To Wiola and Tomasz from Poland – because they are my discovery of beautiful beings.
„Look at me! I am cream on a juicy, red strawberry”, the upper color of a friendly flag told me.
Well, I guess it happened to all of you to get some catkin stuck in your hair, to watch a feather landing in your lap, a leaf on your shoe, or a snowflake on your eyelashes, but let me ask you: have you ever experienced a flag falling into your arms? I swear by my life, and my reincarnation, that I can’t explain how the Polish flag ended up in my hands on that day, six years ago.
In a blink of an eye, someone passed on the two-colored flag to me. This story would sound like a fairytale if I used an odd number. But don’t worry, even without that, it will sound fairy-tale-ish to you. The flag shook hands with me at the First aid convention in Europe, which took place in Serbia that year. As soon as I met the team from Poland, that flag became everything those young people represented.
Poland was young, brave, skillful, clever, cheerful, and friendly. That started taking shape before my eyes. We all prefer things for which we know the name and the form but which we can’t define. Everything we can define isn’t beautiful enough, and everything beautiful has an ever unfinished story hard to complete. It has a melody, like hejnal, which is reaching out to us from all directions – eternal and never-ending.
While I was holding the flag, she held my thoughts on Poland. Had to remember Chopin who loved his country so much that his dying wish was that his heart is interred in the land of his birth. On his tombstone is engraved “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”, and his treasure was Poland. Since I’ve read about it, I’ve wanted to visit the homeland of my favorite composer. I wanted to feel those words, add some meaning to them and understand why Poland was so important to him.
Couple of years later, or sooner, we met again – Poland and me. Later, because I was two years older. Sooner, because Poland was couple of centuries younger. As a student of literature, I have studied works that introduced me to the history of Poland. Things that I’ve learned about legendary kings of Lech and Krak, and Polish rulers Mieczysław, Bolesław, Zygmunt III, Władysław IV, etc. If you want to visit someone, to drink some tea, I advise you to visit the History of Poland.
Story from the Gdańsk – Northen Poland
Do you see this Gdańsk building? Tomasz lives here. For you, this window is just another light turned on at night. But I know Tomasz, he is very important to me, he is my great friend. A year ago this window was closed and the light was off. Where was Tomasz? Tomasz, a Serbian language student, was visiting Belgrade, my hometown. Or we can say that Poland visited Serbia. Thanks to him, my love for Poland grew from size M to XXL. And he didn’t even had to talk about the Northern Lights that sometimes can be seen in Trójmiasto.
All the customs, Polish cities, and history, of which he constantly talks, are beautiful enough that, simply, is not necessary to mention the Aurora Borealis. His stories, especially about Krakόw and Gdańsk, are the reason I began to proofread texts about Polish culture, legends and history, which were written by Polish students of Serbian language for Serbs.
One causality followed the other. I fell in love with Poland. Because of it, I fell in love with Polish music. Of course, it’s not possible to listen to music and not to fall in love with Polish language. Oh, I liked it so much that I’ve decided to learn it.
If you ask me who is the beautiful being I’ve discovered in 2015, I will tell you that it is Wiola, a lector for Polish language at my Faculty. Never in my life, I met a person who does the job with so much love, commitment, and professionalism while still finding time to be a great friend and constant support for the students.
How did we meet? I used to learn Polish by myself. The language and I were lonely. When the new semester began at the Faculty of Philology, my faculty, I thought that it would be smart to learn Polish as one of my elective courses. Instead of going to a lecture of Polish as the second foreign language, I ended up by mistake on a lecture of Polish for the students Polonists. That is the best mistake I’ve ever made in my life.
My whole world was composed of atoms of happiness when the lector told me I could listen to her lectures despite the fact that I am a student from the other department. Thanks to her and Karol, Angela, Karolina, Mami and Javier, my first steps through the lessons in the book „Polski, krok po kroku”, were not small and insecure at all, but quite the opposite.
Krakόw for goodbye
Before it empties into the Baltic Sea, Wisła flows through many of my stories. Since my first visit to Krakόw, they are filled with Polish places, people, and topics. My advice to anyone who wants to visit this town not to forget the glasses, monocle or binoculars so he or she could see and perceive all the beauties of Krakόw. Even while I’m in Serbia, I listen to the stories of different places in Poland. When my Natalia talks about her hometown Zakopane and Tatry, her stories full of love make crocuses bloom even in the middle of winter. When my dear Mateusz and Julia talk about their hometown Szamotuły, I land in it before the airplane does.
What would I tell Poland if it was a person? Probably I would speak to it using the titles of Polish songs. I would say: ,,Zawsze tam gdzie ty“ or „Chodź, pomaluj mój świat“, and it would reply: „Wszystko mi mówi, że mnie ktoś pokochał.“
The Wawel Dragon guards Krakόw for centuries. Uhm I spoke to him once, jokingly: “If I was meant to visit Krakόw once again, give me a sign and spit some fire.” The dragon spat fire at the same moment.