Under the Hill

so tired…

Posts Tagged ‘poland

Analog Communication

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I have to admit, I am a sucker for good old analog communication. In other words: letters.
I really like to write them and receive them. My girlfriend agrees with me I think, she seems to like getting them as much as I enjoy writing them.
There are of course situations in which I wonder how much writing letters actually fits into this modern world I was born into. Today I noticed again that the whole service concept the german postal service have is rather, well, lacking. Once we had a post office in the village. I remember that pretty well.
Our village is the main village of our whole commune (for lack of a better word…), so even after they closed down the offices in all the other villages, we still had one.
Of course that was in the mid-nineties.
With time came the privatization of the postal service, and with that the need to make money. With that came the cutting of costs. And with that came the integration of service points into the local supermarket.
Luckily the village still has it’s own supermarket.
So nowadays all the letters and postcards I write at my parent’s place is taken in not by someone who knows about postal rates and whatever arcane knowledge there is to a post lady’s job (I really really appreciate the work they do!), but by the girl from behind the meat counter.
And as it always is more important to get the latest village gossip this can lead to rather long waiting times until someone manages to look for the people who want to post something. The service point, by the way, meanwhile has been transferred from the entrance to the backside of the shop, right next to the beverages.

At least the girl knew what I had to pay for a letter to Poland.

It was kind of shocking to me a year ago, when I sent one of my first letters from Germany to Poland, how much ignorance I could encounter with those people.
“Poland?” the girl asked back then. “That’s not in Germany, is it?”
I thought she was joking. “Well, no.” I said.
“But is it in Europe?”
She wasn’t joking.
She didn’t know our neighboring country.
What are they teaching kids nowadays?
Oh wait, that girl was in school with me.
Help? Seriously…

Written by G. Neuner

2. June 2009 at 11:40 pm

Posted in Odd

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PKP Adventures

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I think if I actually keep on travelling to other countries by train this little shout-out might become something more common in this still young and forming blog. And I actually like travelling by train in Poland. It beats bus, car and plane by far in terms of comfort and price.

But I had some, lets call them “experiences”,  with  employees of the Polish train company PKP the last few days. And I don’t even mean the one in Wroclaw who refused to believe that a station like Lodz Kaliska could exist for real [it, uhm,  is one of Poland’s most important stations in Poland’s second biggest city…]. But she was using a calculator as well to check if the numbers the computer gave her as the price to pay actually were correct. So I don’t really blame her.

I don’t mean the conductor who wanted to throw me off the train in the middle of nowhere because I had bought student tickets without a proper Polish student identity card. I think my very broken Polish rescued me here as she went to her superior to get me thrown off, and he/she told her off. Because as a citizen of the EU I am allowed to have reductions just as a Polish citizen would have them. Things like this actually are the thing which make me like the EU very much…

No, the weirdest, and the most mind-boggling of them, was the argument we had with the ticket vendors in Lodz Kaliszka. The train I wanted to take was a regional train which ended in Frankfurt an der Oder, just behind the Polish-German border. Which is actually pretty smart, because the station in Slubice, on the Polish side, is a small endpoint in the middle of nowhere, with no ticket vendors or whatsoever. Anyone who is going that far would normally want to cross the river towards Germany anyway.

But according to the salespersons (and at one point there were three of them arguing with us), this would make it an international train, and international train tickets are sold seperately. The office for international tickets on the other hand didn’t want to sell us the ticket as the train was a regional one, and they had no right or possibility to sell it. Oh the insanity…

This reminds of a book I really like. It’s called Catch 22.

Written by G. Neuner

5. January 2009 at 12:54 am

Posted in Travel

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happysad – nostress

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Video from Polish band happysad (written like that), this wonderful song is about the detachment of people, family and lovers from each other in our decadent, modern times. I really like the video’s visuals which harken back to all those easier times when cars in movies were driving even when the driver had his head somewhere completely else…

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Written by G. Neuner

29. December 2008 at 1:22 am

Posted in Music

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