Heard there was a gay rights march in Moscow today. Some human rights supporters and gay rights activists arrived from England to lend their support. Among them was the Right Said Fred dude. He got slogged and received a black eye. Sucked in.
Sunday, 27 May 2007
Did you know that Serena Williams in her weight/ height portfolio has put down the following: height – 175cm, weight – 61kg. Hm, I thought carriage horses weighed a lot more than that. In fact when I was reading all the player portfolios, the women tend to weigh a lot less the higher they climb. How sad.
Sunday, 20 May 2007
We do not have a strata set up for our apartment block. We do not have a separate bank account for a communal pool of money for things that need fixing. We do not have a cleaning lady or a gardener. Instead the neighbours meet up on the staircase once in a while when things need doing and someone goes around collecting money for the new shrubs that need to be planted or the like. We clean the stairwell ourselves, with each unit responsible in alternate weeks for their section of the stairs. One lady collects money for the water bill. Another dude does the same for the garbage removal and another for the communal electricity used in the apartment block. We all get on. Except for the 65 year old smart alec Warsawvian spaz, who bought his unit as an investment and only comes around once in a while to scoff at the lack of progress done in the communal parking area. On Saturday I was weeding and having extreme fun in pulling out the fuckers from between the pavement cracks in the hot sun, and smart alec spaz came towering over me suggesting I purchase weed killer instead, to avoid ‘calluses on those pretty hands’. Pf. I, a) rolled my eyes because I do not have pretty hands, and b) to show I was no wimp when it comes to unnecessary manual labour, pulled even harder at the weeds. Overall, it was a good afternoon and I enjoyed talking to Ania, the neighbour on the ground floor. She has an Algerian husband and told me tales of how their house was ransacked on random occasions after 9/11 by the police who would take photographs of all the postcards and letters sent from
Tuesday, 15 May 2007
place to cut stuff. basil farm on the windowsill
the neighbour is adding on an extension - view outside our living room window
Equipped with street arse whippin’ know-how (see earlier palm oil entry) I headed off confidently to the city council on Friday, my bag filled to the brim with vodka bottles and boxes of chocolates to register Wogus. I lie. Corruption is wrong and the stickers on all the office doors at the council prove it. An outstretched palm crossed out by a red line with the caption “I take no bribes I give no bribes” is enough of an imposing image to make you quake in your boots at the efforts the government is taking to counteract under the table dealings. Instead I took some light reading to keep me entertained in the 1 hour queue I knew I would be facing. The queue indeed was tremendous, the weather outside a heat wave, the interior corridors of the council building a furnace with its walls yelping for a lick of air-conditioning bliss. The result of my registration procedure you ask? A big fat surprise!! The civil servant, who, uh, served me, was the nicest bureaucrat I have ever met! He spent close to an hour with me explaining the procedure, what else I needed to do, gave me advice on how to formally expand the business activities I selected, chatted to be about the current Constitutional Tribunal ruling regarding the government’s official intrusive inspection process of all hypothetical Commies still raging loose, gave me a folder for all my papers, photocopied all the documents for me FREE OF CHARGE and gave me a computer programme to assist me in my business set up. I love the Krakow Municipal Council! I filled out a survey overflowing with positive remarks and had to refrain myself from drawing love hearts next to the ‘staff opinion’ section asking about the efficiency of the ‘administrating officer’. Yay! Now all that is left is a visit to:
- The Bureau of Statistics
- The Taxation Office
- The Social Security Office
…and Wogus will be fully up and running! And as a side track – suck shit to all my fellow Slav locals out there whining about public officials. I scored. I got a good one!
Wednesday, 9 May 2007
I don’t know whether this is tragically hilarious or whether it is the beginning of something that may bring me some satisfaction in life, but I have decided to register a business. Yes. The daunting thought of working for another Polish employer has made my guts churn and the only way out is to pretend to be my own boss. The idea is to have a multifaceted scope of business activity, so in my business registry description I have included the following:
- Paper production and production of paper goods
- Textile design and printing (?)
- Publishing (?)
- Foreign language tuition
- Research in economic, legal, financial fields
- Legal advice and consulting
- Freelance journalism
- Transport provider (!)
Ok, so the only serious bit is the legal advice service and the translating, but here in
In the meantime I will continue to look for foreign companies investing in
But the best bit about registering the business is the name. After some brainstorming with Tabitha over Skype and later over a beer or two with Michal and Tukan, the name of the self-employment venture will be “WOGUS Inc.”!! The ‘us’ makes it sound Polish (since the ‘w’ is pronounced as a ‘v’) and the ‘wog’ part will just make me piss my pants continuously.
For my Polish readers, you just have to trust me that the ‘wog’ part is probably highly inappropriate and that I would never be able to get away with it in
Tuesday, 8 May 2007
the President Lech Kaczynski on the right
(has a wife and no longer lives with his mother)
We spent the weekend in the mountains again. This time it was by the Ukrainian border in the
Tuesday, 1 May 2007
Sunday was spent in a small town called Wislica. There is nothing there but for a 13th Century church and some sculptures of saints, queens and kings carved out of trees that nannas like to visit and pray at. We just ate ice cream and watched the nannas.
the original handicap mobile. you don't even need legs!
cooler than any vespa
After arriving from the States on the Monday, I went to work on the Tuesday and handed in my official resignation. Work at the firm has bothered me for a long time and I have whined about it for months. The trip was the clincher. Maybe it was the only place where I experienced the clashing of the cultures on a complete scale whilst in