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7:23pm on Friday, 30th November, 2007:

Impressions of Lodz


It's not pronounced how it looks in English. There's an acute accent on the o, another on the z and one in the middle of the L. The locals say it something like "erlge", where the g is soft like the s in "measure". If you have a rhotic accent (ie. you pronounce your Rs), "ulge" might give better results.

The roads are uneven, and any water on them (say, MELTING SNOW) pools in huge puddles. If you stand near them, you will be splashed. It's better to walk next to the buildings and only be hit by the occasional drop of water (from, say SNOW MELTING on the roof).

At 9am in the morning, the only people walking the streets wearing no hats, no coats and with their jackets open as snow falls are English. More specificially, they're me.

Poland uses central European time, but it doesn't ddo things at the times the clock might suggest. Everything is time-shifted by 2 hours. The shops open at 11am, lunch at the Film Festival was 2:15pm-3pm, I went down to the restaurant here in the hotel at 7:30pm and it wasn't open.

Ring tones aren't big here. I've lost count of the number of Nokia Standard 13-note default tones I've heard.

So, I'm the only attendant at the film festival to have a Windows laptop, am I? I must have seen 50 Apple iBooks and what-have-yous there.

These unisex toilets are a bit alarming.

There are these tricycles with one wheel at the back and two at the front. In between the front ones are two seats, covered in canvas or tarpaulin or something. They're used as taxis. I'll see if I can take a photo of one tomorrow (it was a bit tricky today, what with all the SNOW).

Some of those communist-era buildings are so ugly, they wouldn't look out of place in Hull.

If you want to cross the road, you have to stand next to it. I was quite surprised that it only took 20 minutes for a sheet of icy water stretching from my ankle to my mid-thigh to dry off the left leg of my trousers when a taxi drenched me at a zebra crossing.

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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).