Tag Archives: katowice

Poland

The road now turns north and all the dashing from east to west across Europe is over. This also means we will be driving into ever worsening weather. Leaving Bratislava is easy and not the traffic nightmare we have become used to. Make a few turns, onto the freeway, then, before you know it you are out of town. The roads are reasonable but not brilliant as these countries are new to the EU and haven’t had the years of financial injection into their road systems. The high speed Autobahns of Germany are behind us now but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. We meander along and the GPS settles into conflicting instructions till we need to eat. We are in a Slovakian ski area and find a café that’s open.

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This is one of our best moments of none communication as we can’t work out the menu and just take pot luck on what a point to the card brings. Mette did manage to get through that she wanted fish though so she was maybe more ahead of the game than us. When lunch arrived we all got something like a gnocchi, I think, with some slices of salami on top. Mette did trump us after all and got a fish. My meal was nothing special but ok, but Mette’s fish seems to have died of old age in 1968 and been decaying in a freezer ever since. Even its head was withered and sunken and if it could have had false teeth it would have. Not sure if fish use walking sticks but that was maybe what came with it as it did not resemble any vegetable I knew. She gave what salad there was a picking over then ceremoniously placed the slice of lemon over its face and the sign it was ready for burial. Personally I would not have done that as the slice of lemon seemed to be the only thing on her plate worth eating.

The old border crossing between Slovakia and Poland was very lack lustre affair as no more that an empty toll booth on a single lane road. No matter as we were now in Poland. Last time I was in Poland was very different, even though it was only five years ago. Then I was invited to an exhibition of my work hosted by the First Lady and Polish Red Cross. The big difference from then to now was then I needed a visa and Poland still had plenty of left overs from the communist system.

Then it wasn’t much time to get things sorted so I bought a ticket from Australia to Warsaw and gave my passport to a professional visa company to sort the paper work out. The next day I received a call from a guy from the visa company who said the Polish Embassy in Sydney would not issue me a visa. They said it would take a minimum of two weeks and could not be done in four days.

“Where are you now?” I asked.
“Outside the embassy,” he said.
“Ok, go inside and find someone in the visa section and give him the phone,” says me.

I hear footsteps as he enters the building a says, “It’s for you,” to someone in the visa section.

“Hello, my name is John Rodsted and I gather there is some kind of problem in issuing me a visa for Poland.”

Grunt, “It is not possible to issue visa in such short time, We have procedure and this applies to anyone, even you. You may make application through normal channels and visa can be issued in two weeks, not before, it is not possible before……” says soon to be unemployed embassy hack.

“I see,” says me, “you obviously haven’t read the accompanying letter of invitation from the Presidents wife, your First Lady, Jolanta Kwasniewska. She will be opening an exhibition of my work in Poland at the University Bibliotech and when she looks to me during the opening ceremony I will not be there because you have denied me a visa. I gather official invitations of this level mean nothing to you so I except your power but need to report this back to Warsaw, so, what is your name and how do I spell that?”

I could sense him reading the invitation and a quaver warbled through his voice. “Umm, Oh, Umm,,,,,”

“Now, at the moment we have a large problem and that problem is 100% you, so, if you can’t find a solution then I will make it my life’s ambition to destroy your diplomatic career so you can spend what remaining years you have in outer Mongolia stamping the arses of yaks!!!! Fix this problem or suffer the consequences!!!!!!!”

He went into melt down and began to apologise profusely. “No sir, I am sorry sir, I did not realise sir, of course there is no problem sir, I issue the visa as we speak now sir, very sorry for any misunderstanding sir.”

“Now I am very pleased you have seen it fit to facilitate the issue of the visa. Keep it in mind I am in Melbourne and you in Sydney so I suggest you get it expressed to me, at your expense, immediately,” says me.

“Yes sir, of course sir, I trust all is satisfactory for you now sir?” he says.

“Yes, thank you, all is now satisfactory as long as my passport and visa arrive before my flight leaves, oh, and by the way, what is your name and HOW DO I SPELL THAT?”

The little despot was almost in tears at this point as the visa courier guy walked outside with the line still open.

“That was the funniest thing I have ever seen! These guys are always like this and I have no idea what you said but the effect was priceless!” said the visa company guy.

“Are you confident it will all go through in time?” I ask.

“Yes, definitely, even if he gets on a flight tonight and hand delivers it, you’ll get it,” says he.

