You’ve got one weekend to spare in Krakow and you hear there’s a really cool temporary exhibit of an extremely talented Krakow-born painter who died of consumption at the age of 26. The exhibit on the artist named Ludwik de Laveaux, known most for his impressionist Paris nightscapes runs up until February 28, 2006, but time is running far shorter for you. Here’s your dilemma, you’re lost and you’ve know the venue is right under your nose from your trusty little guide map, but your poor pronunciation of the Polish language is gaining you nothing but blank faces when asking for directions. Even when pointing to the written directions of the venue location at 11 Szczepanska street, luck has it that you’ve been asking the people just haven’t a clue on where it is. Sometimes things like this just happen.
doswiadczenie – experience
What you just been given is the ‘dowiadczenie’ or experience of being lost in one of Poland’s most popular cities and probably and even dizzier go at the language. Personally Polish makes my head swell. It never seems there is a good balance of vowels and consonants and everything seems so lengthy. While our English version of the word isn’t so short and sweet they’ve tacked three more letters onto theirs. Since I’ve never placed any real effort into learning this particular Lechitic branch of Western Slavic tongue I’m surely not knocking it, but I’ve got no intentions of becoming fluent anytime soon.
Interested parties can further their skills by visiting this Skwierzyna site for an Adobe PDF filled with excellent info and dictionary of Polish facts. Additional sites include Anglik for very basic info, Skwierzyna.net for additional links, and Angielski to learn Polish in Poland. Recommended pocket guides can be purchased at Lonely Planet.