Firstly to clarify something. The Polish big nose syndrome identified yesterday is of a specific variety. I realise that you may be picturing Poles with noses like those that members of the House of Lords sport. Huge gin and port fuelled monstrosities with prominent veins. Not so. Nor is the Polish nose reminsiscent of the large alien looking protruberance worn by celebrities like Barbara Streisand or Celine Dion, the effect of which is to make the wearer look like their face has been occupied by an invading power. No, the Polish nose is a long and slender affair. protruding proudly from the face in a haughty yet almost elegant way. A nose you could do things with - pointing, turning on the TV, dialling on your mobile, that kind of thing.
There is a chain of newspaper shops and kiosks here called "Kolporter". There is also a regional confectioners called "Jawjgerschwin" and a fast food franchise named "Bertbakarak". I may have made two of those three up.
[The next section may be of no interest or even understandable to many of you. I apologise and ask that you skip to the next paragraph - if I end up writing one].
Chris Turner was sacked by Sheffield Wednesday this week. Personally I think it's a great shame. I think he made a lot of good changes to the club and was moving things in the right direction. Once again, we have had to hire a new manager in the period between September and December, and once again no doubt, nothing fundamental will change. The real problems affecting the club seems to exist in the boardroom and not in the dugout (I'm getting into this cliche stuff). The chairman is a complete tosser who only looks good in comparison with Ken Bates who wants to wrest control of the club (the comparison I could make here is Tony Blair/Michael Howard - it's clear that Blair is a total and utter bastard who has been a complete disaster for Britain, yet who stays in power merely because next to Michael Howard he looks like a paragon of virtue and good sense). We have had a succession of terrible chairmen, either by virtue of them being self-interested wankers and not in the least interested in Sheffield Wednesday (Dave Richards, and the Dave Allen the current incumbent), or by virtue of them being ineffectual nobodies (all the others- whose names I forget, but that always seemed to rhyme with gully). So now we have Paul Sturrock who has the advantage of having failed at his last club. Normally we get managers who have been a great success and then they proceed to fail at Wednesday before being fired and going on to much better things elsewhere - Paul Jewell is the prime example. This time we've picked up someone who has already been through phases 1 and 2 of this process and could possibly be ready for phase 3 - the second successful bit. Under this wildly optimistic theory, Southampton become the new Wednesday and we become, erm, the new Wigan. Clearly, in reality, Sturrock will be sacked at around about November 12th 2005 with Wednesday just above the third division relegation zone (and in the case by third division I mean the third division, the third level, the division that contains the 45th - 68th best teams in the country. Just so you know.)
[You can all come back now]
I feel like I ought to offer another paragraph here for readers who were forced away but by wilful insertion of a Sheffield Wednesday paragraph, but I'm really not sure what to write about. I leave Poland tomorrow and return home via Budapest (by the way I have noticed that most excitingly Hungarians speak Hungarian! On the train out there I was greeted by the passport control man with a cheery "Jo Reget!" - good morning- and so staggered was I to see an official in uniform speaking Hungarian, that I almost failed to respond. Luckily I pulled myself together and managed it in the end.) One thing that I can tell you about Budapest is that it contains an astonishingly high number of lingerie shops. Every second shop seems to be offering sexy underwear. What's that about? Are Hungarian women the most erotically clad under their clothes? Or are there some kind of special tax breaks for purveyors of scanty feminine undergarments? I think we ought to know.
Ok that's your lot. I'm off to enjoy the sights and sounds of Krakow - the old town which is where I'm staying; Kazimierz - which is a basically Jewish quarter and also the first name of a Mr Deyna, famous footballer of the 1970s; and Podgorze - another poorer Jewish quarter where the ghetto was under Nazi occupation and the site of Schindler's factory (and where much of Speilberg's film was made). Quick quiz for you. Name off the top of your head 5 famous Poles.
(I just did it and came up with Lech Walesa, Deyna, Boniek, Lato and the Pope. Which I think shows that my obsession with football is unhealthy)