Am I the first person to come up with that? If so, Yay me.
I am in Warsaw, Poland, and am quite disturbed by the fact that I am obsessed with the idea that I could've smuggled in a gram of narcotics had I bought any in advance.
Nonetheless I didn't, and here I am blogging in an empty hostel living room, slightly drunk. Martin is with me because he didn't break his ankle after all. He got a misdiagnosis; It's a chipped bone, and is currently sat behind me listing capital cities that don't suck. Ergo, he is reeling off every other city on Earth because Warsaw is duller than Gordon Brown giving a fiscal synopsis of the current world crisis in the midst of a black fucking hole.
We arrived earlier this afternoon. Martin was late getting to Luton airport, on account of just being late. I stayed at my Mum's in Watford and slept on her sofa (for 4 hours because I ironed my clothes til 3am and for the first time ever), which was interesting if only for the fact that she's aged since I last saw her and her dog, Baxter, which she mothers to distraction, is now fucking enormous due to not being walked. Ever.
But then Mum is in a wheelchair and can't walk herself, so Baxter's non-perambulation can be forgiven, I think.
I've been here only a half a day, the first Ebola to set foot back in the Mother Country for 133 years, and already I've fucked up. I helped myself to a crisp from an enormous bowl of crisps at the first bar we went to, a matter of minutes after arriving. I thought they were generic bar crisps left for greedy patrons, and not 'dinner' that had just been bought by the Polish customer on my left.
Hilarity ensued for about 3 seconds.
That was the high point. The rest of the evening was spent with us wandering around aimlessly, wondering why (a non-existant) God would create a capital city so devoid of anything fun to do on a Saturday night. But that was very much by-the-by. Warsaw is the Ebola ancestral home, the place from whence my family fled to London over a century ago. And as such, I am finding myself somewhat fucked up.
Imagine if you will a place of purple people. A famous, world-renowned place of jolly, fiddle playing, beard growing, alleged money hoarding and planet controlling purple people, who had lived somewhere for generations. Let's say London was once 10% purple; 3 million souls out of a 30-mil populace. Let's say they lived there for hundreds of years but today, for some Nazi Genocide reason, they have completely disappeared, and all that remains is a street name, and a bookshop, but Absolutely No-one Purple At All. Nothing hammers home the fucking Holocaust more than going back to the country that was most affected and finding no-one of that ilk around. In the slightest. It's fucking eerie, like a tourist attraction that isn't actually there.
I have been British, British and proud (just), for 133 years (not literally). And flee my family did, leaving behind their brothers, sisters, and parents. And while those fleeing ancestors grew up and assimilated into our new tea-drinking, bad teeth having, proper-pronunciation-of-English-having ways, their family of old continued to plod along Polishly.
Now call me fucking stupid for not seeing this a mile off, but Martin wants to go to somewhere called Auschwitz. I don't want to go to Auschwitz, because my family were almost certainly murdered there, and if not there, then in any vast number of Polish death camps, or roadsides, or forests in the country. I don't know this for certain mainly because my direct line arrived in Britain in 1875 and it was too far back for any names to remain in our familial subconsciousness. Needless to say, it's pretty fucking unlikely that said names, my third-or-so cousins, survived, because 20th Century Polish Jewry was virtually 100% extinguished.
I don't want to walk alongside that fucking overgrown traintrack. I don't want to walk through that fucking 'Arbeit Macht Frei' gate. This is a holiday, a wheeeeee-look-at-where-I-came-from! break. I don't want to fucking go.
I sincerely never saw this coming. But if Martin goes, I have to go too. Martin's not a Four-By-Two, a Front-Wheel-Skid, a Kike, a Heeb, a Red Sea Pedestrian, and he's showing an interest in a fundamentally dire historical event. After all, we'll be too near not visit. If I don't go, I'll just be a family-ducking coward.
But I don't think I can take it. It's not that it's more 'special' for me. It's not as if that place is more tragic, more profound, and more goulish. But it's deeply irritating. I've been to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. I've visited Berlin's Holocaust museum. I've interviewed a survivor of that thing when I was a student and watched enough films and documentaries to know about everything as an objective, impartial observer. But I don't actually want to go to the 'A' place. I will almost certainly cry, and I haven't cried since 1984.
This wasn't in the fucking brochure.
Still not had sex.