What’s in a name?


The Lady Bug!!!

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose

by any other name would smell as sweet”.

The majority of the world knows this famous line from Romeo and Juliet.  I have never really come across names that I could not pronounce until I came to Poland. Take Simon our professor here, his name is not really Simon, it’s Szymon, which they pronounce Shamon.  We have a taxi that comes and picks us up in the mornings and takes us to the university, we have been calling him Fredric because we did not know his name.  We found out today that his name is actually Leszek, which I still can’t pronounce so I’m going to stick with Fredric! We got introduced to a Polish student whose name was Bartosz which Simon said would be close to the English name Bart.  The language here is difficult not just with the names, but the word in general and the spelling is almost IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!! Even the names of the streets are difficult. The street that the University is on is called Bernardynska which I can’t even get to translate to anything. AS best I can tell you pronounce it bernadenska. They have a street here named Gdansk, pronounced gadansk. All their street names are actual words, I have yet to see like a 1st Street and if I have it was spelled out First Street and not the number 1! There is a grocery store across the street that is called biedronka, which means lady bug.  We have been trying to pick up some Polish and today at lunch we had this spread they called smalec which is a lard, onion, and spices mixture that they spread on their bread. I am trying to be open on this trip so I tried it and it was very good.  That was until Dr. McGahan said “will you pass the lard?”. That just didn’t have quite the same appeasing sound as smalec. Even just a simple greeting, dzień dobry, is hard to pick up.  The Polish language has a completely different alphabet so they have sounds that we don’t in English and that has been the challenge for me. I want to say the words but it’s like my mouth get jumbled and can’t figure out how to make the sounds that the Poles make. Maybe by the time we go to Krakow I will be able to speak a little bit of Polish!

Smalec on rye!

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