24 June 1980

End of the semester abroad in Poland

We spend the morning in Venice, just showing Cathy the highlights. I have some rubles left and manage to change them, at a very unfavorable rate, at a money changer in Piazza San Marco.

After lunch we get back into Giallina one last time for the home stretch to Rome. Mum, dad and my brother Fabio are waiting at our apartment in Via dei Mille, and a genuine Italian home-made dinner prepared by our family chef Anna concludes our trip.

It is over.

But I know it is not really over. I know I will return to Poland in the future, for personal and professional reasons. Borzena is scheduled to come and visit this Summer. Marian and Ewa surely will be in touch and we'll try to make some money together trading goods between Italy and Poland.

It's been the most instructive period of my life. I went to Poland because I was interested in the "real" socialism. Never a socialist myself, as a political scientist in the making I wanted to understand the thinking beyond the wall. I thought better knowledge could foster mutual understanding, and peace.

The problem is, no one in Poland seemed to care about socialism. Those who did speak about it hardly ever said anything positive. It was different in the USSR, where some of those we met did seem to believe in their official ideology.

We'll see, for now it's time to take in a good night sleep in my own bed!

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