This is not freedom. Photo from nbcnews.com.

This Is Not What Freedom Looks Like

We woke up on Sunday in beautiful, Krakow, Poland (where we had almost no chance of being shot, by the way) to news of yet another mass murder in the U.S. It was not the first time those events had converged. Not even the second or the third. In fact, I wasn’t even surprised, because…

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It’s About Time

We now have two “presumptive” nominees for president. So, here’s what I’m thinking about today. I won’t waste any more verbiage on Trump. I can’t take him seriously as a human being, much less a candidate. I don’t know how anyone could consider him to be qualified to be president. It just boggles the mind.…

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Art For The People In A Polish Village

It’s been a good month for field trips with the international women’s group here in Warsaw.  Yesterday’s excursion took us (among other places) to the Muzeum Ludowe Rodziny Brzozowkich w Sromovie (People’s Museum of the Brzozowski Family in Sromov.) I’m pretty good at sniffing out local museums, but I would never have found this one on my…

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Getting Busy With the Bees

I will say this for central Europe. When spring arrives—I mean really arrives—the landscape is completely transformed in the space of a two or three weeks. What was once grim and gray becomes lush and green. It’s pretty wonderful. Time for an outing to the country! Or at least to the exurbs of Warsaw. The…

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Random Religious Procession

Six out of seven of the countries that we have been posted to have been Catholic to varying degrees. But none of the others can compare to Poland in this regard. This country is really, really Catholic. The Catholic church has always played a large role in Poland’s history, as it has elsewhere in Europe.…

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Exploring London: Spitalfields

Last week the Diplomat scored a conference in London. So, of course, I tagged along. Aside from the chance to visit my son, who is at university in London, I love the city and never run out of things to do there! I had three days to wander around on my own. For some reason,…

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Taking The Road Less Traveled

Or How My Mid-Life Crisis Is Turning Out to Be Super Boring In a couple of months, I will turn fifty. Not sure how that happened, exactly, but there it is. Fifty. Five-oh. Half a century. Good grief. I guess I am now officially middle-aged! It’s OK, really. I don’t come from a family in which…

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My Real Post Report on Warsaw

Real Post Reports are an awesome online resource for Foreign Service and expatriate families, with first-person reviews of life in cities all over the world. If you don’t know about the RPR website, check it out! I have just contributed a Real Post Report for Warsaw. I don’t think there is anything in it that…

Early tulips in the full sun at Plac Unii. Did they pick the tulips to match the trams, I wonder?

The Orderly Flowers of Warsaw

The Botanical Garden is not the only place in Warsaw where flowers are blooming. Armies of city workers have been out planting millions of pansies over the past couple of weeks. Bulbs—daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips—are also popping up all over town. Truthfully, it is still pretty cold and gray most days here. And Warsaw is…

Tulips at the entrance.

Warsaw’s Botanical Garden

This week, spring finally arrived, bringing with it a tidal wave of flowers—and tree pollen! European birches are my nemesis. I’ve been sneezing like crazy, but that isn’t going to keep me from getting out and enjoying the sunshine. We are lucky enough to live near the University Botanical Garden (Ogród Botaniczny) here in Warsaw.…

A heavenly chorus.

The Gray Sundays Collection

I can’t speak for every expatriate living in Warsaw, but I can tell you that many of us find the winter to be trying. Cold, damp, gray, and very, very long. Yes, this is certainly a First World problem, but it still requires some kind of active survival strategy! Most people manage to get somewhere sunnier…

Puss in Boots advertises a shoe shop. My absolute favorite sign!

Gray Sundays in Warsaw: Neon Museum

Yep, it was gray and cold this Sunday. So, checking my bucket list, we visited the Neon Museum. Because who doesn’t love neon? This small, but very cool museum is located in the Soho Factory complex, “an avant-garde space for culture and business,” modeled after loft-y areas in cities like London or New York.

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I Just Have One of Those Faces

After living in eight foreign countries (and traveling to many more) I have developed several theories. Here’s one of my favorites. People and cultures can be characterized as open-faced or closed-faced. Open-faced people look around them while walking. They look others in the eye. They sometimes smile at strangers. They might, in very, extremely, friendly…

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Exploring Warsaw’s Powązki Cemetery

Everything was closed on Easter Monday in Warsaw, so we set out to explore the city’s two biggest graveyards: Old Powązki Cemetery and the Okapowa Street Jewish Cemetery. It turned out that the first cemetery was so absolutely huge that we didn’t even get to the Jewish one! Gives us a project for another day. Powązki…