Oh Crap! It’s Monday! #6

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The stuff which we absolutely loved last week.

Abe & Ellum

  • Thursday having a crap morning and a genius afternoon.
  • Seeing ten sausage dogs being taken for a walk.
  • Giggling uncontrollably when my predictive text typed ‘two niblets’ rather then ‘oh blimey’ no, i don’t know how either.
  • Staying up al night, then having 45 minutes of sleep going to work and feeling great. then doing it all again the next night with the same result.
  • Knowing these are the good times tomorrow is tomorrow, and who gives a fuck about yesterday you can only remember it.
  • Hearing Lowell George play beautiful slide guitar with Little Feat.

Tsaritsa Katarzyna

An extract from a conversation between an Earthling and a Martian in a pub…

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Martian,’So, this alcohol stuff, what is it?’
Earthling,’Well it’s a liquid that has many varieties but they all do the same thing…..get you drunk’
Martian,’Ok, why get drunk? what is drunk?’
Earthling,’Humans get drunk for loads of reasons, happy, sad, angry, to forget, even to celebrate, some even become addicted to it…..& drunk is where a human has consumed enough alcohol to allow themselves to be tied to a lamp post, stripped naked and enjoy it enough to tell their friends all about it the next day’
Martian,’Sounds awful’.
Earthling,’Er, sometimes, the vomiting in the street, squatting in an alley way to pee, or peeing up a wall and the fighting with your best friend over whose dad is the most good looking is kinda a little insight to the downside. but on a positive note there is a part of the evening where the alcohol has the best effect. Where everything is giggly, everything is cool and yer love everyone, this is just before you pass out by the toilet bowl’.
Martian,’I have to say you’re not making this an attractive prospect for me’.
Earthling,’Noooo it’s great really. We humans use it to socialise and it’s a huge business’.
Martian,’Really?’
Earthling,’Oh yes manufacturers of alcohol even leave impurities in the alcohol so we get a headache the next day’
Martian,’What the f@^k? Why would they do that?’
Earthling,’So we know we had a good time’.

Choose yer words wisely,

Abe & the Elum

I ♥ Polska – Zakopane

That will probably be the last post about Poland for a little bit.

A year ago I’ve decided to be a pain in the ass for my dad and join him in the car journey from England to Poland. 982 miles and 19 hours later and I was able to admire beautiful Polish landscape next to the highway… Not as if it was any different from English, Dutch or German landscape… basically looked the same… but it was Poland!!!

Finally: gherkin soup, Krupnik – the most disgusting vodka in the world, friends, familiar toilet seats, my crazy cousins, my never-stop talking grandma, lake in the middle of the town, empty street and soulless bars – yes ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about my hometown – Mogilno.

The very next day, probably still on a alcohol (all those Malibu and milk cocktails mniam mniam), after eating 2 portions of huge schnitzels, potatoes and other Polish delicatessens, I headed off with my partner in crime, Maciek to Zakopane… without a map or satellite navigation.

Zakopane welcomed us with the shit loads of rain. But it didn’t stop us from conquering Gubalowka – the easiest mountain to climb on Earth. Since we didn’t want to pay 18 zloty (around £4) for cable car to the top of the mountain, we have decided to climb it. Unfortunately for us we only had trainers so we had to go back to the flat to get out climbing shoes. We walked 4km and we were already dead. We had to get a bus back and we managed to get to the top. Maciek was out of breath couple of times and I thought that I will have to use my knowledge of first aid. At the top we looked at each other and decided to go back with the cable car and pay 12 zloty. What an idiots we are!!! Anyway, at least we did some “serious” climbing.

