I was in Poland for two weeks, looking at an archaeological site called Ludwinowo 7. I stayed in the city of Poznan whilst I was carrying out my analysis, which as it turns out is both closer than you think (less than 2 hours flight) and cheaper than a train ticket from Exeter to Stansted, provided you fly Ryan Air. Their currency is the zloty, and some of their letters have lots of lines on them that make them sound entirely different to how you think. This being said, I found that you can get by solo in Poland for a week knowing the Polish only for good day, goodbye, please, thank you and cabbage.
Poland is an interesting place, where you can get fined for crossing the road without waiting for the green man – didn’t happen to me, but I saw policemen stop a dude for real. You can also eat like a king for about three quid, providing that you’re a king that’s really into cabbage and potatoes. It’s apparently important not to ask people how they are, because this will make them tell you all their problems. The thunderstorms are epic, the trams are fun but they don’t always go where they’re supposed to (which is what I always liked about a tram, that it could literally not go off course). The road that our flat building was on was one that had wedding shops filled with lacy bridal wear in the windows on one side, and sex shops on the other. You could say that was forward thinking.
The first flat I stayed in, with two other lovely neomilk ladies, was very small and slightly cave like (it had three rooms, two of which were the bathroom and the kitchen), but it was perfectly adequate. However, for no apparent reason when the other two left I was bumped up to a second floor, two bedroom flat with separate living room, kitchen and super power shower. And a washing machine. And a balcony. When I moved and the flat movey man had left, I drifted out onto said balcony with a beer, and sat there laughing quietly to myself for a full 5 minutes at this fortunate turn of events.
Getting down to business, we worked in an incredibly temperature sensitive lab that was cold when it was cold, sweltering when it was hot and leaky when it was wet, but it was good fun. The bone assemblage was huge! Far too big for me to complete in two weeks! I looked at 13.5 thousand bone fragments in that time, and I’m seeing (archaeology alert) differences in fracture types between different types of archaeological context, hopefully meaning that they were used in different ways. Analysis is, as ever, ongoing. I’m pretty excited about it!
Poland was a very work centred trip, and I’m afraid that all my funny stories revolve around chasing keys down for the lab or getting mildly screwed over by disappearing, deviating trams. In my time off I mainly watched Frozen and read Winter in Madrid, which is not a good book to read when you’re feeling a bit alone. I also skyped my mum to show her the trams that went past my balcony. Trams are something of a novelty for me, and its my mission to go on one in every city that I visit that has them 🙂 but the trams in the Czech Republic took the biscuit, and I’ll tell you for why tomorrow.