“Was he wearing a shit suit, baggy, ill fitting, ugly tie, crap haircut?” I ask.

“Yes, how did you know?” he says.

“It just figures,” says me.

The passport arrived the next morning and I was on my way. A very fancy stamp but you know my thoughts on fancy stamps in passports.

Our first stop this time was to be in Katowice, a large regional town in the south of the country. The GPS kicked into a rare moment of normal behaviour and took us straight to the hotel. It was the perfect location as it was right next door to the university that we were to be speaking at in the morning.

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Lidia was working with Polish Red Cross with a specialty in International Humanitarian Law. They had organised a forum about landmines and cluster bombs to be held at the university along with the opening of the exhibition “Miss Landmine”. Miss Landmine was a photographic exhibition undertaken by Morten Traavik and Gorm Gaare. They travelled to Angola and hosted a beauty pageant for women who had been injured by landmines. The theme was ‘All have the right to be beautiful’. As a subject this was a bit far out for me but then who am I to judge the work and participation of others. The photos seemed to have been done in a dignified manner and the subjects were obviously enjoying the project. I have probably spent too much time in the blood and guts side of life to objectively appreciate something like this anyway.

The media arrived early and interviewed everyone connected to the day and the issue of landmines and cluster bombs was well and truly on the agenda nationally again. This is always the goal, to stick a big media pin in the bums of government over the issue. This was a perfect warm up for tomorrow as that would be in Warsaw and be a press conference and reception. The following day would be political meetings.

The university forum kicked off with a PHD student who was doing her thesis on landmines and cluster bombs and the new norms of creating treaties. She gave an excellent, if not long winded, explanation of the highs and lows of the landmines and cluster bomb treaties. We had a full house but as the forum was to continue for many hours I wondered how long we could keep all of these students interested.

The second speaker was a retired army Major of Engineers. He was very boring and went on and on and on a bit more about the technical differences between different types of landmines and cluster bombs. Although he was to give a technical overview, much of his information was vastly out of date and inaccurate. He then began to talk about the treaties in regards to certain weapons and systems and it was plainly obvious that he had no idea what he was talking about. This is always a problem with either serving or ex military personnel as they act like experts and bluff their way through, quite often convincingly, through subjects they know nothing about. I was getting quite agitated waiting to speak as I wanted to throw a shoe at him. “Bullshit, you’re wrong, get off!!!”

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Many of the students saw through him too and began to filter out. Some needed to get to other classes while others were just plain bored now. He finished and a break was called for coffee and snacks. The last two speakers to go were a girl who had worked with Handicap International in Angola and me. I never have a problem holding an audience and felt the girl from HI would be good too but would we actually have an audience after the break.

I was the first to speak after the break and sadly had about 30% of the people who were there at the start. Some are always better than none so up went the pictures and I got stuck in. The familiar take wove continent to continent and war to war with the cap off being comments on the Polish position.

Firstly, when it came to the landmine treaty, Poland signed it as one of the early countries but have never ratified it. Their signing was 11 years ago! This is a very cynical misuse of the spirit of the treaty and unique to Poland. That simple fact surprised many students and a sense of national shame crept through the room.

The second point was in regards to cluster bombs, they didn’t want to sign and a full ban was not their objective. The same point for Greece was relevant for Poland, if they did use cluster bombs then it would be on their own soil. The sense of national shame turned to national outrage. Poles would destroy Poland. Poland had a real hammering during World War 2 and it took decades to sort out. Warsaw is the only place that I know of in the world with a statue to deminers as they did so much for so long to return the country to normal use.

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When we finished and came out I found that Mette and Davor had set all the pictures up outside the University and were holding their own cluster awareness campaign. They were going at it hard too as they had the secret picture up as well. The secret picture is one of the bloodiest I have of a deminer lying on a hospital bed with his arm blown off to the elbow. Inches of bone protrude from the mangled flesh that hangs limp from the gurney. It’s a show stopper and a photo I usually reserve for politicians and diplomats. They had created a great presence and Davor had spent the day talking to all who stopped to look.

The Ban Bus was packed up again and we were on the road to Warsaw.

The directions we had took us to central Warsaw, near the University, then deposited us in a city square. Looking about, there was no hotel here. In fact it wasn’t a hotel we were after but a hostel. Cheap and hopefully cheerful.

