Would you ever let a stranger eat at your table at Christmas?
As soon as the gyms closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak, I started exercising at home as well as walking about ninety minutes a day. Kinga had injured her ankle so I was walking alone and listening to Podcasts (Polish language, fitness and nutrition,comedy and mindset are my favourites).
I never really fancied audio books as I like to hold a physical book in my hand. After some recommendations from acquaintances in a Facebook fitness group, I decided to join #audible
Flicking through YouTube (as you do) last night, I came across a Patrick Ney interview with a guy called Ben Aitken. Both these British guys were talking about life in Poland and so of course, my ears pricked up.
Ben had moved to Poznań because he knows how patriotic and proud the Polish people are; so he wanted to go to Poland for a year to see what Poles who had left their country (For the UK, Ireland or elsewhere) had left behind. During his interview with Patrick, Ben says he was working as an English teacher to eight year old Polish kids. He had a friend of a friend who was operating a 'Fish and chip shop' on the river front. They seemed convinced that Ben would be an excellent person to employ, as being British obviously made him an expert fish fryer! Ben took the job, documented his time in Poland and decided to write his book 'A Chip Shop in Poznań'.
Those of you that are Polish or are aware of Polish traditions and cultures, will no doubt have heard about the Christmas Eve or 'Wigilia' tradition whereby Polish people set an extra place at their dinner table. In the unlikely event that a 'stranger' should visit their home on 24th December, tradition states that the person should be offered food and shelter. Ben says he was of course aware of this tradition but had never heard of anybody actually inviting a stranger in. Ben thought he would try this out. He found a house, knocked the door, spoke in Polish saying that he was aware of this Christmas tradition and after a brief chat with the homeowner, was invited in and offered a place at the table. You'll have to buy the book to get the full story!!
I've not started this book yet but really can't wait to get stuck in! I'll update the post as soon as I'm finished. In the meantime if you fancy getting your hands on this book, its available on Audible in audio version and in all good book shops.