|Lessons are right near the Old Town in a very pretty area.|
|This is what you get when you are trying to take a picture of an area without looking like you're taking a picture because you don't want to look like a tourist.|
|Rest assured I was the only one over the age of 30 wearing red sneakers, jeans (with a cuff!) and a plain blue men's t-shirt on the tram today. I saw two women in 4-6" heels. I am the winner.|
|You know you live at the end of the line (literally) when you are the only one in the car at the end of the trip, in the middle of the day.|
Until now. No. It's still difficult and time consuming and tiring, but now I have the motivation and the desire and the necessity to learn it. A friend said the other day that I shouldn't learn the language unless I *wanted* to. I know what she means of course, it must be a desire and not something I feel forced to do against my will. To be sure, you could live in Krakow, Poland and never need to really speak Polish all that often outside of a few key phrases. You really could. I know a few people who actually fit this category. But I just can't do it. I can't *not* learn the language. Not because I can't get around without it, I can, but because to connect to this country and the people the language is necessary (we will still be speaking a completely different culture, but I don't really know what you can do about that). Even on the days where it seems completely overwhelming or impossible or confusing or I am getting everything wrong even when I'm really trying...it's still necessary. I SHOULD learn the language, I NEED to learn the language, I MUST learn the language. It's enough.
Enter in language lessons. Today was the first day of my new language lessons. They will be 3 days a week for 2 hours each day. For me this is pretty intense and after about an hour and a half today I thought my head was going to explode. It was overwhelming and I haven't had to learn anything new (that I wasn't able to teach myself) in years. My teacher is a student herself but plans on teaching Polish as her main job in the future so she knows what's she's doing. I think she overestimated my Polish a little this first time and I think I was expecting too much out of one visit. I left feeling completely deflated. But reminding myself that his was just the first day. There will be many more. The brightest side of all of it (other than personal language lessons, which are not to be taken for granted) is that I get to ride the tram to and from the lessons, which means that I leave every morning at 9am to get there by 10am and along the way I can read or knit, or study, all on my own. I am looking forward to this alone time.