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PS21 - Milki

See Milki on a map.

December 28th, 2005: Day 2: Warsaw to Gizycko and Milki
December 30th, 2005: Day 3: Milki and Gizycko to Pluznica

My first destination on my Poland trip was to see my old counterpart Czarek in his hometown of Milki:

"Well, it’s a quiet morning here at Czarek’s house, excluding the productive hum and buzz of the circular saws in the workshop downstairs. Czarek’s father and his employees make shelves, staircases and cabinets, among other things. They do really good work; I remember the pictures Czarek showed me in Grande Prairie of cozy cottage stairwells and elegant balustrades for mini-mansions.

"Czarek, too, used to work with his father, but now he has another job supervising tileworkers at various worksites (like shopping malls under construction) all over Poland. He’s put over 100,000 kilometers on the company car since he took the job. Czarek’s sister B’ata is studying to be an architect and is finishing her final year. I hope she’ll show me some of her plans or drawings.

"Czarek is still on his way up from Czestochowa, a city in the southern quarter of Poland, in between Lódz and Katowice. They got hit hard with snow down there, but you wouldn’t know it from the bare roads and comparative calm up here in the Masurian Lakes. As blustery as Warsaw was, apparently that was nothing.

"So this is Milki, a small gimina centre near Gizycko..."

Photos from a walk with Czarek...

"Czarek came home yesterday and even after 30 hours without sleep he took me for a walk into Milki. Later we went for a drive around the area and talked about the old group, Ukraine, Poland, and other such things. The scenery was beautiful – hills, trees, lakes, narrow dirt roads – I’ve never seen anything quite like it. There were many small farms in the area and not a whole lot of houses, but the present ones looked happy enough. There must be an interesting pace of life out there. It would be different to consider Milki, the main village of Gimina Milki, a centre of life: “Dad are you going to Milki? Can I go, can I go too, can I, please?”

"After dinner, we went out for a few Lech with Czarek’s cousin and another old friend. B’ata had been working all day on her architecture project, and she needed to print it off, but the printer was at their mother's workplace (the local clinic where she is a nurse), the cd burner was at the cousin's, and the required drivers were at the friend's. Or something like that. Anyway, I hope they get it figured out eventually."

B'ata and Czarek. Their dog is lucky to be okay, we think it ate one of the deodorizer balls from my sneakers!

It should be noted that Milki (pronounced "Miwki," there's a stroke in the "l" to make it a "w" sound that is not supported by my HTML editor) is also a very popular Japanese personal name.

In case you were ever tempted, though, do not try to make conversation with said Miwkis (especially if you are auditioning to be an English teacher in Japan) by saying, "There's a town in Poland named after you!"

It does not go over particularly well.

(But they don't know how cool Poland is.)

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