Finally back in Poznan after being in the UK for Christmas and New Year.
It was a different feeling coming back knowing I knew people. I got to see Kasia and her family which was a great greeting. Then on my first day back at work I saw Paweł and Kasia (from Cameroon) which was just lovely. It was strange to be away from them for so long since we spent so much time together in Cameroon.
I am stuck in to my work now. I’m analysing 108 experiments we conducted on the boubou’s. There is lots and lots to do. I’m also in the process of editing my MSc thesis for publication so it’s all systems go!
Poznan never ceases to amaze me. I have seen 3 new bird species since being back. Corn buntings, waxwings and fieldfare. All of them within a stones-throw of the campus. I also get to see lots of tree sparrows, which is nice because I never normally see them in the UK. They are the cuter version of a house sparrow!
I have to say that the most exciting part about being back is the winter weather. I was really nervous about the cold but I actually enjoy it. It’s almost a challenge to see how many layers I can wear! I have been told that it’s good to “dress like an onion”. Basically, wear lots and lots. In one of my first days back it reached minus 14 degrees, but on average its has been staying between minus 3 and minus 6. And we’ve had snow! I went ice skating the other day in the middle of a snow storm. It was magical. At first I was very nervous and clung to the side for dear life. But by the end I was going quite quickly and didn’t need any support from the trusty wall! I was covered head to toe in snow but it was beautiful. The sky was yellowish grey, full of it! After ice skating we went to a pub and had some mulled beer to warm up and ended up entering a pub quiz and coming second! So we wangled more booze! The polish definitely know how to cope with snow. Every morning I go to work very early and I see people shovelling snow to clear the walkways and scattering salt. The days just run normally. Not like when it snows in the UK and most things seem to grind to a halt.
It was Kasia’s (Cameroon) birthday this week and so I learnt a new tradition. When a Polish person has a birthday it is customary for them to provide the cake, or other sweet treats, to share out to friends and family. I like learning all these quirky ways of doing things.
Now, I have to mention the most recent lunch experience I have had. I was off exploring Poznan on my own and decided to go to the Old Square (Stary Rynek). I came across this lovely cafe called Pyszna, which translates to delicious. And believe me it was! They gave me complementary bread with some sort of amazing, herby spread. Then came my pierogi! There are two types of pierogi, wet or baked. I went for the water cooked ones filled with cream cheese and blueberries. I think for a short moment I died. They were amazing!!! My waitress was so friendly. She told me that her favourite was the baked pierogi with snickers, so now I know what I’ll be having next time.
Sometimes I can feel homesick and then I think about this opportunity and it puts a smile on my face. I don’t know many people who have up and left to live abroad. It’s exciting. I’m going to get to do so many new things.
That’s it for now.