe except for Dad, but he doesn’t like cakes at all hahaha.

Question of the day.

If you HAD to vote for any celebrity to be president right now, who would you vote for, and why?

My answer:

A very very tricky question for me to answer, simply because I don’t trace any celebrities with a particular interest and I don’t know anything about their political views. Being a rightist with a liberal mind, I think I wouldn’t mind to vote for a celeb to be a president unless our views would be similar and they’d seem trustworthy, and I wouldn’t care if our president would be a celeb, unless they’d be serious about the role they have in the country and wouldn’t be more focused on their celebrity career instead of duties they have towards the society. We have one celebrity who is a well-known politician in the Polish parliament and he has his own party. I can’t say I liked him as a celeb, he was a pop musician and his music was as colourless as so much other pop music, nothing particular. His party is in alliance with our currently ruling party which I voted for and agree with their views overall, so his party shares some things with them, but sometimes I have an impression they’re incredibly labile with their views and I think their popularity is mostly because of popularity of their celebrity, or ex-celebrity leader.

I think, if I really had to choose, I’d choose him, because as I said most of his party’s views are reasonable and matching with mine, and he is the only one celebrity I can really see ruling here without making a full-blown nation wide drama. 😀 However I’d be concerned about unstability of his views as I said and it definitely wouldn’t be a great material for the president imho, just the best among the celebrities I can think of.

What would be your choice for your country? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you have any Easter traditions?

My answer:

We do have some, but they’re nothing very special, just common things in Poland or at least in our area, don’t know much how about other countries, but I guess pretty many of them are rather exclusive to our country or Slavic regions. One of them is the Easter basket, but it’s not the kind of Easter basket people have in the US, or at least so I guess. On Holy Saturday we prepare the Easter basket with bread, salt, eggs, easter eggs, pieces of cakes, and some other basic and not so basic food we’ll be eating on Easter, we decorate it and go to the church with it to be blessed. Usually children do it, as they really like it. You don’t put all the food you’re having on Easter to the basket, although some people do so, to show off, it’s just a symbol. We are quite a religious country, so Christian celebrations occupy quite an important place in our Easter traditions, but actually, I think it’s rather logical because Easter is a Christian holiday after all. So early in the Easter morning people are going for the resurrection mass. Not all people do it, some go late in the evening, or actually at night, for Holy Saturday celebrations linked with the resurrection, so do we, we’re too lazy to jump from the beds at dawn. 😀 And some people go later during Easter for a less festive mass.

And then of course we have the Easter breakfast. Although my family is pretty large, we’ve always eaten Easter breakfasts at home, just my parents and siblings and me, and Misha of course. Honestly, as for food, I much prefer Christmas food, I guess there are more Christmas traditions related to food than it’s on Easter. I guess most people have żurek soup for Easter, usually with an egg and white sausage. Overall, I’m not a big fan of żurek, I wouldn’t eat it at a restaurant or anything like this, but my Mum’s is very yummy. Also, most people have the cake called Easter bab(k)a, made in many different ways depending on the region and other things. Also people tend to have eggs made in different ways or different dishes with eggs. My Mum always makes a salad or a few, and our family loves pierogi to pieces. Generally there aren’t any traditional pierogi for Easter, only for Christmas. But we love them so much, especially my brother, that a few years ago Mum finally came up with the idea she’ll make Easter pierogi, with white sausage – which people associate with Easter here – and cabbage. They’re absolutely delicious, although still, Christmas pierogi are better. 😀 Lots of people make a cake called mazurek, it can be made in many different ways, flavours, with different ingredients, but we’ve never had it and actually I’ve even never eaten it myself. What my Mum does every Easter is a yeast cake called drożdżówka, with different fruit in it, this year we’re having apples.

Another tradition, which is now held only by Zofijka at our home, is decorating Easter eggs. She’s so very good at it. There are many different regional ways people do it, so it’s actually like art for some people, but Zofijka does it in just her own way. I’ve also heard about people playing some games with Easter eggs. People often have the Easter lamb to decorate the table, it’s often made of butter, sugar, cake with icing… but no one eats it actually. 😀

And then of course there are presents, which I guess don’t differ that much from anywhere in the world where Easter is celebrated. We also have a bunny, or a lamb, which as children believe leaves them presents. Many families do so that before you get your present, you need to find it, and they often hide the presents all around the backyard, but I guess now it isn’t so popular as for example when my Mum was a kid. Many people tend to think Easter presents must be more humble, simply and logically, because bunny won’t be able to carry as much as Santa Claus, but because children don’t like it and terrorise their parents, I don’t think many people care about poor bunny’s muscles. So that’s about the Easter Sunday, usually when we have any bigger holidays, people tend to eat a lot and very often meet with the ffamily. We visit my grandparents on Mum’s side and my gramma on Dad’s side, the rest of the family often comes over then too.

Easter Monday is rather funny, although a bit annoying for some as well, ’cause people soak each other. We call Easter Monday śmigus-dyngus. People are going around with bottles of water or other things you can have water in and just pour it over each other, some more gentle people will just sprinkle you, but that’s not a rule. You can have a nice start of the day being drowned in your ow bed lol. No I’m joking o f course, but people really like this day and take advantage of it as much as possible. So it’s better not to go out on the streets, ’cause lots of people are overexcited and take the symbolic holiday too seriously. 😀 But if you know how to have fun, it’s fun. It’s one of Zofijka’s favourite holidays.

And I guess that’s all I could say about our family’s Easter traditions and Polish traditions in general.

How about your traditions? Do you do something special at home on Easter time? Is there something you do in your country that not many people abroad do? 🙂

Question of the day.

Do you have plans to travel? Where do you want to go?

