As I write this , snow has covered Warsaw . Ada and I flew from California to Munich to Warsaw to visit family there . Ada’s son and his wife bought a comfortable apartment up on the fifth floor of a relatively new building . Some well-known Polish electronics company built a cluster of buildings to house their workers, he told me . By Polish law , anything above four floors has to have an elevator so they built each of the buildings four floors high . Then , after the inspections they added a fifth floor on each one . I’m not sure that the company is still around . The elevator-less buildings are all still standing and we watched the snow fall from the fifth floor of one of them . Let’s just leave it at : One gets their exercise hiking those steps every day .
It was cold around the town , of course , too . I’m a southern California guy not used to cold weather . I hear it’s about 70F in LA about now . If it dips much below that over there , people will be reaching for their sweaters and commenting about the cold Christmas weather . Everything’s relative , I guess. Warsaw weather was about 22F when Ada and I were there . We were warm and toasty up on the fifth floor inside the apartment . A tad too warm , if the truth be known. I forgot how well -insulated cold weather homes usually are . We’re used to more fresh air , but of course that’s not freezing fresh air .
We had some good meals in Warsaw with the folks , and some good conversations . I had brought a duty-free bottle of Irish Whiskey with me and a couple of us ( participants will remain anonymous ) had a couple of short snorts from that . You know , just to keep warm . Just to keep warmer . Ada had a deep cough for a couple of days while there in Warsaw . The whiskey would have helped , I’m pretty sure , but she’s not a whiskey drinker .
We took a train to Szczecin. Lots of trains had been cancelled , or were late , evidently because of the heavy snow . Ours , by chance , was on time . At first . There were a couple of unexplained delays on the route and we sat not moving for several minutes at a time . Well , the delays were explained vaguely as technical issues . But there was no one to meet us ; we were on an open schedule ; no pressure . We got to the train station in Szczecin after dark and walked to our place . No trudging through snow . The air was crisp .
We passed one bar where there was lots of noise . Probably a private party Ada said . Loud . You see , Ada commented , how quiet the patrons in Irish pubs are compared to Polish people in pubs . I guess so , I said . I sounded like poor Freddy Mallen in that John Huston film ” The Dead “. “I guess so ,” says Freddy with a bewildered look on his face , trying to sound attentive but not knowing up from down about the matter . I think of that now because I always watch that film around Christmas . It is supposedly a telling of the James Joyce short story ” The Dead ” , but I’ve never seen any real connection . It’s the story of an Irish dinner on the Epiphany (January 6) in 1905 . Irish motifs . Good film , anyway , in a quiet sort of a way ; but I watched it with a friend of mine once and he has probably ever since wondered about my taste in movies . We all have our Christmas traditions and different tastes in film.
Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your particular traditions !