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

Friday, November 02, 2007

spreading the happiness

The thing about All Saints' Day in Poland is that it's a tradition that should be all holy and deep, but too often turns tragic and cheap. (I really didn't mean that to rhyme. But now it's there I kind of like it. Will. Not. Delete.)

Anyway. Everyone heads for the graveyards and spends crazymoney on candles and big impressive displays of flowers. They meet relatives, pray, then get a bit chilly standing around for hours while priests circulate, taking money for prayers.

What do Poles do when they get chilly? Break out the vodka! No, of course not everyone. I am very sure there are plenty of teetotal households where the 1 November is vodka-free, but an awful lot of Poles have a couple of shots, if not at the graveyard itself (although that does happen), then with the family at someone's home.

That in itself is not a problem - hey, who doesn't like to celebrate a holiday with a couple of drinks? The problem is when too many of these people then decide to drive home. In a car. Behind the steering wheel. Drunk.

Every year the police stop hundreds of drunk drivers, and every year people are killed on the roads. Lots of them. No, I don't have numbers to hand, this is not a science report, but lots. Trust me.

From the bus last night we saw ambulance men tending to a body lying in the middle of a busy main road. I'd be pretty thrilled never to see another body lying in the road ever again. This week's been full of them. The news showed the wreckages of cars wrapped around lamp posts and enormous lorries lying on their sides after collisions. I can do without that too.

People are killed on the roads, they are buried and people pray at their graves on November 1 before getting drunk and being killed on the roads.

What a neat cycle.

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Blogger Bibi-Aisha said...

With holiday season drawing near,i'm ready to bet on the carnage that will make the news.each year there are counts on how many died on the road,which province has the highest accident rate. This is despite the millions spent on 'drive alive' campaigns. People drink and drive,and innocent people die

10:07 pm  

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