I had grand plans of writing extensive blog posts about my trip to Europe but considering i’m now half way through, i’ll summarise here and expand later..
Spent a few days in Lodz, Poland with my fathers side of the family. The picture below is of me and my cousin. I can honestly say that I know more Polish than before and can ask for a beer, train, bus etc and can call out dog, cat & cow 🙂 It was really great to meet up with them again and i really fewel a special connection with Poland as a result.
It’s Christmas morning in Australia (the rest of the world has to wait for the sun) and instead of the usual family tradition of kicking back and watching DVD’s all day, Ruth & I are headed off to the US for a quick holiday.
Interestingly, due to the time difference, we will arrive in Los Angeles on Christmas morning! Therefore this will most likely be the longest Christmas day ever 🙂
This hopes to truly be a holiday, no laptop shall be taken, no email shall be checked (but i’ll check my gmail account) as we drive from LA to Las Vegas then on to Phoenix.
I can’t wait!
3 days in Poland has given me a small taste of life here and has allowed me to get to know my distant family. My father passed away when i was only 14 and therefore I never knew the Polish side (the Szulc part) of my heritage. My only knowledge was that as depicted in movies (eg the Pianist)
My aunty and my cousins family have played host for us for the last 2 days and while we had a huge language barrier (thank goodness for my two youngest second cousins who know English) we still managed to communicate. And eat.. Ahh the Polish love to cook and eat and we did over and over again! My cousin’s wife Anna made the most amazing food in abundance (we actually ate from 3pm and didn’t stop till 8pm!!) and apart from eating comes the drinking (Polish beer & Vodka is good!!!).
Hardest emotionally of all was spending time with (and ultimately saying goodbye to) my Aunt, who is the only sister of my deceased father, and my cousin Ryszard. We wanted to say so much to each other, my only thought now is to learn Polish as quickly as possible and return to talk further with them.
We now continue our holiday, appreciating life even more and yet I feel like someone has flicked a switch and I have a family once again. I leave Poland tomorrow a totally changed person.
I found another Mark Szulc in the world (or he found me). This Mark is also in the tech industry. You can see the list of other Mark Szulc’s that I know on this site.