Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Oysters, Caviar, Champagne...and...Cheese!

Polish cuisine is actually pretty good. I love pierogi and they make lovely bread. We've also written in this blog about the beautiful strawberries, which we are (still) consuming (at an alarming rate) on a daily basis.

One thing the Poles can't do though is cheese. It's not like they don't have cows. Their milk tastes fine and they do pretty decent natural yoghurt. Every piece of cheese you buy though, basically tastes the same - much like the 'plastic' stuff that you find on McDonalds burgers.

It doesn't matter if the label says gouda, edam, cheddar, brie, stilton, mozzarella or monterey jack(!) it basically ALL tastes like plastic. I obviously stand to be corrected should anyone know better, but I've yet to find a single type of Polish cheese that tastes any different to the rest. I must admit (before anyone does try to correct me) - that I'm yet to try Twaróg(Quark) or Oscypek

We have however found a supermarket that sells British cheddar. It comes at a price though - we paid zl 15 for a small lump of the stuff (about 3 GBP or $AUS 6).

It does taste nice, (and has a 'proper' cheese flavour) but is certainly a 'luxury' foodstuff!

So next time you have a cheese toasty - don't take it for granted! Instead, make sure you enjoy every last minute of it - and think of us with our plastic stuff!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

World Press Photo, Shopping and Swimming!

On Friday evening, we went to the World Press Photo exhibition which opened recently in the Palace of Science and Culture, in the centre of the city. It was a good exhibition with photos on display from all of the winners. There weren't that many uplifting pictures, but nevertheless some pretty incredible shots amongst them. The exhibition is doing a World Tour (it is due to be in London at the end of August, but has unfortunately been to Brisbane and Sydney already).

If you want to see some more of the pics then click on this link....World Press Photo

On Saturday we went shopping for baby gear. We bought an (oh so cute) moses basket from Mothercare, along with some blankets, tiny socks and a bath. We then bought some other gear on-line.

We got caught in a torrential downpour on Saturday and got absolutely soaked. The weather is strange at the moment - beautifully sunny and hot one minute and then storms the next.

On Sunday we went to Wodny Park again for Amy's weekly swim (she managed 12 lengths of an olympic pool - not bad for a fat lass) We then went to the cinema to watch Zodiac a pretty good film, (I'd give it a 7!)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Not really all that secret then?.....

Saw this sign on a building the other day and it made me wonder!........

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Week 31 scan

Today we went for our 31 week scan, which we think should be the last! Everything is looking good. Unfortunately, we couldn't get any good pictures this time because she was too big and therefore too close to the camera to get a good shot - apparently this is normal. The doctor told us not to worry because we would get some good shots of her when she comes out!

She weighed a little more than the average 31 week old - more like a 32 week old! 1.8 kgs. Must be all the berries and icecream, strawberry smoothies etc that Trev's been giving me!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Polish Curry!

On Saturday we invited some friends from the British Embassy (John, Emma and Sarah) to our apartment for a meal. We had planned to arrange a BBQ but unfortunately (see earlier posting!) we had to change our minds on the menu selection!

Instead, we chose to make a traditional British curry. There is a small shop near our apartment (called Little India!) which has just about every Indian ingredient you can imagine (plus some you couldn't) so that was a great source/sauce(geddit?) of things for our meal. We made three curries, plus pappadams, nan bread etc and everyone had a great time.

On Sunday we went swimming at nearby Wodny Park (I love the water slides!) and then went to a 'Mother and baby' show at Warsaw race course. In the afternoon we visited a HUGE out of town shopping complex and looked at sofas in Ikea. Ikea never ceases to amaze me - I wonder if anyone gets out of there without buying something from the tatty warehouse bit downstairs....
What does the acronym IKEA stand for? (choose from the answers below)

How Rude!

I often go past this poster for the Millenium bank on my way to work, and it always makes me smirk! - no wonder they find it difficult to attract new customers!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lubię Grillować

Which roughly translates to "I like to grill!"

