Sunday, March 22, 2009

Scatter chart of Krakow

If you know me well, you'll know that I have many theories. My latest?

A theory of convergence. Case in point: enough people complain that I don't update my blog enough within the space of the last 48 hours - and here you and I are together.

This was a week full of friends' birthdays - how did the stars converge in June 1984? Somehow all that comes to mind is a surreal image: George Orwell's novel set to the tune of "Wake me up before you go go" by WHAM!

So on Saturday, I decided to be the liminal force to merge two of the birthday parties, WHAM! The result? We found ourselves forced into a VIP room not exactly against our will, playing a waiting for Godot game for the actual hosts. Sometimes convergence takes patience...or the luck of having very few choices of first names in Poland. Next week, my imaginary friend Ania is also having a birthday party...

Places as well as people converge. After months of escaping Poland to see Scotland, Germany and Italy, I've traveled to Poznan and Wroclaw, taking two trips in two weeks. They are two cities with the same face as Krakow but different hairstyles. Intense rivalries build between those who are mostly similar, or close to one another, like bickering siblings. For those of you currently gambling large amounts of money on bracketology, just look at the ideological divide that makes up the stretch of I-40 between Dook and UNC.

In Wroclaw last week as I was working the targi pracy (career fair), the main concern students had was not about the financial crisis or controversy with UBS but with the prospect of relocating to Krakow for a job. That being said, both cities were lovely, filled with funky cafes and far less populated with superman costume-clad British tourons than Krakow is. It's getting to the time of year where as soon as twilight hits, you start to hear the howl across the city...

The only problem with my theory is that it is supposed to be working out the kinks in the universe toward a state of equilibrium. Instead, three of my friends are leaving Krakow in the next week - it won't be the same. Not only that, I'm facing a countdown clock of my own - less than seven weeks left before my visa expires and I'm jettisoned off.

Maybe some states of equilibrium are more equal than others...