I remember when I first drove from Berlin to Poland in 1989 before the wall came down. The highways were all fenced off so you couldn’t exit into any towns; you could only stop at the official rest stops run by some seriously fat and grumpy soviet era women. The highway was mostly cobblestone, a technological marvel for 1940, so you can imagine what that’s like to ride on for hours and hours as your tiny little brain rattles around in its cage. I suppose if I was pulling a wooden cart and I was being pursued by mongol hordes or black death and it was 1338 I would be pretty psyched to find a road like that. However, that was then and this is now and our tiny little brains are rattling around in their cages on the way to Warsaw.
Today is Veterans Day or Armistice Day all over europe. It’s also going to be 11 November 2011 so two times in one day it will be 11/11/11 11:11;11. You say, “but I don’t care.” Well, I can’t make you care about that just like I can’t make Germans like my band. But hey, life is all about little victories, right?
Speaking of victories, today is a day to celebrate among other things the end of WWI. Yes, that war that ended a little bit less than 100 years and you could make the case that it led to the next big war, WWII. And what do most people take away from that war? Well, for one thing, it really really sucked for a lot of people. You could make the argument that it really really really sucked especially for Poland since Germay practically wiped the Poles and Warsaw off the map and then the Soviets came in and made life pretty spicy for those who loved to party, I mean, who loved the Party.
But I would say one of the big things is that life was pretty hard for the Poles. So why, you ask, on Armistice Day in Warsaw, would 10,000 right wing extremists/nazi skinheads/hooligans show up to demonstrate and mar the celebration of the end of WWI and veterans and bring out the police in full force with tear gas and riot gear? I don’t know. Some people are just assholes, I guess.