Monday, 27 October 2008
The usual internet cafe, having picked up about 45 emails since yesterday, mostly Facebook invitations, plus some important stuff I have had to send two or three lines to.
Yes, Cracow is certainly beautiful, the old town round the market square at least. I woke early as ever, and after a quick breakfast (and not much sleep) ambled around the streets waiting for the sun to hit something so I could photograph it on my mobile phone, or, alternatively, a vehicle to hit me as I walked down the middle of the street waiting for the sun to etc etc... I take risks. I face the dangers. If it's not good enough you're not close enough. Why, I am practically Robert Capa.
Actually the traffic is slow. I would be run over very slowly, as in slow motion. I do however note there seem to be an inordinate number of police about for no reason I can see or hear of. I have seen more policemen in an hour in the market square than in four years in Wymondham. They drive like demons in Wymondham.
The Jagellonian University is gorgeous. The part where the conference is, is used entirely for meetings and ceremonial occasions so we felt spoilt. I have had three different interpreters in three different sessions, each brilliant. One was interpreting almost ahead of the speaker. Dazzling. Blinding. Blue blistering barnacles! (Or the same in Polish). My paper was third on the list and that went fine. It's not scholarly as such but sort of panoramic, driving two ideas as far into the distance as they will go. Enjoyed the other papers, so can't complain.
Opted for the full Polish at lunch. Soup with boiled egg and sausage (very nice) then a Polish version of ravioli (ravilovich?). Ela was teaching me a little Polish pronunciation as we were waiting for the food. I now know how to pronounce words of whose meaning I am entirely ignorant. Who was it talked of speaking accent without a trace of French?
On the other hand have read two novels in French - up to a point, I hasten to add - so I feel not quite such a dummy as I thought I would. But that's for Frankfurt.
Tomorrow I walk about a bit more.