In true Australian/English(?) fashion we decided to have a Barbie/BBQ for our dinner this evening. We had managed to pick up a small BBQ from Tesco for a meagre zl 10 (about £2 or $Aus 4!!). Tonight's dinner was meant to be a test run for Saturday (when we're having some friends from the British Embassy round for dinner).

A few people had questioned the 'legality' of having a BBQ on our balcony in an apartment block, but we shrugged it off (we're sharing type of people after all!)

I fired it up and all seemed to be going well (albeit a little bit smokey). I had reached the part where the coals had turned white and I was getting ready to add the burgers/sausages when a fat Polish lady appeared in the garden below and started waving her fists and shouting Polish at me! She seemed angry for some reason....

We both cowered in the apartment for a while (laughing) but there was no escaping the fact that there was a fat Pole (now accompanied by a security guard) outside....

Amy slinked out onto the balcony (as well as a pregnant lady can 'slink') and received a barrage of Polish abuse from the fat lady. Apparently she hadn't liked the smoke/smell and it was against regulations to have a BBQ on the balcony. Amy told her that she didn't understand (which she did) but again, surprisingly(?) the lady wasn't too happy!!

We're lucky in this place as we've got a 2nd balcony(!) and so when she had eventually stomped away we moved our (burning hot!) BBQ out of sight and continued to cook our meal. Perhaps we'll just have curry on Saturday night :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mucha and Aida

We enjoyed a cultural weekend with a trip to the National Gallery to see a Mucha exhibition and then to the National Opera on Sunday to see Aida.

The Mucha exhibition opened recently in Warsaw. One of my English students thinks that it is probably one of the largest and most significant exhibitions of this type to ever visit Poland.

Mucha was Czech, but lived for much of his life as a starving artist in Paris. He became famous designing posters, especially those for the actress Sarah Bernhardt. We both really enjoyed this exhibition - if you want to know more go to; Read more about Mucha

On Sunday we went to watch the opera Aida. It was an excellent production and was certainly a spectacle with nearly 150 people on stage at one point. Obviously the opera was performed in Italian but they did have Polish subtitles - which was useful for Amy at least(!)

again, see Aida in Warsaw if you're interested...

We had huge storms on Saturday and Sunday evening. Amy suggested that at one point Ul. Bukowinska (the dubiously cobbled street running outside our apartment) was probably only navigable by canoe!

Amy's tummy has also grown a fair bit in the past week. Interestingly mine has too, but mostly methinks down to the pączkis (a type of Polish doughnut) which I eat whenever I take an English class in town! (see-that's another useful Polish word I've learnt!)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

University Gardens

Today was a public holiday (Boze Cialo or Corpus Christi) so we took advantage of the beautiful sunny day to take a trip to the Warsaw University Library Garden. The garden, which is situated on the roof of the university, was opened in 2002 and gives great views over the Vistula River. There is also a lower part of the garden where you can actually sit on the grass! This is a rarity in Warsaw where it is usually forbidden to sit/lie or even walk on the grass.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

London 2012

Costing 400 grand,to design, the logo for the London 2012 Olympics was launched yesterday. Let's face it, it's embarrasing (and must have cheered the French up no end!). If you want to sign a petition to try and change it (or at least return to the one used for the campaign) then click the following link;

Online petition - Change The London 2012 Logo

Monday, June 4, 2007


Which translates to Strawberries! It is such an important word at the moment as Warsaw is deluged with strawberries. From old ladies running small stalls outside of the metro stations to supermarkets... everywhere there are strawberries. The fruit are so sweet and it is possible to buy them in huge quantities for not very much money. I managed to buy a kilo of them last week for zl 4 (about 80p), so me and Amy have been enjoying strawberry shakes and generally gorging ourselves on them for the last couple of weeks.

On Saturday we went to some friends Pene and Mike who work at the N.Zealand embassy and had one of the biggest BBQ's imaginable (and MORE strawberries). We spent Sunday mooching around the Old Town in Warsaw and visited Saski park which has just renovated it's (huge) fountain.

We've also spent a bit of time sorting out our spare room. It doesn't look like we're going to be able to move to a bigger place now, so we've had a general tidy/sort out so to make our spare room suitable for our impending new arrival!

Even more good news is afoot - it'll soon be cherry season!