Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Four years of living in Nowa Iwiczna

It was an extremely hot (36 degrees) Friday, 29th July 2005, when we moved in here. Humid and close day plus sun beating down relentlessly made the weather rather unfavourable for moving, but somehow it went without major problems and unnecessary chaos.

Every anniversary is conducive to some summaries, this time I’ll refrain from them and confine only to a few conclusions.

Within the last two decades NI turned into a typical dormitory town of Warsaw. New housing estates were mushrooming in the years of construction boom, the biggest put up then number more than one hundred terraced houses, lots of them are fenced off, some guarded. Currently I can see new detached houses built by individual investors, but the crisis clamped down on the development of the huge estates.

The new direction of development sets out patterns of lifestyle. In this respect NI is anything but a village. Its residents know almost as little about one another as the dwellers of Warsaw’s fenced off exclusive enclaves. On many estates inhabitants open and close the gates with their remote controls, pull into the garages and from there move to their houses or flats. The neighbours? They say one another ‘good morning’, know one another mostly by sight. There’s usually nobody to turn to in case of emergency, no helping hand around. Settled residents are not the total contradiction of the new ones, there’s one reason why there’s no conflict between those two worlds – the settled sold their land for the plots on which the new houses have been built – there are plenty of former farmers who just cut off coupons from their banks deposits, laze away and make living by the interests of the money they had made on land sale transactions.

According to the official data the number of residents has quadrupled since 2004. Many of the locals are still registered in Warsaw where the previously lived, unfortunately they also pay taxes there, what translated for instance into the condition of local infrastructure – typically Polish – I live in the suburbs, pay taxes in the Warsaw’s borough but demand that the local administration provides a decent road… The time spent on commuting hasn’t changed a lot, I think it even might have shortened a bit, the worst days were during the rebuilding of Puławska street on its two kilometre long section just beyond the border of Warsaw. Now what gets my goat, no matter if drive a car or ride a bus are countless traffic lights, on average they can stop you once in seven hundred metres. That’s not how the road out of capital should look, but almost every road from Warsaw looks like this – on Raszyn towards Katowice and Kraków it looks similarly, Radzymińska towards Białystok it’s even worse, though the newly opened dual carriageway which ends behind Wyszków makes up for the inconveniences (the road is indeed exemplary!). What Puławska street could do with are the service roads (funnily enough there’s no equivalent of this term in Polish, I’ve never seen it translated!), maybe that would unclog it in rush hours…

And what hurts me the most – this village, dormitory town or whatever NI is, lacks SPIRIT, I can’t see anything that could make the place magical, exceptional, there’s nothing in the neighbourhood that would keep a man here, notwithstanding in the late spring evenings when I stroll around the houses I feel I couldn’t move out. And then I get back into the house, go upstairs, want to take a shower, few drops drip and water doesn’t flow. That’s the biggest drawback of my semi-civilised village – water treatment station and underground water resources didn’t manage to catch up with the pace of development, so the ones at the end of the water pipe have to suffer when the ones who live closer unroll their hoses and spill litres of water into their gardens or turn their sprinklers on… This summer is rather wet so since weeks I haven’t experienced the problems with water supply…

For a comparison – two photos of the back of my garden. The first taken on Sunday, 31 July 2005, two days after moving in, the second taken today, showing the same place. Great changeover which took place without any help of professionals’ hands!


5 comments:

PolishMeKnob said...

That's a nice, neat little garden you have there. I'm pretty impressed by the lawn too. (It's a little TOO neat, suspicious almost…)

As for the fenced up part, it's a shame; although, I live in an apartment and I don't even know my neighbors. Sad, I guess.

Bartek Usniacki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Dembinski said...

My patent remedy for moles... remove the hill, find the hole with your finger, widen it a bit - and when no one is looking, piss directly into the mole hole. Mr Mole is a mammal after all, you are marking your territory, he will not come back. Beats poisons, carbide, traps, elderberry etc.

Bartek Usniacki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Dembinski said...

Last year's mole plague was sorted out by systematic flooding of tunnels with water hosed in under high pressure. It worked. The moles returned in the dead of winter, when the garden watering system was turned off. So I turned to my mammalian deterent - and hey! it worked. They've not returned. And it saves on szambo.