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Monday, February 15, 2016

363: Teutonic efficiency. Fact or fantasy?

I'm just on the way back to Warsaw having spent a nice long weekend relaxing in Cologne. I had a raging toothache for the first two days but I guess that would have been a problem wherever I was. Thankfully it has abated, at least for the moment, and, with luck, will hold off until I get back to Ramsey next weekend. Paracetamol and prayer seems to have done the trick. More about the prayer in a moment or two. I flew from Warsaw to Düsseldorf with Eurowings, which I think is Lufthansa's budget airline. A pleasant enough flight. Then a train from Düsseldorf to Cologne. The train was ten minutes late. Difficult to believe with all we have heard about German efficiency. And the return train this morning was 30 minutes late! While I'm talking stations it is time to mention the possibility of setting up a bike rental business. At least I won't have to worry about putting my initials on the bikes.

Getting back to religion I  decided to visit the cathedral. In December, when I was here last, there was only time for a quick whizz around the outside. Spectacular though it is on the outside, the interior is even more breathtaking. Until now I'd always baulked at taking pictures inside churches, thinking it showed a lack of respect. But finally I gave in and did what everybody else was doing. After snapping away I spent a few minutes in quiet reflection in one of the pews. And now my toothache has gone!


One more picture and then I must run for my plane. This just to show that I'm still a long  way from completely conquering my fear of heights. 19 floors is one thing but this, quite another!  I'll have  to  work on it. Give me time.
Back in Warsaw now. I just remembered that yesterday lunchtime I ended up in a place that was advertising a "self-service brunch" for 21 euros. Now I know I've lost my younger sobriquet of "Dustbin Des" but I also know I went up to the counter enough times to come out on top as far as value for money was concerned. I had a hearty soup, several main courses and a couple of desserts. Pig!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

362: Fat Thursday & thin building

Today, Thursday 4th February, is known in Poland as Fat Thursday. Traditionally Polish people stuff themselves with doughnuts before the religious fast begins that is part and parcel of Lent.


Regular readers of my blog may remember that I’m not very good with heights, despite being a frequent flyer. Today was a major milestone in my struggle with this particular phobia. I had a new student coming on-stream. She works on the 19th floor of an office block. The mountain was kind enough to come to Mohammed (in the Costa Coffee shop on the ground floor) but I knew that if I didn’t climb this particular mountain today then each subsequent week would get progressively more difficult. So, get in the lift and fight the demons. I can report that they were successfully banished. At least for today. Then home for a stiff zubrovka, or two. 


To finish, a classic you tube clip from High Noon entitled “Donut forsake me oh my darling”. Doh!