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Friday, 4 May 2007


On the journey home through the petrol fumes and menace of Brixton this evening I noticed an advertisement clearly intended to inspire a short refreshing break in a European city. It featured the following words:

Maybe something special will happen,
Maybe you will leave as planned,
Maybe you won't...
Take a chance, see for yourself..."

The young man on the poster was standing beneath a statue of some kind of gargoyle who was holding a spear directed at his head!

I had no idea that Gdansk is now being promoted as an appropriate location for a short break. The name conjures up images of a ship yard, police brutality, freezing temperatures, big overcoats, functional shoes, the 'Solidarity' union, handlebar moustaches and Lech Walesa.

Has Gdansk changed dramatically of late? It really doesn't immediately inspire me to pack my Mulberry weekend bag for an indulgent, cultural or care free break. Have they recently opened a branch of Fenwick?, or a profusion of chocolate shops? Have they launched an opera festival?, or has it become the destination for cheap dental work and microdermabrasion? Is there some attraction I am unaware of?

In the middle of the squalor in rush hour Brixton, packed onto the number three bus like a sardine, Gdansk does not appeal as an obvious escape destination... As a matter of fact the suggestion of never getting to leave seemed rather like a threat, and the image on the poster was very odd indeed!

Whatever are they trying to imply? "Maybe something special will happen?" Do they mean that you may not have to queue up to buy bread if you stay in a hotel?

Give me strength.

I think I fancy vodka this evening...


Omega Mum said...

...and the threat of 'maybe you will leave as planned, maybe not' could mean ending the weekend in police custody, I suppose. Well, it would make fascinating blog material, so I reckon that you should give it a go so we can all get a vicarious kick out of it, whatever happens. PS does it have a Tesco yet?

dulwichmum said...

Dear Omega Mum,

I am really pleased that you seem as puzzled by this as me. I was concerned that perhaps it had become a recent cultural mecca or had a famous opera festival or something. It just seems like a very grim place to visit!

beta mum said...

Gdansk. Grim, but cheap. Venue par excellence for all your stag parties and shopping trips.
I used to live in Brixton - in a flat above the shops opposite the town hall. Around the time of the riots.
The clock in the tower used to chime every bloody hour through the night.

dulwichmum said...

Darling Beta Mum,

I think that Gdansk could in fact be the Brixton of Poland! They could be twinned, both have grim architecture, riots, heavy drinking and squalor.

Drunk Mummy said...

Dear Dulwich Mum, my husband has an uncle who is the exact image of Lech Walesa. He is on several of our wedding photos, along with a few maiden aunts. It makes the whole thing look like a rather festive Solidarity meeting. We still call him "Uncle Lech" (although not to his face).

AntiScam said...

Dear Dulwichmum,

I thought you were joking about Gdansk, and then I clicked through your link and found you are actually telling the truth. This looks like the weekend destination from hell. How much of what you say is in fact true?

dulwichmum said...

Dearest Pal Drunk Mummy,

Those wedding photos sounds like a hoot! You should frame them and put them on the piano. My favourite wedding photo is a black and white of myself and my husband emerging from the church after the ceremony. We are closely followed in the porch by two maiden aunts - with cigarettes in hand, clouds of smoke streaming from their nostrels. They were clearly "gasping" as the entire ceremony went on for too long - it is a complete scream! It is framed and takes pride of place, my mother hates that photo.

Darling Mr Antiscam,

You should remember, I am always completely serious.

Babysteps said...

I especially like that all the Google ads on this page are now for dodgy Gdansk hotels.

What's next, I wonder? Perhaps a leisurely break in Chernobel?

dulwichmum said...

Dear Babysteps,

Now there is somewhere I had not considered either! - I hear of people wishing to avoid the usual tourist "hot spots" all the time! Chernobel positively 'radiates' the word different.

debio said...

Are we so sanitised in our daily lives that the marketeers presume that anywhere might provide some relief?
Maybe a weekend break to Iraq? or 4 nights in the Gaza strip?