I have crossed paths a little too often recently with that most fierce of creatures, the late middle-aged Polish lady! In my experience, these creatures are just as fearsome as the mohair beret brigade, if not more so, because they can move faster!
A couple of days ago I was standing outside the office having a smoke and noticed what can only be described as a gaggle of ladies exiting the Sala Kongresowa and dragging their little wheely suitcases across Emilii Plater heading for Zlote Tarasy. Presumably they had just finished the AGM of the “Evil Cows of Mazowiecka” society and now they were in the mood for a little shopping.
They walked in extremely determined fashion straight past me and a few negotiated the revolving doors into the office entrance lobby while the others stood guard outside. The advance posse soon returned to tell everyone that this was the entrance to the offices at which point it seemed they all started walking around randomly, like rocks in an Asteroids game, as if the magnet that had been holding them together had been switched off.
Being the helpful chap I am I asked a couple of them if they were looking for the entrance to the shopping centre. I did this because it happens all day, every day. The architects of ZT have cunningly placed the office entrances at exactly the points where the shopping centre entrances should be. They have then, in their wisdom, failed to put up any signs saying “Entrance to Offices” so they spend all day redirecting people.
Anyway, these ladies just stared at me with nasty looking faces like I’d just asked them if they wanted a quick shag, ignored me completely and carried on getting collectively lost. A few walked in the right direction to the entrance that is 30m from where they were standing while most just got back in line behind Pani Sławomira and headed off dragging their bags (and sorry arses) in completely the wrong direction. They had ignored me so completely that I thought for a while they might be foreigners but I listened carefully and it was definitely Polish they were speaking.
Today. We’re in the Alma supermarket. Not in our part of town but we fancied a change and they did have a Haagen Dazs fridge so it was worthwhile! Anyway, as you know, it is completely, utterly, impossible to shop in Poland without there being an argument about who was next in the queue. Usually at the cold meats counter, which is exactly where this one was. An excited bunch of men were engaged in discussion with, yes, a late middle aged Polish lady, who had just inserted herself into the front of the queue. No shame whatsoever was written on her face. She was basically saying “Late middle aged lady trumps anything you’ve got so you can all go screw yourselves!”. What’s most annoying is that that is exactly what they all did! A couple of whimpers and then everyone resigned themselves to the fact that this lady was speaking the truth. There is no power on earth that can beat the power of the LMAPL.