Just back from Wisla!
I love Polish Mountains and though Wisla is not as high in terms of elevation as Tatry, they are beautiful, peaceful and truly Polish. I read fancy articles that talk about Poland's transformation and I can agree a lot has changed due to foreign investment and EU membership but somethings just don't change in Poland and in Polish hearts and minds especially in Polish Mountains. Its all about being Polish. I wish more countries in the world including this one would take note that cultural homogeneity is a good thing.
Of course, there is always the good, bad and ugly of that kind of homogeneity but so is there more within a diverse mixed up culture where people pass each other smiling as if they understand something exists between on a very deep level... and it does not. It could not and they know it. Yet, they keep smiling because they think it helps to curb that pain of difference and it does to a certain degree. They keep smiling because of the agreed upon social contract which means that each one has the right to pursue his/her own happiness. Which sadly has nothing to do with securing the happiness of someone else and this is what gets lost in their pursuit. When it is realized, there is nothing that can be done about it ...as in a diverse culture there is no means to truly secure one's own happiness among so many different views of happiness.
What is Polish happiness? Family first (Polish mothers) and foremost, followed by good bread, and good friends together celebrating being Polish. Being together, being in the same soup, being in the same place, enjoying the good bread, and some bad and some ugly. By having the good, one is not afraid of the bad and the ugly because today we have good bread ~ today, "we are Polish and tomorrow we will be too".
...hoping that they will finally ban post office workers who slam down their stamp like a gavel and of course the dog shit and empty plastic water bottles just about everywhere. They don't and won't print this in the travel magazines...
But hey, I love Poland because its Polish and I am part Polish. In saying that, there is great comfort in such belonging.... like nowhere else in the world on this 'globe' the earth!