Up in my organ room, on the tenth floor, I leave the windows open because air conditioning is a thing of the future. This week there's been a murder of crows circling the air around the building, and it's been kind of eerie hearing them argue. I'm really afraid that someday a bird is going to fly through a window, either in the dorm or at the university, but I suppose that would make a good blog post. At least, a better one than this one.
Grammar and vocabulary building is long, tiring work. I kind of struggled through the first half of my class this morning, but then in the latter half we played a guessing game, describing famous people from our respective countries, and that made for much more entertaining work. I chose William Faulkner, because I'm like that, and the only person in the class who guessed was my teacher. All the Americans were surprised and asked why on earth she knew William Faulkner, and she said that it's important to know such people. I agreed.
Meals have gotten better, as the kitchen has really been coming to terms with the vegetarian concept. The highlight of the last week was the mushroom gałąbki. We didn't have to be jealous of the carnivores at all.
We're still avoided, though. I'll never get tired of seeing the smile drop from people's faces when we tell them that it's the vegetarian table. It is nice to know, however, that they like us up until they find out what we're eating.
Last Saturday I sat down in a park for a complicated reason that I don't want to take the time to explain, and a random, but nice, man named Andrzej asked if he could sit down. I said he could, and we chatted for 20 or 30 minutes about politics and Poland and whether or not Polish girls are pretty. It's something I really wanted, just good solid conversational practice. He asked if I played chess, and I said I know the rules, but that I'm no good at all. Anyway, I hope to see him sometime playing chess, because I'd gladly talk to him again.
The highlight of the week was on Sunday when we went to Kazimierz Dolny, a little town on the Visła about an hour away by bus. The city itself was a veritable cesspool of tourists, which detracted from any photo opportunities. I did, however, buy one of the famous rooster-shaped bread-creations, and I walked down to the Visła and dipped the very tip of my shoe in the water.
But then! then! I went and met Professor Whipple in the church where he was waiting for the organist. Every year, on the Kazimierz trip, Professor Whipple goes up with the organist and plays a little part of Mass and a little bit after. This year was no different, except I got to go up too.
As it happens, Kazimierz Dolny claims the oldest playing organ in Poland, and I got to play it! It was a totally new experience, and I played some sour notes, but Professor Whipple said my artistry was superb, so I didn't complain. I won't bore you with details only an organist would love, but oh it was so cool--so cool!--and I got plenty of pictures.
On a more somber note, a large group of us went to the Majdanek concentration camp today, and it was, as always, a complex experience. I don't really think the internet is a great place to publish my feelings on the matter, but I will take the time to recommend that everyone visit a concentration camp if they have the chance. This is my third one, and you can't trade the experience for anything. I was actually quite honored by my friend Daniel when he invited me to come with him when he visits it later this month, so I'll be going back, and I think it's totally worth it.
And the music videos at McDonald's are still about as pleasurable as an IV. I couldn't get a whole post out without complaining.
Speaking of which, I've been reading about the fundamentals of Buddhism, and I get the feeling that sometime in my life I should stop moaning. Something to work on...sometime soon.