My answer:

We as a family don’t travel that much, our lifestyle or life circumstances or however you want to call it doesn’t really let us travel very often or far, and we are rather homebodies, at least most of us, but still we do like travels, especially my Dad who is a tank driver. Every time summer holidays are coming he tells us he wants to go there and there or tells us this year we’ll go there, but it doesn’t always come true. He even has been romising me for about seven years that this summer we’ll go to Sweden, but it happened just last year. It’s not like he didn’t want to make it true or like I have any claims about that, that’s just how the life goes and I’m glad we finally did it.

So yes, we do have plans to travel. But now it’s more my Mum who started them, not Dad. My Mum is at least as much knackered by this school year as I am, ’cause she has a double trouble, with me and my brother, as we are both finishing this year. Plus Zofijka’s school affairs and dramas aren’t helping. So she (my Mum, not Zofijka) is dreaming that finally when we’re finished, we’ll go somewhere far away, or at least will visit many places. She even suggested to me that we should both go to Wales straight after my exams, just we both, but for various reasons I don’t think this is going to happen this year, although I would love it to happen. Some of our realistic plans include going to some thermal pool. We visited one in Oravica in Slovenia years ago and we were chuffed, it was so brilliant. Then there is festival of minerals somewhere in Silesia where I’d like to go and my Mum proposed it to me. And at the end of August there is a whisky festival somewhere nearby and I’d like to go there too with my Mum, as we both like whisky and for me it is the only kind alcohol I accept, of course not like I don’t accept drinking other kinds of alcohol by other people around me or anything, just this is the only kind of alcohol I drink. 😀 I am not a big big enthusiast and actually now I drink very rarely because even after just a glass of any kind of alcohol drink I’ve ever had I can get nasty side effects and my Mum too so I guess we’re kind of allergic or something. Plus I don’t drink outside of the cosiness of my own home as it makes my anxiety higher. Anyway, the main reason I want to go there is I want to see if they have Welsh Penderyn, I’d love to taste Welsh whisky. My Welsh friend told me he’ll get me a bottle when he comes and visits me, but since sadly we aren’t in touch anymore it’s rather unlikely to happen. :// And I’d love to get some Grand MCNish to have it for some special occassions. Mmmmm… 🙂

As for where I want to go in general, like in some more distant future, there are countries speaking my favourite languages. Or dialects, or accents, whatever. I’d love to go to the UK. I like Britain very much in general as well as the British people and British accents and lots of other things about this country, I have quite a few pen pals from England and would love to meet with at least some of them. Then there is so many Celtic stuff in Great Britain. And there is Wales. So I could practice Welsh language, hear more of Welsh accents, and see how it is in the north, pick up some Wenglish. My Mum loves Great Britain and Wales too, because it’s beautiful, so she could see some of the views and castles and all. And there is my current crush, Gwilym Bowen Rhys. Don’t think I’d meet him, but anyway, he lives there, you know…

Then there is Scotland and all that Scottish stuff, Scottish whisky, Scottish accents (maybe I’d finally learn how to at least imitate it a bit more convincingly, I am an accent freak and like to mimick different accents and pick up the differences pretty quickly, but I feel like my Scottish accent is particularly poor). And oh gosh I’d love to go to the highlands, hear Scottish Gaelic, my Mum could see some more views. And there is Scots language as well. It’s funny, well I consider it funny for some reason, but it’s beautiful. And then there is Northern Ireland and all those Northern Irish accents and Ulster Scots language (I’m curious whether actually there is anyone using it there in Ulster) and Irish Gaelic and everything Celtic. Oh, I almost forgot! The Isle of Man. I’ve heard so little about it. People say it’s boring, but I think if it was under the influence of both Vikings and Celts… how can it be boring!? I definitely need to hear more Manx, get to know more Manx music. I don’t know much of it sadly. I want someone kind and competent to tell me what does the word “mish” mean in this mysterious language…

The next country I’d like to go to is Ireland. I love it too, for all the Celtic things they have there, and for Enya, who was my first crush, etc…

Another country I’d like to see are the Netherlands. This is the home to my last crush Cornelis Vreeswijk, I’d like to hear more of this fantastic language, to see the areas where Cornelis grew up. And there is Friesland and their underestimated, beautiful language.

Then I’d like to visit Finland. Their language is so fabulous. They are so fabulous people. I like their way of being and can relate to it at least as much as to Brits’. Swedish Finnish accent is so cute and funny, yes, that’s how I perceive it, 😀 if Finnish wasn’t so beautiful, I could talk to them only in Swedish, but as Finnish is so great, I’d at least try to use my poor Finnish skills and grab some more Finnish expressions, plus not everyone talks Swedish there, so English would be necessary as well. They have Lappland, I wan’t to see it too. And hear more of the Sami language. I’m sure it would be so exciting. Also I’d love to see how that Finnish harp – kantele – looks like. It sounds so different from “normal” harp, or Celtic harp(s), that I have an impression it must look very different.

And Faroe Islands. I wanna know, is it true what my uncle says, that actually there are so few people there that they are all family or know each other through their family members? My uncle is a saylor, his chief is Faroese and he often sails to Faroe Islands, but I don’t believe it. What a pity he isn’t more eloquent and more curious about the world so he could tell me more about this country. 😦 And Faroese language obviously. Plus, I love their singer, Eivor Palsdóttir. If everyone knows each other there at least through their family members, maybe I could meet her? 😀

And last, but not least. Sweden, again! I want to see more of Sweden, not only Stockholm and its neighbourhood. I wanna see Luleå. More of the places associated with Cornelis Vreeswijk (he migrated from Netherlands and lived in Sweden). I want to see more of their fabulous nature. There’s so much to see there!

So that’s the end of my list, I suppose.

How about your plans, for near or more distant future? 🙂