Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Passive-Aggressive Much?

In honor of wordless Wednesday (and because I have little to say but I want my last post to fall off...) here are some fabulous PANs (and their translations) from Warsaw.

This one hangs on the wall of our favorite pizza place:

It reads "True Italian pizza is eaten without added sauce." Meaning, "Hell no! We will not give you ketchup for your pizza!"

This one takes a little more backstory. This car:

has been sitting at the end of my street for several years now. We use it as a landmark to tell people where to turn. Several complaints have been lodged with the homeowner's association, yet they always claim that the person who has parked this car here has a legal right to park it here and refuses to move it.

Someone (not us, I swear!) left this note taped to the window:

It reads

The sign was removed the next day. And then someone busted out the window.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Road (Rage) Goes on Forever

Many expats who live in or have visited Poland will tell you that Poles are some of the most obnoxious drivers ever. I hesitate to say 'bad' because in reality they are some of the best drivers I have seen. They are always expecting someone to do something stupid.

Yesterday, I was leaving my neighborhood to go collect my children from school. At the intersection of the exit from my neighborhood and the main road, there is a traffic light and 3 traffic lanes. One is for the people coming into the neighborhood, one is for turning right, and the one in the middle is for turning left. All clearly marked.

I was turning right, so I pulled way up and waited for the traffic to clear enough for me to go when, just at the point where I was clear, another car came up behind me, whipped around me in the left lane and turned right. I almost hit him.

I honked my horn, sped up, pulled up beside him, honked again, and flipped him off.

He swung in behind me and tailed me all the way to the next "town".

In hindsight, I may have overreacted.

I should have hit him.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yeah. They Did.

Like many schools, my kids' school publishes a yearbook.

And, like many schools, my kids' school has the word 'school' in its name.

Unfortunately, the publisher never went to school.

Monday, June 15, 2009

If Hell Has Chinese Food

Hubby and I usually go out for date night on Friday night. This Friday night our babysitter (Tigger) was out for her own date night and we were unable to go. She was home on Saturday, so we went out to this new Chinese restaurant that opened just down the road from our house.

My husband's alter ego is a reviewer of all things expat (at least all things expat related to Warsaw). Last week's review was in regard to the rudeness we experienced at this restaurant. We gave them another chance, and this time the staff was much more pleasant. The management most likely told them not to be rude to the customers.

Instead we should poison them.

We started by ordering a large beer (for him) and a glass of red wine (for me). Our waitress said, "We don't have red wine."

I stared at her. "I understand all of those words individually, but together they do not make sense."

Then, Dylan impaled himself with a chopstick.

After we pulled the splinters out and stopped the bleeding, the first dish arrived. Spring rolls. They were quite small. Dylan and I tried to be very professional (we're reviewing the food after all). "It's a little too salty. There's more than a hint of garlic."

The next dish was Kung Pao chicken. This one was pretty oily and just not incredibly tasty. Again, far too much salt was used.

The third dish was not the one we ordered, so we sent it back. In order to punish us, they returned with a dish that after two bites made my tongue go completely numb.

The waitress returned and asked if we would like dessert. I said, "The food you have brought us has gotten progressively worse. What will you bring next, a steaming pile of dog shit?"

To which my husband replied, "Is that an option? I'd like to trade this dish in for that!"

We tipped the waitress well (she'll need it for when the health department shuts them down) and left the building like it was a nuclear disaster waiting to happen.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Meaning of Life, It Could Very Well Be Monty Python's

I've been having a difficult time coming up with material lately. Not only have I been busy with the end of the school year and all that encompasses, but I've not been feeling the funny. Instead, unlike me, I've been feeling really contemplative.

The end of the school year often strikes me this way. In our lifestyle, the end of the school year signals an influx of new people trickling in throughout the summer as well as the loss of old friends who go on to better other places. It's the loss of the old friends that causes more contemplation than the discovery of new friends, but they are all on the same continuum.

What makes people want to leave their home country and live in a foreign place? What makes them begin to treat friends as though they are family and to rely on strangers in ways sometimes more than they would relatives? What makes a familiar accent the most beautiful in the world?

