The journey went fairly well. I was afraid it was going to be worse. But I’m usually afraid that things will go worse, so maybe that’s not so strange. But hey! Sometimes things do go worse and then I can say: told you so! Which, of course, I do. From Warsaw to Doha it’s only about six hours, just like to Gdańsk. Yet one is in United Arab Emirates or maybe it’s Saudi Arabia.
Taking off in Doha I checked it on the screen located cleverly in the seat before me and realized that it actually is a city in Qatar. People who live in Qatar are very happy. No wonder, there are only two million inhabitants. Just like Warsaw. If we separated Warsaw from the rest of Poland we would too would be happy. I wonder who Qatar separated from? Qatar sounds like a funny name for a country to Poles, but in Qatar they don’t know this. And even if they did, they still don’t give a fuck. They have so much oil and natural gas that they don’t have to give a fuck about anything or anyone. At least not until they run out (I hope you translators sweat over this untranslatable play with words*). But they know they will soon, so they’re building an even bigger airport so they can earn more off of Poles that want to fly to Australia.
And Poles are pretty dumb. In Doha, on our way from the plane to the airport it was repeated in English three times that at the first stop should exit people that are staying there. The bus stopped, the Poles exited. At first I was shocked that so many Poles spend Easter in Doha. But they were soon turned back by the staff. Those poor dumb Polacks weren’t of course staying in Doha, they just didn’t know English. I don’t know it either. But I understand much more than I can produce. Still it’s far from perfect. Even though I’ve been learning this language since primary school (although to be technically correct since high school I’ve actually spent more time learning how to find excuses not to learn it. Why should I be learning the language of the colonists? They should learn Polish if they want to know what I have to say. They don’t have to talk to the offspring of the slaves. Really.) Still I’m a bit ashamed of not speaking English very well. So on the plane to Melbourne in my thoughts I went over what I would say to the person that was going to pick me up from the airport. “Hello. I’m Jaś. And you? Nice to meet you. Can I make a photo of you?”. Unfortunately I was picked up by a Greek taxi driver who spoke English even worse than I did. He drove me to my hotel. It’s next to the Central City Community Health Centre, and homeless people sleep around it. I don’t know if they have any health problems. I didn’t peek into their sleeping bags. But I did drop into the nearby McDonald’s to use the free internet. It turned out that at the hotel it costs $3 per hour. I decided to save money, because internet is a basic human right like air or water. Unfortunately the signal was too weak outside to update my status on Facebook, so I decided to go in and buy some fries. This also cost $3, just like the internet in the hotel. At least I got free fries. And I got to watch two drunk representatives of the local youth decorating their even drunker friend’s head with a construction made of empty packages whilst pouring drinks on him as well. All this for free. And yet it cost $3. In such an environment we happen to create new narrations about the environment. Do I really still have to explain that it’s not the best environment? What are they thinking in Qatar? That when they run out of oil they’ll make money transporting Poles by biofuel powered jets? What does the rest think? I think I know, but now it’s time to go sightseeing.
*Qatar, in Polish – Katar. The countries name is spelt and pronounced exactly the same as the polish word ‘katar’ which refers to the state of having a running nose. The author of the article Jaś Kapela, made use of this double meaning along with the double meaning of the polish word “ropa”, which means both oil and pus. Kapela joked that Perhaps the people of Qatar will stop not giving a fuck about anyone else when the pus stops seeping from their runny nose. You readers may now muse over how much of Kapela’s witty use of language is lost in translation.