Włocławek, as we’ve said before, is an industrial town. The mornings are cold, complete with ice on the car and fog to rival London. The days are sunny and people love to be out and about (in fact we stumbled upon what we can only describe as a “gardening colony” behind our apartment block). The evenings (starting at 4pm) are smoky as the emissions from the many factories are augmented by people returning home and stoking their wood burning furnaces. By 7pm Włocławek is tucked into a blanket of smoke that is replaced by a blanket of fog sometime in the night.
Our language classes start at 8:15am and conclude at 1:15pm. Our brains are usually stuffed by 12:24pm. Though only 56 kms from our apartment to our classroom (literally including the stairwells), it takes us 90 to 110 minutes in the morning and 60 to 80 minutes in the afternoon (our mornings are early). If you can’t imagine why this takes so long, than you’ve never experienced (and it is an experience) a Polish road. Polish people have some great road jokes, but the roads are being improved as Poland prepares to host the Euro Cup in 2012.
Our things are en route from Canada and we’re functioning on minimal dishes (may they rest in peace), so our apartment is a jumble of painting supplies, boxes, an air mattress and 2 desks (because we’ve got school work to do). It’s all part of the plan: phase 1: paint, phase 2: IKEA run, phase 3: stuff arrives from Canada, phase 4: assemble life.
Besides everything that comes with moving to a new country and starting university classes, Amber is working hard to prepare for the EMERGE conference she is organizing in Czech Republic in the middle of October. From there we are off to Eurasia Region’s annual conference (yes, it’s mandatory, but more importantly, it’s a great time of business, connection and teaching for workers from around the region).
October has been, and will continue to be, quite* the month for us. Thanks for walking it through with us.