The GPS was adamant that this was the place and no amount of reprogramming would sway it from its opinion. Looking about there was a walking mall and a few park benches. Maybe the GPS had worked out we were broke and needed to start sleeping in the street. Heading off in different directions we went in search of the hotel with no success. Finally we had to resort to calling out Polish friend Kasia.

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I have known Kasia since she became involved in the landmines issue as a student many years ago. It was she who organised the Polish exhibition five years ago and has since grown to be the full time campaigns officer for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. We have been firm friends as long as we have known each other and the event five years ago really raised the profile of landmines in Poland.

As it was the First lady who opened that event, all the Polish great and good flocked to the opening ceremony and wanted to share the lime light. Put up a soap box and the world will come. I took Jolanta for a lap of the exhibition after the opening ceremony and told her nothing but what was in front of her. The stories ran her over and eventually her eyes filled with tears. She wasn’t getting out of it that easily and I kept on till we ran out of photographs.

“So what’s it going to take to get Poland to do something about this?” I said.

We succeeded in raising the profile, got good media and still no movement.

Now fives years on we are trying to sort out Poland in regards to both landmines and cluster bombs. They are still as entrenched and we are years older and wiser too.

Kasia and me have always had a joke that she is my Polish wife. Mette might be the love of my life and partner but Kasia has the one and only Polish wife status! If I’m not calling her ‘wifey’ then it’s Miss Poland. When the banter gets going between the two of us it generally creates confusion to all around us. Mette just rolls her eyes and goes the other way saying “I’ll just leave you two little love birds to it shall I?”

Wifey appears from the end of the street at the same time that Mette appears from the opposite direction. Mette has found our place. It’s a carved up flat around the corner and we have three rooms there. We settle in and break into our bottle of Metaxa that has been with us since Greece and get a few burgers and other associated cholesterol delicacies. The next day was to be a busy one and between the logistics of Mette and Kasia, we had a full day planned.

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We were beginning with a press conference at the National Press Centre then a formal reception hosted by the Irish Ambassador. The National Press Centre was festooned with our photographs and a panel was set up. The room filled with a mixture of journalists form radio, TV and print and we launched into our messages. Branislav and Firoz had both also flown in to add extra weight to the events. Branislav is our Serb deminer friend who lost both arms and legs to a cluster bomb in 2000 and Firoz lost both legs to a landmine in Afghanistan when he was only 14 years old.

The messages were delivered well and with passion and we opened for questions. One after another asked various things till a radio journalist made a show stopper of a statement with a question attached.

“In regards to the use of cluster bombs in Georgia, our Polish Foreign Affairs Minister has said that cluster bombs aren’t so bad as he survived a cluster strike in Afghanistan as a journalist and doesn’t see the big deal about them. How do you see this and can you comment please?”

A bit of a stunned silence crept along the table and I sensed that no local wanted to make a personal attack on the minister. I put my hand up and said “I’d love to comment.” Up until now we had done all through an interpreter but I felt that all the journalists spoke English well.

“Do you understand my Australian English?” I asked.

“Yes,” was the reply.

“Then I’ll be very careful with my choice of words. I don’t give a damn what happens on a battle field and an experience of someone hiding in a bunker, I care about civilians after the war. Your minister has a Hollywood view of war and must believe that Rambo is real. I challenge him to come out to Georgia or any other country affected by cluster bombs and do something simple, like, dig the ground and put a crop in or cut some fire wood or rebuild a house or something equally as life threatening. It’s about civilians after conflicts end, not about rodent journalists in hidey holes.”

The mood was tense and a ‘right then’ attitude crept through the room. Next stupid question please. After a few more questions the conference broke up and we all started to do individual interviews with the press. The press is all about conflict so by hitting back at the minister we were guaranteed coverage. That same journalist came up for a bit more of a chat and she loved the answer she got to her question and would run with it. I also met a defence journalist who writes for the most influential Polish Defence Journal.

He was not what I expected and had a very open mind, he was also well briefed and wanted to do a very in depth piece. We sat and talked a bit and he said he was coming to the reception this evening and wanted to do a more in depth interview then.

I left the rest chatting as I wanted to get the pictures around the corner and set up in the Irish Embassy. The Embassy was only 50 metres away so it was easy to just carry the material around the corner then up to the 6th floor. The Irish had given us an excellent room and as I browsed the invitee list was impressed as they had a perfect balance of international diplomatic, local and international NGO’s and representatives of the Polish government and military. Pulling a reception off is all in who you get there. If you get the right crowd and match it with the right words then mountains can move.

