Tag Archives: christmas

The Cane of Cold


I’m in Krakow. Everything is frozen and walking in the evenings feels like gliding through a thick mass of a cold white substance. Breathing has become a whole new activity where you have to be careful not to give away too much of yourself to the outside. It’s as though everything has become a whole new game of math: you carefully measure how much warmth inside you need to the next destination and try to foresee how cold your destination may be. It’s constantly taking measurements of temperature, steps, surface slipping risks, and of the ever decreasing range of colors you get to see. Perhaps this is the underlying cause for Christmas lights and the undecided liking for the strangely colored socks and sweaters we all seem to agree to wear at this time of year?

I see the increasing hunger in people’s faces as I ride the tram over the steel gray slopes of the city’s curves. They all rush to shop, to see, to catch the sun, even if all it offers are the white canes of its winter rays. The hunger of warmth and light combines with the implicit requirement for the Christmas joy, which is to be felt despite the biting cold and the sly drafts inside the city walls. Waking up has become a race of its own, with the first thought – how much longer before the sun goes down? Will I have enough time to get dressed; how much time do I have this morning? Lured outside to feed your lungs and eyes, you still get hit at the back of your neck with the cane of cold. ‘Ah, yes,’ we sigh as we breathe out. We stand relieved, fooled again, and still amazed with the small offering of light we all long for.

La la la


I know I’ve been writing about customer service and bureaucracy for two posts straight, but I can’t help myself from telling you how the Amazon story ended. After another call and another 24 hours they sent an email saying this:

‘Thank you for writing to us at Amazon.com.

I have reviewed this order and the item you returned and found that you are indeed due a refund in the form of a gift certificate for $89.99.

I apologize for the delay in processing this for you. You should
receive a gift certificate at your e-mail address in the next 3-5
business days. Please note that because this was due to our error,
we will not cancel the refund that was already requested to the
purchaser’s account.We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter, and look forward to seeing you again at Amazon.com.’

So not only are have they issued a gift credit to me, and not withdraw the refund they’ve given to my friend, but also, acknowledged that the coffee machine gift has been returned to them. Well, the box with the coffee machine is still sitting in our kitchen. So, not only do I get a coffee machine, a 90 dollar gift credit at Amazon, but my friend also gets a 90 dollar refund for the gift! It must be Christmas.

Happy New Year!

Brazos Bend and such


I’ve been to the States three times now and my two previous trips consisted of Texas exclusively, but I can’t say I’ve seen that much of it. Despite being a city animal, I am also a huge nature lover and have finally gotten to see Brazos Bend, which I had heard of so much before. The landscape was swampy and crowded with trees that cast reflections in the swampy waters. On the banks of the walkways aligators would be sunning and not making much of your presence. The place had lots of views of birds of all kinds as well and in general was a wonderful walk.


Christmas was great and soon after we left to go to Austin and visit an uncle here. We took a walk through downtown and I finally got to see how cute this town is in daylight. We’re setting off to go to Waco in a couple of hours and will spend New Year’s Eve there. I didn’t bring my camera on this trip, so no pictures from this one…

It’s Christmas!


It’s Christmas Eve today and I’m finally getting excited for Christmas! Christmas Eve is my very favorite day when I’m back home in Krakow. You finally get to put up the tree, you fast all day, help Mom in the kitchen, eat until you can’t breathe and then open up presents. After all that you might go visit family and go to a midnight mass to sing Christmas carols. It’s such a fun day. Oh do I miss my dear Krakowians!