Loving to travel, wearing short-sighted glasses

Sitting writing this in an airport named after a famous composer, piano piano I become aware that I needn't be unhappy I didn't get to see much of the capital city. Not to mention the people, who shy personae like me never get to meet much any way.

Because it seems one needs to have 2 things before one can even attempt a draft judgement on a foreign place one is visiting:

  • Time. I was here for four nights, with little spare time outside of the job I was sent here for, and an impending flu to boot (rather, to boot out motivation to undertake exploratory walks).

  • Lingo. This is only the third time or so I've visited a place where I knew nothing of the language when I arrived, and where the locals as a broad rule speak none of mine.
I keep forgetting those two, especially the latter. Otherwise I might have spotted at least the most fundamental of phrases - like "how much?" and numbers - for the upcoming vocab exam of the everyday in an alien city.

The thing about judgement is, apart from its constant practice's being impolite in any case, I find it tends to grow on one beyond one's control.

On and after the one half-hour walk in the vicinity of the stuck-up (at the least, visually) hotel I was inhabiting, I had several times to wrest down generalisms that rose up like those ethereal joys you can't quite explain: That the people of this country (!) are just so - in this case, cool, very practical, determined to surmount international irrelevance (at which, most commentators would agree, I think, they've succeeded); that the city centre architecture proves relatively poor but hardy, lovable; that the reek of nationalism may in fact be a perfume worth coveting in small amounts in my home, too - to resist the ever-growing influence of EU-bureaucrat norming of everyday life.

However, the voice of (assumed!) reason kept interjecting quietly how inadequate this sample of first impressions was, that I wasn't seeing what needed to be seen, comprehending what - and how! - things were being said.

Hoping I won't be asked "what was it like?" too often after such a short trip, here's to my inner True Instant Judge of the World at Large coming to rest again in the next few days. That high of experiencing a new big city newly seen. And I will be revisiting this impressive place some time, hopefully, perhaps better prepared, with a little more time on my hands. And only then judge - demurely - if needs be; and more accurately.

{Warsaw}

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