All was made ready and the caterers arrived and set up the food and drinks. Data Projector and computer queued, dummy cluster bombs ready, photos around the room. Time to chill out a little before they arrived.

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The thing I really love about the Irish is that they are so down to earth. The diplomatic staff from all levels just get stuck in to whatever needs doing. Eddie, the first secretary and Maurice the second were great guys who were up for anything that needed doing. They felt strongly about the treaty and Irelands role in the process and didn’t want to let anyone down. They also knew how difficult the Polish government has been and wanted to help smooth the way so that they might join the treaty process. They had done their level best to turn on a good reception and it was up to us to close the deal by nailing the audience.

I went back around to the press centre and all were tucking into kebabs. I was so hungry but can’t eat before I do a talk as I have an ulcer, a painful reminder of years in the remote places eating god knows what. Always talk with an empty stomach as any additions can turn me into a heart burned, antacid chewing wreck. Not a good way to stand up to diplomats.

Our start time was to be 5.30 pm and the guests arrived on time and filtered in. I did a final check of the gear and found my computer had gone into some kind of meltdown and would not talk to the data projector. A mild panic ensued as I shut everything down and began to reboot it all. My computer is getting old and grumpy, a lot like me, and takes forever to start let alone sort and open 200 images. I finally hit all the right buttons and it comes back to life and all of what I need is open and ready to go. This has taken me over 20 minutes to sort out. As soon as I put the cable in the projector the ambassador comes up and asks if we should start now.

He begins by welcoming everyone and sets the scene. Firoz spoke about his life as a landmine survivor and Red Cross made a statement.

“Does anyone else have anything to add?” he said.

At that he wrapt things up and thanked everyone for coming. I thought, as did the others, he meant did anyone else in the room wish to make a statement and this didn’t apply to me.

I nudged him and said, “Umm, yes, I might add a little something.”

“Oh, of course, of course, the Ban Bus, of course.”

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I kicked in at full speed and warmed up to a good pace. The nice thing about a reception like this is that the room is small enough to be able to speak very personally to all. I try to make very direct eye contact during these things to everyone at least once. I also pick on people who are targets like the guy from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the army officer. The talk becomes very personal and I can sense that they are feeling the pressure and I work them over as best I can till the end comes. This is such an important time as this is when you can generate good conversations after softening them up.

The army officer is standing alone, looking a little like a fart in a space suit, so I head over to introduce myself. Part of the talk is about military command responsibility and he agrees whole heartedly. I had found an unlikely ally in him as he thought that cluster bombs should be banned along with landmines. We both agree that it just inhibits the ability to respond quickly to any threat on the ground. Pursuing an enemy into an area you have cluster struck or mined will only cost the lives of your soldiers. The enemy can actually use your use of these weapons to their own advantage by keeping them between then and you.

No point talking to him as he agrees with me. I want the $10 argument so find the representative from Foreign Affairs. Maciej Falkowski is the Divisional Head of the Department of Security and Policy of the Ministry for Froeign Affairs. This become far more lively and we really hook into each other. He had just returned from Geneva and the yet again failed CCW and was angry about the outcome. He blamed the 26 countries who rejected Wigotski’s text and thought that the CCW is the only forum for disarmament talks. I hook into him about how CCW has always failed and that was what many countries wanted, status quo lack of any real progress. I push the conversation into the stupidity of using clusters for defence and that you would create your own night mare and he responded by trying to just talk me down. You know you’ve got them when they start the yelling match! It’s heated and I can tell so much by his open hostility. He knows that the Polish position is losing ground and as a result, they are being isolated and marginalised. Yet again they are on the wrong side of an international movement.

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The evening winds up with an in depth interview with the defence reporter and we pack the place up and head off with the Irish First Secretary to a local restaurant for a meal. The guy from MFA says goodbye and we both admit to enjoying the very candid go to between each other. Get it out there! It’s better to be heard than side step issues.

The Irish are so laid back and Eddie is a guy you just like from the start. Ireland is a country that has a great tradition of peace building for they are a neutral country but have participated in so many peace keeping missions around the world. They know war as the horror for what it is and do so much to stop it. That’s why they stepped up as a leader in the creation of the treaty. In our trip around Europe they have been right there each and every time asked to try and connect diplomatic dots for us.

