Friday, June 28, 2013

One day in Siedlce

Today I simply enjoyed "living in Siedlce." I had an interrupted night of sleeping due to jet lap and woke a few minutes before 8 AM. I moved myself along because I knew breakfast ended at 9! After breakfast I was still in the mood for a cup of coffee and a time to enjoy reading a book so I walked down to Cafe Brama hoping it would be open.

Here's a bit of the interior.

Not a great picture --sometimes what I see on the LCD screen of the camera doesn't look like the "real picture" when I do something such as this. Seven of us walked in at the same time and then the two people in the picture came a few minutes later. I was quite engrossed in my book when I heard someone say, "It's Lori." The women in the picture had walked up to the counter to pay and when they turned around noticed me. They came over to talk with me. I knew one of them from Reymontowka camps, but I simply couldn't remember her name. Two hours later it came me --she's the dance teacher!

I walked back to the hotel. And this is a good time perhaps to show the hotel.

Here are some photos from my lovely room.

The big flat screen TV is new this year.

I met Dorota for lunch and we went back to Cafe Brama. A second visit was just fine with me. Then we walked to a book store and we ordered a Polish grammar book that I will pick up when I return to Siedlce later in July.

My afternoon included going back to the shopping center. I wanted to get some personal articles and had a bit of a hard time with the language -- German! Rossman is a German store and many of its products carry German labels and titles. Am I buying hand lotion or shower gel? Those were the kind of questions.

Coming back to the hotel I took some photos to show Siedlce.

Here are shops across the street from the shopping center.

When I first came to Siedlce in 2004 I marveled how Dorota could pull up anywhere and park. Those days are gone -- there are a lot of cars in town now, particularly during the day. This photo also shows that buildings here do not fit the American stereotype of Poland being a gray and dark place. Siedlce definitely isn't. I have heard that after the fall of Socialism, this area of Poland developed an informal policy of making sure that buildings had colors.

I pass by the cathedral too when walking to the shopping center.

I use the cathedral as a landmark. If I can see it, then I get anywhere.

I also pass by the ambulance service.

And walking about Siedlce one sees cows.

In the past these had pastel colors. Not this year! A whole new paint job!

After relaxing and having a bit of an afternoon nap I noticed a glimmer of sun, so I went again.

This is the county government building. During Reymontowka camps we always go here to meet the County Governor, or sometimes the Deputy Governor. The Deputy Governor calls me the "repeat criminal," meaning I keep coming back.

This sits across the street from a public space.

If I search for New Year's Eve in Siedlce I often see fireworks coming from this space.

Across the street is Jan Pawel II Square.

This square is often a meeting place for as readers may see it is surrounded by shady trees and there are benches too.

I went to the nearby Millennium store.

I was hunting for shoes and found several styles I liked--but what size? Oh, what did I have on? I kicked off one of my klopki and found indeed it was European and I needed size 39.

Walking back to the hotel I passed the kantor.

This is where one may exchange currency -- not only dollars or Euros for Polish money, but also when I lived in Hungary and came to Poland, I could exchange forints for zlotys.

I had the recommendation to eat supper at the hotel, but when I went to the restaurant, it appeared preparations were being made for a special event. So instead I went to Bollywood/Hollywood. This restaurant is operated by Polish friends.

I certainly ate well.

I ordered a mango lassi.

My main dish was a paneer made with triangles of farmer's cheese in cashew gravy.

One of my favorite Polish candies is sliwka. When I noticed the menu had a sliwka sundae I just had to try it.

Sliwka candy is dried plums--not prunes, but rather sweet dried plums--dipped in chocolate. This sundae had chocolate ice cream with plum jam which tasted just like the center of sliwka candy --oh yum!

As I left the restaurant I noticed the interesting contrast between a tree and an apartment building.

Another sight in the late evening sun was the old city hall -- think 200 years ago.

This building is now a museum with city offices located elsewhere.

So this gives you a glimpse of Siedlce. When I worked at the Minnesota Department of Health we used to say, "If you know how one county does things, you know how one county does things," meaning there was great diversity in how the 87 counties delivered their public health services. I would make this same analogy. If you have seen Siedlce, you have seen Siedlce, meaning there is great diversity in building styles and architecture throughout the country. Hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of Siedlce.

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