On the New Year’s Eve I moved to Cracow. When everybody partied I was on the road in a tiny Nissan Micra (a company pool car I took for this occasion) using a short six hours window between snowstorms to haul my stuff to my newly rented apartment. On the first day of new year 2006, after sleeping off that journey I got out to get some lunch and after walking out from my new home it took me just 10 minutes to get to the Main Square, bustling with life, in the heart of historic old Cracow. I looked around at all the centuries old buildings, at multinational crowd of tourists filling the streets and I was sure it’s worth it.

I had the same feeling today as I walked to my home from the railway station having just bought the tickets for my trip to Berlin (nothing flies there on Saturday). All those tourists who come here spending their hard earned money to be in Cracow for just a few days and I have it every day (even though my work doesn’t allow me to enjoy it fully during the week).

I don’t like Poland in general. It’s a dirty, chaotic place where all the time you have to be wary of your possessions and learn to operate in a society built on assumption that everyone is a cheat and thief unless proved otherwise. I think it’s because the WW-II and subsequent years of communist oppression caused Poles as a nation to practically disappear from this country. What replaced them is a completely new nation, connected to the old Poles only by geographical location and language (even though modern Polish is less elegant than the version spoken here only 80 years ago and frequent use of profanities makes it even more vulgar).

However there are some places where the spirit of old Poland long gone lingers on, where being a Pole in what used to be our homeland is even bearable. And old Cracow is one of those unique places. So, I’m grateful that if I have to spend some time here it would be mainly in Cracow.