• Konrad Piwowarczyk-Saban

The time of the new office has come. So here I am, between two worlds, trying to open door to my inner Narnia. A quick look at the windows. From the side of the street, nothing has changed. Spiros from the chemical store tightens his calves and buttocks, rolling heavy barrels with reagents, as gladly as the day is long. Sometimes I get the impression that the only thing that changes from day to day is the color of his skin-tight tracksuit trousers, but Sisyphus and his boulder stay the same. The young Bengalis are selling phones, sim cards, earphones and other life-saving tools, the older ones are looking for work, aggressive ones are arguing about matters familiar only to them, nostalgic ones are chatting on the phones with their cousins, uncles and other people who may possibly send them some money, so they can send this money to their mothers and fathers pretending that they actually earned it. All chewing paan leaves audibly and spitting a bloody mess on the ground in the breaks for nodding. On the balcony covered with an iron cage, taken under house arrest for distributing marijuana, Abdul screams on me, inviting for a spliff. Passing Amer looks at him sympathetically, then turns to me and says: "like a birdie in a cage." We laugh (although I'm afraid of jokes about losing freedom). And there is a big Nigerian man right under the window, definitely not a fair-of-eye kind of guy, who receives fines from homeless drug addicts. Looking around nervously, afraid of the police, he takes out a small package from under his tongue, hands it to the homeless, who puts it under his tongue and sashay-away, sanctified by the Street Communion, grateful to the Father for helping him surviving till the next day. After him, the whole queue of broken people, one without an eye, one without a leg, one full of scars.

I'm looking behind me.

Outside the windows, a garden, sun and silence. Cats sharpen their claws against the yucca's trunk. The caterpillar eats mint leaves.

Seagulls are wailing.  I need to replant the mimosa.



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  • Konrad Piwowarczyk-Saban

Six o'clock in the morning.


The cat is playing in the garden with a slightly dumbfounded cockroach. I can still hear the muffled sounds of bets in the secret Bengali casino from the neighbouring building. The air is standing still - under the influence of the heat it became dull and quiet. The street is slowly coming to life. Garbage collectors get up first, but they generally give Geraniou a wide berth. Maanan, who usually likes to sleep long, today is jumping all over his kiosk, singing something while receiving the goods. Mr. Lukas, Konstantinidis no one knows which, the owner of a fabric store, performs a ritual of weekly weathering off the ruined building. Old, wooden shutters groan painfully, awakening stray cats that slumber on the balconies. These are the first bars of the sleepy unrecognised orchestra of a rising sun.


Residents are slowly waking up. There is an echo of nocturnal joy in their dark eyes, a heavy melody from yesterday. The morning overture is complemented by the hawker's shouts that the onion costs 1 Euro, in addition to the clamour of police motorbikes patrolling the street (most of the time when nothing serious happens on it). When the "Curry Garden" opens, the whole street fills in the blink of an eye with the sounds of the Bengali telenovela. A passing group of Chinese tourists sounds like a string section, the existence of which the conductor forgot. A few more soloists: Ca, garama ca, Samosa, taja samosa, As-salamu alaykum, Geia sou, ti kaneis; Hi, hello, Kalimera and Boker tov.


The voice of the choir of foreign tourists comes from the Plaka with a quiet echo. Shutters of cameras that capture Acropolis tap a completely different rhythm.



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  • Konrad Piwowarczyk-Saban

Z początku myślałem, że różowym Jeziorem Hillier na jednej z wysp australijskiego archipelagu Recherche. Zmieniłem jednak zdanie i na pytanie "Kim (lub czym) chciałbym być, gdybym nie był tym, kim jestem?" z Kwestionariusza Proust’a odpowiedziałem: Chciałbym być Morzem Śródziemnym.

Dlaczego nie wspomnianym, malowniczym jeziorem, którego różowa woda do dziś pozostaje niezbadaną zagadką? Ponieważ wolałbym cieszyć niż bawić. Tak samo, jak wolę podróż od wycieczki.

Chciałbym być Morzem Śródziemnym.

Okalać trzy części świata. Kryć w sobie pamiątki starych cywilizacji. