I have landed

July 20, 2014 • 5:45 am

It was a long journey to Poland, as usual, with a half-hour drive closely following a two-hour train ride closely following a nine-hour plane flight. But I have at last landed in Dobryzyn, and am in the capable hands of Andrzej and Malgorzata, and in the capable paws of The Furry Princess of Poland. Oh, and there’s a black d*g, too (Cyrus), who is clearly in Canine Paradise after having been rescued from four years of hell in a pound. Cyrus thinks he’s in heaven now, but more on cat/d*g relations later.

The cherry harvest begins tomorrow, with 3,000 trees all needing to be picked by hand.(I wasn’t aware that cherries have to be picked individually.) I will document that, although I’m told that this is not a good year for cherries because of a late frost that killed many flowers. Still, there may be as many as 30 tons of cherries (a single good tree in a good year can produce 30 kg of the fruit).

Much of the documentations will be gustatory, as you see below:

A late lunch greeted me: cold borscht with a liberal sprinkling of fresh dill:


Followed by cherry pies with Malgorzata’s famous walnut crust:


There will be many more cherry-related foods to come.

And Her Highness, who has taken to sleeping on top of the towels in the bathroom. Can you spot the cat?


50 thoughts on “I have landed

  1. The cat is among the rolls of toilet paper, which I have no doubt your hosts mount properly, Poland being a civilized country.

      1. I will have to visit Poland and fix all that one day! I like that the toilet paper is named “Regina” – fitting for Hili to lay amongst!

        1. The entire world is against you. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own.

          1. Maybe this is why it took extra long for my passport to be processed. I was blaming it on snarky messages I sent to my PM on Twitter and my atheism but maybe it all comes down to toilet paper.

        2. I was in a toilet in Perth WA domestic airport last week and I was sorely tempted to turn the TP around, for shits and giggles.

            1. I just realised that the connotations of my post was that whenever I am in a public toilet and see the toilet rolls I think of you.

          1. Most airport toilets I’ve seen for a long time – in fact, most in high-traffic public areas, stations, bars, restaurants – use those large (~40cm diameter) rolls mounted parallel to the wall and encased in a tamper-resistant housing. Obviously the news of the Toilet-Paper Fiddler of Old Canukistan has been assimilated here for a long time.

      1. You made me look again. doh! Reminds me of that Geico commercial…the first practical joke. “Lookest over there. Ha, madest thou look!”

  2. The cherry pie alone is worth the trip.

    Among all red fruit, cherries have a highly distinctive flavor, and most healthy pigments. They are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lutein/zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids found in the eye’s retina. So scholars immersed in books can do no wrong by indulging in a cherry-fest.

  3. That borscht looks frighteningly exotic, but I’d risk it… maybe. No such qualms about the pies. Love the animal stories.

    1. It looks “thick enough to stand your spoon up in”, as my wife would say, somewhat disapprovingly, and in Russian. Plainly borscht has considerable local variations.

  4. That borscht looks yummy as it seems to have cream in it! I love borscht!

    Can’t wait for the food porn to come!

        1. That wouldn’t surprise me; no cat is going to take the hard way for no good reason.

          I just made a quick measurement. There’s a shelf in my linen closet that’s 4’9″ off the ground that Baihu regularly jumps to in a single leap. He then, somehow, climbs from that shelf to the next (top) shelf, and does so effortlessly.

          Cats are amazing athletes….


      1. I remember when our cat, Jackie, got hit by a car on the road out the front (we presume). We found her, late for breakfast, in the middle of the back garden with various contusions and a dislocated hip. The only way into the garden was over a solid wooden gate (no sneak-arounds, for a mouse, let alone a cat) or the adjacent wall, which was 7ft high and in reasonable state of pointing. Fancy trying to climb over that with a dislocated hip?

        1. To be fair, adrenaline does amazing things for other mammals, too — such as frumpy housewives who lift cars to save their babies.

          Not sure why I measured the closet shelf yesterday to get an idea of Baihu’s leaping skills…shortly after that he, as he is wont to do, leapt straight to my shoulder from ground height. I’m average height for an American male, a tad over 5’8″ (173 cm).


  5. Thanks for the update Jerry. Glad you had a safe trip.
    “Cyrus thinks he’s in heaven now” lol!
    Keep the food pics a comin’.

  6. Hi Jerry,

    Welcome back to Poland? Are you going to spent some time in Warsaw? If so, why not to meet Warsaw atheists? If you like – please feedback! Anyway, I wish you great time with Hili – she’s lovely indeed 🙂

  7. “… and there’s a black d*g, too (Cyrus), who is clearly in Canine Paradise after having been rescued from four years of hell in a pound.”

    Four years in a pound? I would expect an animal to be euthanised after a month or two if unclaimed.

      1. my parents’ black dog was in the system for months. He ended up at a high kill shelter but luckily was rescued by a group that takes adoptable dogs out of those places. My dog came from the same place. It is in Ohio and it is really horrible. My dog, who is afraid of very little, got very frightened and kept trying to get into bed with me, when she heard the sounds of a dog shelter on TV.

        1. Three of our last 4 dogs came from “high-kill” shelters. We have two of them at the moment; a neurotic but sincere Border Collie mix, and a little pit mix who’s so genial, we call him “the bulldog of happiness.”

      2. That’s good. I’ve read stories and seen pictures in the paper about how such and such an animal at a shelter will die if not adopted within the next N days.

        1. I had the misfortune of watching a documentary online meant to raise the awareness of high kill shelters because there are just too many animals. I had tears streaming down my eyes as the vets that worked there had to kill so many animals in the day. It showed beautiful animals all dead and being disposed of and these are the nicer shelters where the animals are treated as humanely as possible. The shelter where my dog was is a poor one (I mean that in the terms of quality and finances). I think they recently were criticized for gassing the dogs and a few other things. It clearly traumatized my dog as she must have memories of the place resurface when she hears those familiar sounds. I remember seeing her photo on Petfinder & she looked so sad in it (and my dog is an extremely happy dog).

  8. So, sounds as if you didn’t have too annoying a time with TSA, for once. 🙂

    Looking forward to all the peeks at life in the beautiful Dobryzyn countryside, and at the lives of the residents of Castle Hili.

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