The morning brings out last meeting and this is at the MFA with the Deputy Secretary of State, a representative from the Military and the guy from last night, Maciej Falkowski. We have Kasia, Fiorz, Branislav and the head of the Polish Red Cross.

The deputy head says they are there to listen so listen they will. Kasia starts the discussion then it passes to Firoz then Branislav then me. We hit them with every end of the Landmine and Cluster Bomb problems and you could see they were defensive and didn’t like to meet our eyes.

The conversation swings towards the landmine treaty. As Poland signed it eleven years ago they then should have then ratified it. Ratifying a treaty is when you enshrine it into your national law. Only then is it binding to your citizens. They put it off and put it off with one lame excuse after the other till finally they set the date of 2006 for ratification. This is really an outrage to have their ratification on hold for nine years. It gets better, 2006 is one year after their national election. The new government then rejects the 2006 date then pushes the ratification date back to 2015! There is pressure put on Poland both internally and externally and as a concession bring the ratification back to 2012. This would now be fifteen years after signing. The next catch, its one year after their next election!!! They can’t be serious. They certainly couldn’t look us in the eye and say it. To add insult to their injury their stockpile of about one million landmines is out of date and needs destruction any way. They admit that they will destroy four hundred thousand this year in any case. This makes any practical reasons to stay outside the treaty a mute point. They are just playing stupid political games.

We finally hit a dead end there so move onto the cluster treaty. The Polish position here is as convoluted as their landmine position. They try to duck and weave any direct statements but inch by inch we drag their concerns out.

”Poland is not an aggressive nation and has no plans to attack anyone”, says me.

”We only have cluster bombs to defend ourselves, we would never use them on another country,” says Mr Deputy.

“You mean to say that you will bombard Poles on Polish territory using Polish made cluster bombs,” says me.

“No, we will never use them on our people, just on an enemy,” says he.

“An enemy on Polish land which puts them amongst Polish people,” says me.

“And the cluster bombs you have you have manufactured?” says Branislav.

“Yes,” said Military guy, “A 98% reliability rate.”

“There is no such munition with a 98% reliability rate, nothing,” says me, “Have they ever been tested un combat?”

“Umm, no, but they are very good,” says soldier boy.

Mr MFA from last night has been quiet and weighs in with a few words about the CCW as the only forum that should discuss these issues. There is then maybe a little slip when he says that they do not want a ban on cluster bombs at all. They like them and will use them if needed, but only in defence and only within Poland.

With leadership like this, heaven help the poor Polish people if ever there is a conflict! Another country with the suicide defence strategy.

We pack up and move outside and all is very cordial for our departure. We all thank each other for the frank dialogue and leave. The press is waiting outside and immediately we start giving them our reflections. The simple point that hits hard is the fact they will bomb Poles, on Polish territory, with Polish cluster bombs and create their own home spin Polish nightmare. Hasn’t Poland suffered enough in history? Obviously the answer to that is not yet.

The next day we head out of Warsaw and on the way north to the Baltic States. Our next engagements are in Vilnius in Lithuania. This is the first time we have a day up our sleeve and Mette is desperate not to be in a city. Just as we are dashing out of the hostel, she finds a place in the north that says it’s on a lake. That’s good enough for her and she makes a booking and we have some where to go. The drive out of Warsaw couldn’t be done without a visit to the worlds only monument to deminers.

As Poland was hammered during World War 2 there was a massive landmine problem left over. The army Engineering regiments took on the task and it took decades to make the country impact free. This is not mine free, just the worse of the impact is reduced. Down by the river is a huge bronze statue of a guy on his kneed lifting out a mine. There are fresh flowers here and some candles burning. Around him are concrete ‘blasts’ coming out of the ground with panels on them showing all the work of the engineers. To the side are more brass plagues with all the names of the deminers who were killed cleaning Poland. There are many names.

I was keen to see it again, as I was here five years ago, but Branislav was very interested in seeing it. We all headed off in the rain, met in a soggy avenue and parked the vans. Although Branislav has lost his hands and legs he can still drive a motorised wheel chair so that and he are unpacked and away we go. It seemed strangely poignant to be in this place in the rain and gloom to pay respects to those who have died trying to make their country safe.

