In around two weeks time I will be packing my life into something transportable and bidding farewell to Poland and its people. After nine long years it feels somewhat unbelievable that I am really leaving. I know what I should be feeling is excitement. I should be looking to the future, spewing clichés about new chapters, rebirths and other such Buddhist nonsense. However I am not, I will be leaving Poland with a heavy heart as Poland has somehow become my home.
I am not for one minute suggesting that Poland is paradise. Far from it in fact. It is a nation so woven with contradictions that I have never openly witnessed such pliable truths. It is a land of harsh winters, cabbage obsession, catholic repression and open xenophobia. It is a land of proud people who aren’t quite proud enough to go the extra mile. It is a land of Christians who proudly rejoice in their neighbors misfortunes. And it is a land where some of the most repulsive disgusting voices get elevated to public office.
That’s not to say it is all bad either. It is a stunning country gifted with an abundance of geographical treasures. The people are largely hospitable and kind (if there is vodka somewhere nearby). It is a country with an incredible history if you can somehow navigate the minefield of nationalist propaganda which surrounds it. And most of all it is a nation of hopeless optimists and incurable romantics.
Throughout all my years here,there has been one pervasive theme. Frustration. Progress has been incredibly slow , in part caused by the corruptible hand of bureaucracy and most often by sheer incompetence. Very little has actually changed, and those things that have, have been farcical in their execution. Sadly this trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
As I wave farewell to you my dear Polska I have three wishes for you my dear. The first is that your people start taking pride in the beauty you possess and stop desecrating your body because they are too lazy to find a bin. The second wish is that your people recover from their phobias, as in all honesty, nowadays they have nothing to be afraid of. And thirdly that your government takes the vote from the over sixty-fives and closes your churches. Perhaps then, and only then you will be ready to take a great leap forwards.