Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another new address?

As we look at another potential move--this one only being a few kilometers--I am very excited but also aware of the things I will miss from this apartment. I will miss the giant bathroom with the claw foot bathtub, I will miss the people watching (though I'll probably be more efficient with my work!), but most of all I will miss being able to get half way dressed, stumble downstairs and get breakfast for 9 zl at Lounge Bar. That is where I am now, directly below my living room, enjoying coffee, breakfast, and free wifi (which is the wifi I use in the apartment anyway). I also love that the breakfast guy speaks English very well, his daughter comes and hangs out in the cafe while he works, and that the other patron here right now is having a large beer with his breakfast. (The picture is of my current building with the bar beneath my front windows.)

This past week wasn't the last week before break, but close to it. Thursday, we had our embryology midterm and results were posted Friday. Now, I have passed every exam so far, so I wasn't worried about this one, but you all know that I always want to do my best. I am proud to say that I got a 4 (out of 5). For the North Americans out there (and the rest of the world, for all I know), Poland uses a strange grading system of grades from 2 to 5. A 2 is under 60% and thus a fail, a 3 between 60-79%, a 4 corresponds to 80-89%, a 4+ from 90-95% and a 5 is 95% to 100%--or at least this is as much as I understand of it. So a 4 is a good grade, especially when the class average was 2.3.

Well, now that that exam is over, I have a few classes next week before my break. It's the end of the term and I am one of the very very few who do not have any more exams. Due to my previous studies, I have an exemption in Chemistry and have not had to participate in any of the classes or exams, although I did assist in teaching a couple seminars. Cell Bio final exam is next week, but I scored high enough on my weekly quizzes to gain an exemption from the final in that class as well. These are the only two classes that are ending at term, so while all my classmates are in the study zone for dead week, I have free time. Then, while they have two weeks of exam period, I have an extra two weeks off in addition to our regular one week semester end break.

Which brings me to back to the subject. We may be moving again. I say we, because Piotr will be here the first week of February to join me for good! And the day he arrives we are looking at and deciding on an apartment in Wrzeszcz, a urban neighborhood much closer to school and in the center of everything. We are pretty sure we are going to take it, but I've moved us enough times by myself that I won't budge until I have Piotr by my side. The location, for you Portlanders, would be the equivalent of living: in a huge apartment in the Pearl district; right on the streetcar line (if the street car went everywhere in the city); with MAX (train) access two blocks away; with a private courtyard park outside one side of the apartment; with a non-ghetto Lloyd Center across the street on the other side of the apartment with a huge international foods grocery store in its basement; with a private entrance, garage, and off street parking; a 25 minute walk, probably 7 minute bike ride, or a 10 minute tram ride away from school. In other words, it's a SWEET location. Then, to top it off, we'd get all that at a North Portland price. Parts of the apartment are rough, but that means that we can make it how we want it and it is more than large enough for any and all of you to come visit. You'll have your own room! (The picture is of the Manhattan mall across the street from the apartment building. )

I will post pictures once we have the keys and let you know our address then as well. The best part about this place is that it actually has a mailbox! Yes! But until Piotr gets here, and after I make it through this light week, I will have some free time to explore the city if it's not too cold. Email me if any of you'd like to schedule a phone/skype date the week of January 25th as I have an open schedule.