Goodbye Olkusz

My two weeks are up in Olkusz. After initially not wanting to come, I now don't want to leave! This town has so much history and the families are so lovely I will miss it a lot. I have been learning more about the town because the schools and families keep giving me information booklets as leaving presents. This is one of the oldest areas in Poland. What looks like general roadworks around the town is actually various archeology sites where they are digging up the ancient town buried under the ground. Kasper told me certain streets were made by Nazis during the occupation, and that Klucze had a strong resistant army. It has a rich mining history, with some old mines now lakes. Also, Noemi's house was next door to the place where the first paper making factory in the world was. More than these amazing facts, the people are great here, although I strongly suspect it is the same across Poland. Noemi and Kaspers families have constantly gone out of their way to make my life comfortable. For example, this morning we had scrambled eggs for breakfast. I gulped it down, rejoicing it was kiwi. Kasper's dad asked me if I wanted some more, and I said yes presuming there was some more on the stove. But no, there wasn't. Despite my protests he sprinted to the neighbouring chicken farm to get more eggs and made a whole new batch. I am careful to never take their generousity for granted, although it would be easy seeing as they hold open every door for me, hang up my coat, take my plate and pay for everything. I think NZers could learn quite a bit from the polish. We don't treat guests in the same way. We mean well but do expect them to pull their weight and occasionally take their own plate to the dishwasher. Anyway, I am so grateful for these families and school staff looking after me the way they did in my first weeks in Poland. It has shaped the way I see the country.
On another note, today has been awesome. On top of scrambled eggs, crowded house has played not once but twice on the radio! Hearing 'don't dream its over' made me feel a mix of homesick and extremely happy. Kasper and his girlfriend Anna took us shopping in Krakow... New clothes! This was initially stressful because it was really busy and I had no idea what my size was in European scale. But after I calmed down I managed to hold a conversation in polish! The shop assistant did most of the talking and I just grasped a few key words, nodded and said thank you and good day at the appropriate moments. It counts, okay? We also had polish hot chocolate by the christmas markets. School was fun today, we only had 4 classes, and they were mostly rowdy interactive ones, the best kind. Now I am sitting in the living room having a beer (I have had at least one drink everynight this week) while Kasper and his Dad watch the Big Bang Theory in Polish. Haha. I can't wait to find out what the next weeks will hold for me. Dobranoc.


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