Today is Corpus Christi or Boze Cialo in Poland, a Roman Catholic holiday commemorating the institution of the Holy Eucharist, first celebrated in 1261. It’s a national holiday here; no one is working today. Many are turning it into a four-day weekend. Our friends who used to live on Ogradowa street said they would be an huge procession down their street on this holiday. I noticed that starting today, this is one of four holidays (two religious and two civil) that will be skipped for the next five years in Portugal. The thought is that the extra productivity will help their ailing economy. They said the decision involved special discussion with and permission from The Vatican.
As American Protestants, we’ve had a quiet day at home with Ed convalescing, keeping up on his physical therapy homework. I read on David’s blog that there is a four-day market/festival in the old square starting today. It’s rainy and windy, so we haven’t ventured into town to check it out. . . yet.
I had an interesting experience Tuesday night. I attended an advanced adult English class at Metro language school. The owner is the friend of a friend and I was their native (guest) speaker for the evening. I met some very nice people, and as we chatted, I was so impressed with the vocabularies. They know a lot of words in English that I don’t know in Spanish. Studying languages is such a common pastime here for children and adults. I know of very few people at home who spend their spare time learning a new language, and sadly we never hear of youngsters doing so until the classes are offered in high school (the best learning years are lost by then). It seemed they were surprised by some things that I said. In no particular order, I got a reaction when I told them:
1. how we mispronounce Polish names in the US
2. that there are women flying the F-16 in the USAF
3. that we are Lech Poznan fans and have been to many matches.
The 2013 ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup starts tomorrow at Lake Malta and runs through Sunday. It’s too bad that the weather forecast is calling for rain the entire time. Hopefully, they’ll get a few patches of sunny weather. I met a couple of the competitors from Canada at the supermarket last week – helped them find the right Polish laundry detergent for their needs. They had just come from a similar event in the Czech Republic.
Lately, I’ve been driving in and around the city more than I usually do (usually, would be not at all), and I have to say the potholes are absolutely terrible; the worst I’ve ever seen on roads that are not abandoned. In some spots the pavement looks like Swiss cheese – photos soon.