Nazdrowie! Part one

It’s been a long time coming but it finally arrived – the wedding we’ve all been waiting for.

I’ll call the couple Peter and Matea, because that’s their names.

Peter and Matea, Polish friends of ours got married in a town in Poland with far to many c’s z’s and s’s in it’s unpronouncable name. . They invited us to the wedding well over a year ago and we accepted the invitation thinking how nice it would be to experience a wedding in a different culture. As the big day approached, we started to get cold feet thinking that we’d be the only English speakers other than the bride and we’d be sat around like..like….well – a spare groom at a wedding. Mr and Mrs No Mates.

Friday afternoon arrived and we set off to Liverpool Airport for the first leg of our journey to Sczczcwsczwczwzswczwscsk. Bag (yup, singular. At £50 a bag to use the hold we decided we’d be frugal with the luggage) duly checked in we decided to go and get a bite to eat and relax before our flight.

( This is when a whole different story began – but I’ll save that one for another day. All I’ll say now is: Bloody estate agents and bloody pushy time wasters. Gggrrrr.)

Arriving in Poland we found ourselves in a country where shops still close on Sundays, where good manners are the norm not the exception and where when a man is formally introduced to a woman he kisses her hand and nobody laughs, mocks or think they’re weird. It was a bit like stepping back in time twenty years and I liked it.

Since we arrived in Poland  quite late we made our way to the hotel, treated ourselves to  quick gin and tonic and headed straight off to bed. We were exhausted.

Next morning – the day of the wedding.

Breakfast was a bizarre concoction of cheese, hot dog sausages,smoked ham,  scrambled egg made with artery clogging amounts of butter, tomatoes and cucumber.  Apart from the scrambled egg it was pretty much a ploughman’s lunch, all it was lacking was a bit of Branston pickle. Still, when in Rome and all that. I imagine the Poles think that our full English breakfast is a bit odd.

We tucked in, well, ok, I did give the hot dog sausages a miss, even for me that’s a bit much for first thing in the morning, then we set off to  Sczczcwsczwczwzswczwscsk.

With Google maps and my mobile phone sat nav on the go we managed to make it relatively easily to the hotel in a not unreasonable 2 hours. Time for lunch, a stroll round the town and still plenty of time to get our best bib and tucker on for the ‘do’.

Suitably dressed up, we set off for the church, a five minute stroll from our hotel. It’s a good job it wasn’t much further given that I  wearing the most ridiculous heels.

As we arrived at the church we realised that another wedding was still going on. We were standing  back out of the way watching as the bride and groom came out of the church. We thought we’d wait until they’d got in their car set to off to their reception before we’d go in the church so as not to be disrespectful.  As I was looking at the bride I glanced up to see our bride and groom frantically waving to us “GET IN THE CHURCH!!!!”

OH!  Didn’t expect that! This is going to be more different than I thought!

I’m sure the ceremony was lovely. Obviously we didn’t understand a single word of it. I was quite entertained by the old tramp who came in for a look, walked right to the front and plonked himself a pew on the front row. Matea was too nervous to notice though – probably a good job. I don’t think she’d have taken kindly to a tramp gatecrashing her wedding.

Once the ceremony was over and the obligatory hat was passed round for money – I think that’s understandable in any language, we left the church as the next bride turned up and made the short walk to the reception venue.

And that, my friends is a whole different chapter in the story. Don’t miss it!

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