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The long avenue comes to the statues profile and it’s a scene anyone who has done the real deal know all too well. We linger back a little as Branislav heads off towards it at full power. When he gets near there are steps and he is stopped. You can see the disappointment on his face so we head out to find another way. Mette finds a way through the gardens and he is soon in front of it. The eyes gaze intently down and the face is darkened by the weather and a drop of rain drips from his nose and finger tips. Another single step stops him again and we pick up his wheel chair and get him face to face with the monument. He looks at it for a long time then snaps back into our world.

“Picture, I want some picture here,” he says.

We take photos of him and us together and finally unfurl the banner that says “Ban Cluster Bombs”. The shutter is clicked and the moment is made. As we stand and talk Diego from Italy arrives. That guy is everywhere! His girlfriend is Polish and they have had a week here together. The meeting is short but great to see him. No it really was time to get the Ban Bus on the road. Our GPS does a few rights and lefts and we drive in a massive traffic jam of those exiting Warsaw for the weekend. This might take awhile.

After a few hours of traffic carnage we are on the road to the north and Mette’s hotel by the lake. The light is already fading as its gloomy at 3.30 pm and dark by 4. We have miles farther to go north so this is not a great sign. What happened to Greece and the café under the Acropolis with great wine and food. That seems like a life time ago but in reality was only six weeks.

It rains, its dark, the drivers are crazy and the miles tick away. Finally we are in the general vicinity and Mette makes a call to get more directions. A tiny side road is found and the guy from the hotel says he will come to the ‘White Church’ to meet us. At this point our two resident city slickers, Daniel and Davor, start making all sorts of comments about being in the boonies. Daniel starts humming the tune from ‘Deliverence’ and Davor is on about ‘Fucking Grizzly Bear behind every tree!!’

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Martin is the son of the owner and meets us at the church and we follow him deeper into small tracks in the woods. This has Daniel and Davor now trying to out do each other with the horrors that await us at the end. ‘Cannibals, they might be cannibals, we will be locked in the basement and eaten.’ With all of this babble going on that’s maybe not such a bad idea, at least for those two.

We arrive and find a nice little summer lodge that is now off season. They have only a few guests in summer but still stay open for the trade. The place is warm and cosy with lots of dead skins around. You don’t want to be a wild pig around here, not a healthy occupation. There are four others staying here too and they say hello as we check in. We ask about food and they say we can have white sausage or stuffed meat. Mette goes for the white sausage and the rest of us opt for the stuffed meat.

What arrived for Mette looked like a boiled horses cock. What we got was not so much stuffed meat as meat stuff! As we were hungry we tucked in but only to the level required to sustain life. I have eaten some garbage but this was really bad. Daniel and davor start the ‘I told you so’ lines as we look around us. Cousin Billy Bob is in the kitchen with a fag dangling from his mouth doing something while the other guests are beginning a massive bender on home made vodka. Special, as one toast leads to the next glass being drained and slammed down. I can feel an early night coming on. The city boys are too antsy to hit the sack at this hour so head off in search of, well, life.

Mette and me have been asleep only two hours when awoken by some serious drunken yelling. It wasn’t aggressive yelling but oh so pissed. My thought of a good night sleep is shattered as they thump up the stairs waking the dead. I am now wide awake now as they belt into the room next door, turn on the TV, overturn the furniture and try for a bit of flaccid noisy sex. Oh for a gun, it would be the only humane thing to do. Grunt, fart and rumble comes through the wall but for only a short while. They fall silent but their TV doesn’t.

I lay there trying to sleep but to no avail and stay eyes open till 5.30am. I am so angry at the loss of my sleep as I haven’t had a good sleep in weeks and the idea of Mette’s lake hideaway sounded great.

I thought of the rumpy pumpy couple next door and Shakespeare popped into my head. Its the gatehouse scene from Macbeth. All are drunk and someone come to the castle gate. The gatekeeper basically says that alcohol makes you horny but takes away the performance but does produce a lot of urine. I was sure I’d hear the toilet next door flush soon.

Breakfast was as good as dinner with Davor asking what it could be.

“Egg,” came the reply.

“What with,” asks Davor?

“Eggs.”

A culinary treat. Mette and me took a walk around the lake at it way really beautiful. All places seemed closed for the winter and punts and paddle boats were all pulled up on shore. In the woods at the far end was an old bunker complex from World War 2, another reminder that their history was not far behind them.

Not being able to face more white sausage and meat stuff we all drove to the nearest town as Daniel and Davor had been on a reconnoitre there. They had hit the jackpot with a Greek restaurant and we feasted on memories of Athens before the mornings push onto Lithuania.
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