Koscielsika Valley was our destination the next day. We have decided to visit Mrozna Cave as well. After 20 minutes climbing up the rocks we finally reached the entrance, where we were greeted by two lovely National Park workers. The route through the cave is 510 metres long. It took us around 30-40 minutes to walk to another end. It’s quite a pleasant walk but I suffer a little bit from claustrophobia and some parts I actually had to crawl. Of course I had to bang my head on the rock, I lost my balance, my head was spinning but hey, fun times…

We were also advised to see the Krakow Ravine, also called Dragon’s Den. The path was extremely rocky but the view was worth the pain in our feet. The 5.5km walk took us to the gorgeus Ornak youth hostel. We topped up our energy level with some soda drinks and chocolate biscuits and head back to the parking, that took us around 50 minutes.

Waking up at 5am is no fun for anyone. Well not if you are about to go and see the most beautiful and magical place in Poland – Morskie Oko. The walk itself is around 2.5h long. Again we have done it in 1.5h. It’s really enjoyable – fresh air, mountain views, forests, rivers, school trips ;). We were really lucky with the weather as well. By the way if you skateboard, I would recommend to sneak the board in and just skateboard the whole way. I was speechless when we finally arrived at Morskie Oko (Eye of the Sea). I couldn’t take my eyes of it.

We climbed up to Czarny Staw (Black Lake below Mount Rysy). We didn’t expect the snow to still be there, especially when we were wearing trainers. I ended up having half of my leg inside the snow, but it was all fun. I couldn’t resist and I had to drink the water from the lake. Purity ahhaha!

To summarise:

  • If you ever going to visit Zakopane, which is by the way the most beautiful spot in Poland, you should definitely visit “Czarny Staw” restaurant on Krupowki street. They have the best potato cakes I’ve ever eaten. Served with sour cream and sugar it’s just a heaven for a mouth.
  • Zakopane is a lovely little town surrounded by the Tatra mountains. It has lots of traditional wooden houses, food and of course the dialect adds to the magic of this place.
  • The town is the winter capitol of Poland and we had to see The Great Krokiew, a ski jumping venue… It’s worth seeing it, if it’s not for the sport, then it has to be for the view.
  • Koscieliska Valley is a must see place near Zakopane. Its gorgeous views are filled with breathtaking mountains, forests, rivers etc. Simply just nature and fresh air.
  • Morskie Oko is located close to the border with Slovakia.

Onward and upward,

Tsaritsa Katarzyna

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I ♥ Polska by the sea – Gdańsk & Sopot

Gdansk (Danzig in German) is a city with the rich, long history, beautiful old square and the home of Solidarnosc.

Apart from that it didn’t really impress me much. Which is a shame because later on I read a little bit about it and I would love to go back and discover it again.

Oh and one more thing DO NOT eat in the restaurant called Tapas Rybka in Brzezno. The fish was disgusting and over salted, fries looked like they drown in oil for weeks. The place looks fancy but the food is crap.

Some of the coolest facts about the city:

  • Westerplatte is a peninsula in the city and it is famous for the Battle of Westerplatte – between Germans and Polish armies on the 1st of September 1939 – the beginning of the World War II in Europe.
  • Before that battle Gdansk was known for being the place for winter sports. It even had a ski jump.
  • From the 14th century Danzig was the centre of beer production. The best and the most expensive one was ‘Jopejskie’ named after the street in the city. Mould was being used to produce that beer, which later was recreated by different breweries in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
  • There is a building called “Stara Apteka” (Old Pharmacy) which was used not to produce drugs but ammunition.

Let’s move to Sopot now. Much smaller place than Gdansk but it has the longest wooden pier in Europe.

I loved walking down Monte Cassino street, surrounded by beautiful town houses and green trees, straight to the pier and blue Baltic Sea.

The amazing Grand Hotel – former Kasino Hotel, used to host people like Hitler, Jospehine Baker, Fidel Castro, Marlena Dietrich etc. Below you can see Fuhrer’s bill for staying in this gorgeous hotel.

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If you are in town and want to try traditional Polish cuisine and not only, make sure to drop by Familia Marco Polo restaurant.

Onward and upward,

Tsaritsa Katarzyna

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Oh Crap! It’s Monday! #5

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The stuff which we absolutely loved last week.

