Saturday, May 13, 2006

From here to reality

How many weeks have I been in the UK now? Almost 3 I guess. Already a whole new routine and outlook on life have formed. Even though I miss its uniquely tenacious ambience, Warsaw feels like a distant crazy place. Sitting here in the sleepy English countryside and listening through Skype to the usual stories of Polish Reality - bread-level bureaucracy, rudeness, dire mismanagement etc. it just makes part of my brain rush to draw the curtains.

I do still maintain my more than cursory interest in Polish current affairs. The pope is coming (I will just miss filming his visit to Warsaw - a real shame), a seemingly unhinged nationalist has been made minister for education... la la la... (Didn't Nothern Ireland have an IRA terrorist in such a role once?) It feels all a bit trivial really. Not that there's anything wildly significant happening here. Life's life.

Here in England oddly enough I turn on the radio and get a report about Polish archaeologists working to save the ancient remains of Babylon from becoming a military base. In Warsaw I get Radio Dominik telling me how the rise of Yoga and Aikido are covertly working to distort the fabric of Polish society...

It all feeds into my regrettably inherent pessimism concerning Poland's future. Generally there is a widely-held enthusiasm about the emergence of the 'New' European countries. For better or for worse I think the Czech Republic will continue to excel at playing catch up with the west. And Hungary too will not be far behind. That's all ok. But Poland - oh Poland - I think you will only ever do 'ok' and only that much with an almighty fight. To me it all comes down to Poland's proud obsession with 'Purity'. But this is a topic for another post...

What I wonder is why whenever I'm outside England I have a fanatical interest in world affairs, but being here these days I find I don't really give a toss what happens next in Israel or Iran. What does this happen?


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