|For the first time ever ladies and gents.... public water fountain on the Old Town Square. Now if they would just add one, or 32, public restrooms, we'd be in business.|
The sign reads, "Woda do picia" (water for drinking)
|Oh, we piciaed! We piciaed like pros.|
For some reason blogger won't let me comment on any of my last few posts. If you've been waiting for me to respond, I promise, I haven't been avoiding you. Blogger is just kind of a piece every now and then.
There is so much I want to say about all of this. It interests me. I'm not moving mountains with my words but I am genuinely intrigued and want to discuss it. I appreciate your willingness to comment and share your stories.
When Martin asks people why they don't allow cold drinks, why they don't drink tap water, why the child has to wear a hat once the temp. goes below 70, why children can't sit on the ground (I'll get to that in a second), he usually gets this response first...
"That's just what you do or don't do (sometimes ending with, "in Poland")!" Depending on the age of the person it will also be accompanied with something like a shocked scowl. Those exist here.
He strongly dislikes that response. And bless his heart he almost always retorts with, " What do you mean, that's just "what you do"?!" No, it's not. You don't JUST DO anything!!"
And here's the thing. He's right. But perhaps it's not that the other person is wrong, perhaps it's because the other person is, in fact, Polish. Could it be?
I sincerely want to know why. I want to know the old wives tales. I want to know the wisdom and the "wisdom" that has been passed down from generation to generation here in this country.
For whatever reason, perhaps Communism, perhaps homogeneity, perhaps patriotism, perhaps all three in one... seems to have frozen Poland for a couple generations. These "isms" are still around because these generations are still around. But they won't be for long. The generations that bring us these delightful parental admonishments and pearls of wisdom meant to protect our health will die some day.
For better or for worse each generation relies far less on familial wisdom and more and more on books, experts, t.v. programs, mom's groups, and the like for information about how to do things, how to raise kids, health issues, nutrition, home remedies, recipes, how to fix a toilet... There's a reason of course. Sometimes our mom's and grandma's are just plain wrong. A lot of the wisdom passed down can be traced back to superstition, lack of knowledge of the way the body works, or just some sort of short term fix that turned in to 'how's it done always and forever.'
(let's not be too hasty to "throw the baby out with the bath water" as the English would say.... I am most impressed that many people here, and their children, know natural remedies that Americans don't even bother to research. There are many other examples as well but this one comes to mind first.)
Or are they? Are they wrong?
Don't all of these "isms" have some truth to them? Don't they all stem from something real at some point in history that causes such strong reactions? So strong as to actually create fears and prejudices, and "just do/don't do?!" Right?
And in some areas it is still being passed on, to my children's generation, despite the books, and knowledge at our finger tips, and proof that there is no "just do/don't do."
Gosh, I wish I were a better writer. I think it's all clear but then it's not. And of course none of this is all that important. It's just so interesting to me. Truly interesting.
I learned today: No matter what, no matter the temperature outside/inside or what the baby is wearing, under no circumstances save, perhaps, an emergency, should a child be placed to sit directly on the ground/floor/grass. It's been insinuated before, but today I was told the truth of the matter. Very authoritatively. This is interesting!!!
(let me take a moment here to say that if you want to be truly humbled, truly truly humbled, move to a different country where no matter how hard you try you will make a cultural or linguistic faux pas every.single.day, sometimes several times a day, and you will gently, or not so gently be corrected by the general public every.single.day..................they are moments of grace, or moments to sin... you "get" to choose, every.single.day.)
I asked Martin why.
He said he thinks it has something to do with the kidneys - the floor/ground/grass is cold, and this is bad for the kidneys. Anyone?
We're both baffled.
I might just have to start asking people.
Oy. Won't that be a can of worms. :)
P.S. This post hearkens back to an older post from early 2014. So, you know, it's been on my mind. Some great comments over there. ;)