Dorm Dwelling. Gliwice, Poland

29 Aug

God is funny.

I mean, really “laugh out loud” hysterical.

I’ve joined a habitat project in Poland for 2 weeks where I’ve fast become Queen Crack Filler.  No joke.  I’m good at mixing cement with a shovel and finding those little cracks in sewage/drainage systems.   In two weeks, my back will be ripped with muscles and buns of Steele will be mine.

But, that is not the funny part.  The hysterical, laugh out loud part is that my roomie for these next 2 weeks is a sophomore at University of Washington, St. Louis.

She’s just “10 months away from turning 20.”  When she told me that, I stopped, looked at her funny and shook my head mumbling – “Ahhhh, that means you just turned 19.”  And, “how are you are you,” she asked?  I respond “14 months away from turning 40.”

Within the first 12 mins of meeting, she proceeds to tell me she is….a chemistry major, minor in criminal justice, took college classes in high school, got a big number on an AP entrance exam, taking the semester off, took 22 credits last semester, worked as a lifeguard and knows CPR,  is dyslexic and a kinesthetic where she must knit in class to learn (sure that goes over well in college), gets dressed up and goes to Anime conferences (think Japanese cartoons and Speed Racer),her longest BFFer just hit the four year mark and she got drunk for the first time when she was 18, all supervised by her EMT boyfriend who then cheated on her…

Wow, this is going to be an interesting two weeks. Can you please put me down for a nap?

She is asleep right now – sleeping off her hang-over.  She consumed a 1/2 litter of beer in less than 25 minute.  It’s hailing — friggin freezing – My pants are air drying and I’m wanting to walk up to the TESCO grocery store for food.  It’s Sunday and we have the AM off.

The hail is causing me to forget the mile walk and opt for eating M&Ms and washing in down with diet coke for lunch. I hope this ties me over, for we are going to a family’s home tonight to consume more sausages.

I’m going to be posting random quotes and stories about my roomie.  She has such a generous heart but the social filter needs some fine tuning.

Last night, she went out with some folks and came racing back to our dorm room – filled with excitement and out of breath.  She says, “OMG!!!!  OMG!!! Tonight was the BEST ever.  I mean the best!”  I placed my book, Shantaram, across my chest and peered down at her.  “Well, what happened?  Tell me! I mean, did you kiss a boy? Get laid? What are we talking about here…”   She paid zero attention to me – she was prepping for her monologue

…”This would never happen in the states.  I mean you get put in prison for this…We were walking along the street and came across this jazz funk band playing Indian music on the sidewalk….They were awesome.  They were just playing…I mean right there… My brother plays in a band.  And, the campus police came to his friends house and told him if they did not stop playing, they were going to jail.  And, here, in Poland, you can play a band anywhere…So cool!

And, guess what else? I didn’t get carded. The drinking age here is 18!!!!  I have to tell my friend Allison this.  I get carded for everything, even buying Sharpie markers and glitter spray-on.”

Wait, what?  Stop the music.  Now, I’m listening.  The other stuff was just noise. Who gets carded for buying pens?  What in the hell is happening here?  I’m all ears…

Oh, yea.  Of course. You have to be 18 to buy sharpies and spray.  When I worked in theater – my friend of 3 years was the theater set manager and  I was in charge of buying wood, spray paint, sharpies — and they carded me every time. I mean I look young…. I’m small and can eat more than my brothers.  But, guess what?  I’m so happy.  I mean, I have not been this happy in soooooo long.  They did not card me Poland! This is sooooooooooooo cool! And, I know I’m not drunk.   I’m just happy….Because I can say the Spanish alphabet with the perfect pronunciation…

She stands in front of me and ticks off the the alphabet in Spanish.  I was stunned.  This was way too much information to take in on one night — was the Sharpies or the fact she is reciting the Spanish alphabet, “sober”…

I grabbed my notepad and started writing.  She makes an amazing character for a book.  I did not know this even existed…  I started dabbling in drink at four years old – by accident of course.  Mom and Dad were giving me sips of Daiquiris.  I thought they were Slurpees.  By 13, the BFFers and I were siphoning off Rum and chasing it with Milk.

Her innocence is enduring, yet frightening….  More to come.  I have to tell you about her first time drinking and how to deal with a hang over… She is a chemistry major after all and knows the periodic table.  This is a true gift.  God is so good!

6 Responses to “Dorm Dwelling. Gliwice, Poland”

  1. Kim 29/08/2010 at 9:18 am #

    That is hilarious! I remember those days of trying to seem older. Long time ago. Sounds like fall is arriving over there. Enjoy the hot Polish sausages. lol Love the photos and the posts!

  2. A Day 29/08/2010 at 2:30 pm #

    I know! Thanks Kim for your comments — But, I don’t remember being this naive – it’s truly amazing. She has taken 550 photos in 4 days. Conversation going on now — I take photos of everything, I mean everything. I’m wired right now. I had jello with sugar and am like “HAAAA” right now.

  3. Kim 29/08/2010 at 9:39 pm #

    No no no, you can’t evade that easily. The girls want to see photos of you with the hotties! hehehe. Ok…..I’m trying to be good. 😀 …. I’m thinking of that song… “I gotta feeling…tonight’s gonna be a good night.”

  4. Dori 04/09/2010 at 5:21 pm #

    So damn funny – your journaling really takes me there with you ADAY! who’d thunk some of your best material would be fellow Americans. I shared your blog with fun marketing friends in Tampa – said you were a great writer – and he used to hire writers for WDW. Polish drainage missionary – hope it’s not sewage drains! Luff2u

    • A Day 09/09/2010 at 11:50 am #

      I love hearing from you! Thank you Dor Dor!!!

  5. MaryStuart (little sister) 05/09/2010 at 4:09 pm #

    OMG! OMG!! Andre’ and I are in the Atlanta airport heading back home after a week in Montana (amazing ranch) and then a wedding in the GA mountians. I did not have a cell connection, nor internet, for a week (thanks, T-Mobile) and just catching up on your blog. Well, I really hope that your roomie does NOT know your blog address. I guess you need to watch out who you share this with along your journey. I was waiting for you to say this new roomie reminds you of growing up with me. Thanks for not making that connection. I know your “peering looks” when being dirsturbed very well. Wow….you are a ditch digger and crack filler. Fabulous! I am just thawing out form 35 in Montana and 50’s in GA mts. So, I can relate to being so cold. I have chills thinking about you. We day girls do not do cold very well. I love your Russia visa story. I can’t believe you would ship your passport to US, while over there (regardless of location.) are you crazy? Sounds risky, but so does telling the KGB that you studies Political science and worked for the “Y” (formally known at the YMCA…new logo has taken off). Ok, about to board plane. I will email you this week and send you photos of my amazing trip!! Love and miss you so much! Enjoy your roomie…ha! MSDV