Nie pytaj mnie… Don’t ask me!

Last night I got my results back from my latest Polish exam (the first time actually I have a speaking part on my exams!) and my lovely teacher Monika (who, by the way, she has a really good blog about Chile and Latin America in Polish, gave my classmate Tomek and I a task… translating a Polish song into Spanish to analyze its meaning. This song had a different name on the handout she gave us to create false expectations, but we did know the actual musician who performed it. One of the Kings of Polish Rock music, Grzegorz Ciechowski. He started in Republika and had a side project under the nickname “Obywatel G. C.”  (Citizen G. C.). His lyrics in both projects were highly contestatarian and thought-provoking regarding the society in Poland during both the PRL and its latter times (things that really interest me). However, this song was product of a lot of speculation at my class and I even invented an intense story out of it:

To nie karnawał – It is not a carnival
ale tańczyć chcę – but I want to dance
i będę tańczył z nią po dzień – and I am going to dance with her until sunrise

To nie zabawa – She is not fun
ale bawię się – but I enjoy myself
bezsenne noce, senne dnie – Sleepless nights, sleepy days

To nie kochanka – She is not my lover
ale sypiam z nią – but I sleep with her
choć śmieją ze mnie się i drwią – Despite they laugh at me and mock

Taka zmęczona – So tired
i pijana wciąż – and constantly drunk
dlatego nie – that is why

Nie pytaj więcej mnie – Don’t ask me once again

Nie pytaj mnie – Don’t ask me
dlaczego jestem z nią – why I am with her
nie pytaj mnie – Don’t ask me
dlaczego z inną nie – Why I am not with someone else
nie pytaj mnie – Don’t ask me
dlaczego myślę, że… – why I think
że nie ma dla mnie innych miejsc – that there are not other places for me

Nie pytaj mnie – Don’t ask me
co ciągle widzę w niej – what I constantly see on her
nie pytaj mnie  – Don’t ask me
dlaczego w innej nie – Why I don’t see that on some else
nie pytaj mnie – Don’t ask me
dlaczego ciągle chcę – Why I constantly want to
zasypiać w niej i budzić się – Fall asleep on her and wake up

Te brudne dworce – Those dark stations
gdzie spotykam ją – where I see her
te tłumy, które cicho klną – Those crowds that quietly curse

Ten pijak, który mruczy coś przez sen – That drunkard, who murmurs something while sleeping
że póki my żyjemy – ona żyje też – that as long as we live, she lives too…
Thing is, this song isn’t about a woman, a random hookup, or a prostitute…


I was shocked, to say the least. That song really interpreted my struggle and feelings towards learning and being acquainted with Poland. If I had at least one cent for every person who have told me not to study Polish and not to travel to Poland because of “bad things happening there”, “a sad and gloomy place” or “being a poor country”… I would have already bought a good plane ticket or financed my education in Poland!

This decision wasn’t easy at all. Breaking down prejudices and misleaded conceptions aren’t a child’s game and you need to deeply analyze and deconstruct other people’s opinions or stereotypes (curiously, from people who have never been in Poland or met a Pole) with strong arguments or even not letting them get too involved with your decisions. Yet, I was at a stage of my life that I really wanted to do things that make me happy somehow and I am not regretting this decision. Meeting wonderful people, learning to accept people and myself by who we really are, with flaws, weaknesses and assuming that life is far from being picture perfect, but life is what you make of it. You can be a great person by acknowledging your flaws.