Śmigus-Dyngus Day is a holiday celebrated all over Poland and other Slavic countries to celebrate the good ‘ole pagan traditions of boys throwing water on girls and smacking them with pussy willow branches. If you were soaked with water by any pesky schoolboys or gentlemen, congratulations! Your chances of being married someday have supposedly skyrocketed. This endearing tradition is still celebrated today (with less pussy willow beatings and more buckets of water).
My Śmigus-Dyngus was a far cry from the tall tales I had been fed regarding Wet Monday. I planned to stay in because I was cold and sick, but my domestic duties beckoned and I was forced to leave Nawojka after remembering I was out of laundry detergent. Since I’m so dedicated to my laundry (you are talking to the girl who used to walk +30min to Kazimierz to do her laundry for the first 4 months of living in Poland), I prepared to brave the water wars of Dyngus Day to hunt down my soap. With my phone in a plastic bag and my waterproof jacket in tow, I slipped out of the eerily quiet dorm. I was sure that once I entered Old Town, the deluge would break loose. This video sums up subsequent events.
So Śmigus-Dyngus was a failure and now I shall grow old with my cats. (Though, I didn’t really need Śmigus-Dyngus to tell me that one.) I really don’t know why no one wanted to throw water on me. How could anyone resist an awkwardly bizarre, yet fun animal-whisperer who is preparing for her premature and imminent future as a babushka?
Despite the sad day that was Śmigus-Dyngus, I had an excellently epic week with the parentals who came all the way from our quaint country manor in Norwich, New York. For those of you who have recently checked my Facebook, it should come as no surprise that my parents came to visit me last week for some pre-Easter celebrations. After six long months apart, it was wonderful to see my family again.
In all honesty, I was quite nervous to greet them at the airport. I wanted to give them the impression that I was not only surviving, but thriving in my new abode. Ha. I hadn’t gone shopping for clothes all year, but the day before they came, I suddenly felt pressure to find myself a new outfit for the next day and make sure I looked decently presentable. I woke up way earlier than needed to fix my hair and makeup (good gracious I spent at least half an hour on my eyeliner), and even went to several different bakeries to buy them an arrival cake.
Maybe this is my real Śmigus-Dyngus problem. I spend 20 minutes getting ready to wear the same outfit every single day and then put in date-night effort whenever the parents come to town. I don’t want to even begin psychoanalyzing that one.
But besides the apocalyptic bipolar weather, all went smashingly well. I sneaked into the Sheraton for a week, benefitted from a real bathroom with real shower, and it was all so lovely. The only close call I had was almost burning down the sauna, which I was using under my Dad’s name so it all would’ve worked out for me fine in the end (sorry Dad).
After running back to the Sheraton during a particularly nasty downpour, my jeans were completely soaked. I had the genius idea of bringing my jeans into the sauna so they would dry pronto because I didn’t have any other pants. I lay my pants on the rocks, thinking they were only there for decoration and fell dead asleep on the bench. I woke up to bizarre smelling steamy smoke and saw that my jeans were burning in front of me. Panic. I was literally in the process of burning down a wooden oven with my pants. Whoops.
I grabbed them and threw them out of the sauna before the situation deteriorated any further. Now I have burn holes in my favorite jeans, and they leave a horrible indigo stain on my skin every time I wear them. However, I have deemed them more or less wearable. They just have more character now.
Because the weather was so horrible, we pretty much just ate nonstop. I’m gonna have to write another food post soon about all my favorite Krakowian eateries; there’s so many! But, in the meantime, I will leave you with some pictures of the parents’ visit.
The Parentals in Poland!
Causing a Ruckus in the Schoolroom
Enjoying an Overwhelming Large Dinner at Pod Wawelem
I’m Gonna Miss These Folks!