Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Starting with the worst and working up

I wasn't going to blog about the tragedy near Katowice, not because I haven't been saddened by the event but because others have covered it and I felt I didn't have much to add. Needless to say, I changed my mind.

The thing that has really struck me, has been the Polish public's reaction to what happened. It is not a new thing for people to come together in times of grief, and this is the most devastating accident since 1987 when a plane crashed near Warsaw, but it has been incredible.

From yesterday until tomorrow the country has three official days of mourning; flags are flying at half mast and people are taking to the churches in even greater numbers than usual. The television stations and Polish websites have black logos, or messages of solidarity. People have been flocking to donate blood and money to the victims of the disaster, and psychological counselling is widely on offer. Even hotels near the scene are offering free rooms to families of those affected.

It's very touching, and somehow you get really get the impression it's coming from the heart. I mean it seems to me that in the UK for example, these things are more quickly forgotten. People are somehow less affected by death and destruction. After the July bombs, which remember was no accident, London friends of mine have said how people were more aware of others and courteous on the tube, for maybe a day. Then it was back to the regular pushing and shoving, staring into the middle distance and ignoring those around you. It's a very different atmosphere here.

If you have been paying proper attention to my weather pixie, you will have noticed that we're up to -2 today. Whoo! After our -25 temperatures last week, this week is feeling pretty unexciting but relatively warm.

Last but in no way least, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

I hope the card reached you (I have no faith in the Polish postal service since each post office I've been in has been run by morons and it took a month for my Christmas package to get from Poland to the UK). If you haven't received your present yet that's because it hasn't been bought, packaged, or sent, but I'm working on it... Have a great day!

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