Friday, December 30, 2011

Finding Poland in Minnesota

A couple of weeks ago I got an e-mail which among other things announced there is now a Polish grocery store in NE Minneapolis. I headed off there today to find it. I quickly learned there is a huge difference in location between Washington Avenue N and Washington Avenue NE. Finally found the right address and knew I was at the right place even though it looked very nondescript.
From the Facebook page for the store, I knew that the sign from the store had been stolen on Christmas Eve.

Inside it's really a piece of Poland.
 I was walking from aisle to the next when I noticed a woman carrying a shopping basket. The first thought in my head was that I goofed up in forgetting to do this. Then I remembered I was in Minnesota and I could act like an American while shopping!

You know it's a genuine place when you find kisiel.

I didn't buy that -- in fact I won't even consume it in Poland even when trying to be very polite and culturally appropriate. This is simply not a "food" that an American can appreciate!

Here's what I did bring home. Anyone who knows me well knows I'm very happy to find the juice!

Inside the store I really felt like I was in Poland. No one was speaking English. When I checked out I said, "Dziekuje" and the young man replied, "Witamy." Now that has me stumped! 

This store is located in a very good neighborhood for its intended clientele. It is one block from Holy Cross Church, the principle church for the Twin Cities Polish community. Also in the same neighborhood about one block away are also the Ukrainian Catholic Church and a Maronite Catholic Church.

I came home to find a holiday card from one of my Polish students. And earlier this week I found a question on Facebook from another Polish student to whom I have taught English asking me to explain the idiom, easy-going.

It's 132 days until I leave for Romania and now 172 days until I'm on my way to Poland. Love traveling! 


Tory said...

Now I am curious. What is kisiel?

Lori said...

Hi Tory -- The way I would describe it as "drinking warm Jello." The Polish kids love it. I always beg off when this is the afternoon treat!

Tory said...

LOL I understand! :)
I'm glad you have access to a Polish store. We are lucky enough to have one whole street of Polish stores in what our town calls "Little Poland." I love it!