WE go to Poland tomorrow. “We” in this context being Retired Bloke, The Current Mrs Feeney, and The Daughter Who Left (But Returned).
It came about quite suddenly at the end of last week. The Daughter has time off work this week from tomorrow. One of her work colleagues had loaned her a DVD of Schindler’s List. That prompted the thought that she really ought to visit Auschwitz.
Having been there several years ago on a Holocaust Educational Trust visit with a party of school pupils, I agreed. It is the sort of experience that people should expose themselves to. I am a firm advocate of the theory that if we forget history, we run the risk of repeating it.
I spent the next morning online, checking airline, airport and hotel websites. Then I did the sensible thing and telephoned a local travel agent to sort it all out for me. A few hours later everything was sorted.
TCMrsF and I popped into the travel agency and paid. That just left exchanging some British sterling for Polish zloty. With the recent large influx of Poles into the UK, that would be easy, right? Wrong. The travel agency and our bank wanted 48 hours’ notice; 48 hours we didn’t have because everything had been done last minute.
Salvation came in the unlikely guise of Marks and Spencer. Mention M&S and I think “knickers” or “food”. I had never thought “bureau du change”, but it turned out that, not only did the Swansea store have zloty, it had 43 other currencies available too.
So, we are all set. Flight tickets from Gatwick to Krakow? Tick. Krakow hotel accommodation voucher? Tick. Passports? Tick. Insurance? Tick. Camera? Tick. How to ask for three large beers in Polish? TICK!