03 March 1980

Bison in Warsaw

Routine morning of classes at SGPiS.

In the afternoon we go to a public reading room. There are some international newspapers. Under a sign that reads "Newspapers from capitalist countries" there are two-week old copies of "L'Unità" (the offical paper of the Italian Communist Party!) and "La Stampa" (a newspaper owned by the Agnelli family, which also owns FIAT, which made a huge investment in a car factory in Poland). I suppose it all makes sense.

Marco and Marta
Later on Marta once again comes to my room and tries various moves on Andrew and me. Again without success.

I then go to the post office to call Rome. We have no telephone in our room, or in our dorm, and need to go and try our luck at the post office every time. It usually works. I have a funny conversation with my brother Fabio when I try to let him have our address: Ul Niepodlegloszczi (Independence) and when he asks for a spelling I can just utter "you write it as you read it"! As if it were the most obvious for an Italian to understand Polish pronounciation over a decrepit phone line.

(NOTE: As I put these notes in this blog, it is now 2013, my brother still does not miss an opportunity to make fun of me because of this, and he is right!)

Later on we have a chat with Stefan, a fellow student who is also a leader of the youth organization of the Communist party. He is a smart and very reasonable guy, not at all fanatic and in fact highly critical of the Russians. We have yet to find one single really dedicated Polish Communist in fact.

In the evening we go for dinner to Bazyliszczek, one of the best restaurants in town. It is another epicurian experience and for the first time in my life I eat bison steak. A sumptuous meal sets the three of us back by 1300 zloty (12 dollars) including wine and it's as much as we'll ever be able to spend in Warsaw.

(As I look at their website 33 year later, they no longer have bison on the menu. However they have Argentinian beef and Norwegian salmon. Panta rei...)

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