As I wander aimlessly through Europe I snap things that appear interesting (to me at least!) on the Blackberry. This post is catching up with a few recent images.
Firstly the shot “apron”. When you travel a lot this is the kind of scene you find yourself staring at for much longer than you’d like. I do find it strangely fascinating though to watch the business of handling aircraft on the ground, all the machines and people buzzing hither and thither. Can’t remember where I took this one but judging by the weather and the fact that looks a bit like a Swiss Air plane, it might have been Madrid. I never had an airport toy when I was a kid but I think when I get a little more senile than I am now I’m more likely to have a giant airport model, to scale of course, in my loft instead of the usual train set! I can spend hours up there shuffling baggage carts and plane-pushers around, maybe buy myself a fluorescent jacket and a couple of those big lollipops to guide the planes into the parking bays.
The “detective” ones are interesting. I was in Frankfurt recently and was struck by the number and prominence of the adverts for detectives. Detectives are not people who normally compete with Coca-Cola for prime advertising space. They are usually to be found amongst the small ads in the back of crappy printed publications, slightly seedy and cheap. Not so in Frankfurt! We walked a short distance down a couple of the main streets in the town and found no less than two giant illuminated adverts for detectives in exactly the sort of position you’d normally find Omega or Nokia. I wonder what it is about Frankfurt, or perhaps Germany, that gives detectives such an elevated position in the pecking order of services to be advertised. One has to assume that if the adverts are there then the business is there too. Who are the Frankfurters spying on, I wonder?
More importantly, why do all their detective companies name themselves after dogs? Fido and Tudor? Sniffing things out? If I’d kept walking I guarantee I’d have seen “Detektiv Rex”.
Lastly we have “Tesco”. Nothing too exciting about this one but I was just struck (again) by the yawning gap between Tesco UK and Tesco Poland. It really is “pile it high and sell it cheap” here in Poland, which is exactly where Tesco started in the UK back in the 50’s and 60’s under Jack Cohen’s leadership. If you wander around a Tesco store in the UK now, even in smaller provincial towns, they appear to be luxury goods stores as compared to the Polish ones. This particular shot was of the Tesco a little further up Górczewska than Wola Park. A particularly nasty one it has to be said but I’ve not seen any Tesco here that comes even close to having the quality and range of good sold in the UK or is anywhere near as well built and laid out. One day, I suppose, they will switch but not until the average Joe has more to spend.
Final point and one I have no photo of although the Tesco picture is related. I suppose it does qualify as “another ex-pat rant”! Why is it that in at least 50% of cases when you want to buy something in Warsaw the only one they have for you to buy is the one that’s been on display for a month for everyone to bugger around with??!! Failing that, you look up a company that is the local distributor for something and when you visit you find they only have a fraction of the items available? The “display” issue has come up twice now in the process of buying Christmas presents. I wouldn’t mind so much if they offered the display item at 30% discount but they don’t. It’s take it or leave it at full price. Ridiculous.
The distributor problem arose when hunting for a new back-pack for Zosia, a hard enough item to find at the best of times. I was kindly told about a range of packs made in Czech that had the right combination of qualities – right size, kids designs, quality construction. I found a distributor within this Tesco shopping centre on Gorczewska and went over to see the range and buy a pack. They had the grand total of two on offer, both giant size, one a horribly kitsch pink Barbie thing with a handle and wheels and the other an equally trashy Spiderman type thing for boys. That’s less than 2% of the total range available via the internet and absolutely nothing from the range I was interested in. With something like this you really need to see the thing before you buy it so if you’re going to distribute something then at least make sure you have a good cross section of the goods available for people to see…..and buy. This is not an isolated incident, it happens all the time and it’s so bloody annoying!