In addition to all of these gains and losses, I'm also completing my bachelor's degree after 16 years. This has left me more than a little contemplative in and of itself. Because of the above lifestyle, a bachelor's degree does me very little good. Here, in my very last class (which fittingly is called "Cyberpsychology: An Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction"), I don't know why it was such a big deal to me to get this degree. It does me absolutely no good. And finally, I completely understand all of those "trailing spouses" (the term used by the U.S. Department of State) who left their careers to follow their spouses to new and exotic locations that many of them absolutely hate. Now, I know that I earned the degree for me. For my peace of mind and for my own personal satisfaction. But as far as being able to gain employment with it...nada. The jobs that are available to me are of the administrative assistant type and ones that I could hold whether or not I had spent half my life and much of my money getting a useless degree in psychology.

Don't get me wrong. I'm proud of myself. It took me a very long time to get that degree and I had a lot of setbacks during that time (I'll have to reserve the complete story of college education for another post. I can shorten it to this: I was one of the ones in high school who was put into the "she's a very smart cookie, but unfortunately her parents can't or won't pay for her education, so she'll be flipping burgers for the rest of her life. No need to invest any time in helping this one." category).

I'm just questioning. Contemplating. Wondering what it's all about.

And where to go from here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

No Stinkin' Badges

I've spent the last few days wallowing in self pity. I finally got the call about that job that I applied (and interviewed for) OH SO LONG AGO, and *huge surprise this*, I didn't get it.

Instead, they let me know that they hoped they could keep me on the list for temporary help.

I said, "F*ck you." Well, at least I did in my head. I do actually have to see these people on a daily basis, even though I didn't get the job.

Really I said, "No. I have children. I can't drop everything at a moment's notice for temporary employment. But thanks."

But all this wallowing has got me thinking. Why do I really want a paying job? What is the point really?

It's all about badges. Because despite the Mexican bandits of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre insistence that they don't need "no badges", most people in my life have them.

Don't get me wrong; I have badges. Mine are just the color coded lowest of the low - meaning that I am of no importance whatsoever. Which might be worse than having no badges at all.

Perhaps I should become a Mexican bandit.

I am so far behind in so many things. I owe my two children, whose birthday fall within two days of one another, their birthday posts. So, birthday posts forthcoming.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Saddest Thing

I am currently taking a class called Writing for Publication. I'm taking it as an elective part of my degree completion because I love to write.

I know, you never had any idea.

Last week, we were assigned to teams. Aside from the fact that my teammate never actually posted the paper I was supposed to edit, everything went well.

Then yesterday, our instructor sent me his paper. Something ridiculous about how she couldn't really give me a grade if I didn't actually do any work.

Here's an excerpt from his paper (I would have posted the whole thing, but I think you would have wanted to shoot yourself in the head after reading it. At least that's what I wanted to do.):

30,000 children needlessly died today! Annually speaking 11,000,000 children needlessly and pointlessly die each year from the most minor of symptoms. The worst part about this fact is that these “children” are aged 5 and under, so the number is much, much higher. Children in “developing nation”, as if they are just becoming civilized, are getting the short straw from the medical companies. It’s amazing how medicine that is used to help and even save lives, are being greatly misused to created so much misery. It’s incredibly ironic. Children in third world nations are dying from not the diseases but of the world apathetic feelings towards them. Ask the average western or westernized citizen how many people die a year from a common cold. A common cold! And they’d probably look at you with a perplexed look as if they were thinking, “who in the world dies from a common cold.” What a person in a “first world nation” or “advanced nation” considers a minor cold is a disease to children in a “developing nations”. But why is this?

You want to know the saddest part about all of this? He's a student in the degree program for professional writing.

And I am not.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Allergies, Allergies

I'll apologize for my lack of posts, but many of you are subscribers and probably don't notice too much when I'm missing. I just haven't popped up in a few days.

Anyway, this is day 8 of the worst cold ever. I woke up and told Dylan that my neck is stiff and I'm pretty sure I have meningitis. Because I'm a little bit of a hypochondriac.

It's also been raining for, oh, about 8 days.

Today, on my way home from dropping off the boys at school, I thought "You know, I feel an awful lot like I always did in Houston when I was a kid."

And then, in one big "DUH!" moment, I realized I have allergies.

Yeah. My 8 day long cold, is just allergies. From the rain, of all things.

So, amusingly, my two children who suffer from horrible hay fever feel fabulous right now.

And I feel like there's a cloud inside my brain.

Which explains this post entirely.

I'm not as entertaining as these guys. Which is kind of sad.