Abe & Ellum

  • The white blossom blowing around.
  • Seeing two friends being bad influences on each other ( in a good way ).
  • Staying up all night, getting 45 minutes sleep and feeling fab.
  • The smell of the rain as it falls.
  • The kindness of strangers.

Tsaritsa Katarzyna

  • Playing xbox with my cousins.
  • Running down the hill like and don’t care about anything.
  • Baking my first cake.
  • Buying flight tickets.
  • Happy Cows video.

I ♥ Polska – Warszawa, the capital.

Warszawa is not the most beautiful place in Poland, but it has something that makes me want to go there every time I visit Poland.

Palace of Culture and Science is a bloody ugly building if you think about it, but… damn it is such a cool landmark. It was a gift from the Soviet Union to Poland, built in the 50s. Thank you Russia! Спасибо!

Another great building back from the amazing USSR times is Central Train Station. I personally love it and I hope they won’t destroy it and build a soulless glass piece of crap.

What can I say? I love Warsaw, because people living over there are open minded and creative. Every time I go there I feel like it is getting better and better.

It is worth mentioning that Warszawa was almost completely destroyed during the II World War. Nazis got a little bit upset after the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 and ordered the planned destruction of the city.

Warsaw has to be pacified, that is, razed to the ground.

Adolf Hitler, 1944
Even though the city was pretty much always considered ugly it left some impact on certain people, like David Bowie, who stopped there for a couple of hours when going back from Moscow in 1973. The capital made him feel so miserable and depressed that he composed a track and named it Warszawa.

Anyway, back to the future. Warsaw is an attractive place to live and work, and also study.

To sum up this short post I would like to recommend the best vegan burgers in the world. Krowarzywa on Hoza street. I can honestly say that they were better than the normal ones served with a meat.

Onward and upward,

Tsaritsa Katarzyna

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When too much choice is no choice at all…

Fast approaching is a point where we have too much information.

Information is only useful if you can evaluate it with a degree of certainty. Radiographers evaluate x-rays using knowledge, experience and a modicum of calculated guess-work. When given better x-ray equipment capable of far more detail it has been shown that diagnosis is harder to for a radiographer define. Detail does not always bring clarity and neither does having too much choice.

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French fries and chips appeared in the 1850’s and both were a relatively simple dish. Now we have curly fries, crinkle fries, tornado fries, shoestring fries, thick cut fries, jojos, hand cut fries etc and that’s only the ones I could be bothered to list as examples. There are many other types, but, to what end? It’s like, why do we have to have citrus flavoured cider? How many types of crisp, odd-shaped frigging tea bags, or, breakfast cereal do we have to have?

I’m not saying choice is bad and we should all live in a society where there is only one type of dog, cat or car…far from it, I like choice, choice is good. The issue here is when choice is created because a manufacturer is desperate to capture part of the market it doesn’t have using a gimmick, And we’re the ones who suffer.

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Marketing and its lust for new things to sell is seemingly unquenchable. For example, I saw in a toilet a condom machine. It said, and I quote,’Now easy on’…what the bloody hell…do they realise what they are saying? All I can imagine is they were making the damn things too small before and guys were saying to their partners,’I’m sorry I can’t get the thing on, maybe tomorrow eh?’ or, the condom manufacturer receiving countless claims against them as women claim damages for the condom pinging wildly from the top of the penis, flying across the bed and whacking them in the eye. ‘Easy on’…What? Are we all supposed to breathe a sigh of relief? Finally a condom that fits my penis and doesn’t cut the blood supply off………………..This is nonsense but we’re the ones who have to filter all this barrage of choice. It rarely improves our lives merely packs the shelves and we buy unusual stuff cos we feel adventurous on the spur of the moment or are in such a rush the store didn’t have what we wanted but this was the nearest thing to it…………..

Choice is cool…but too much choice, let’s face it, becomes no choice at all…………………

Choose yer words wisely,

Abe & the Elum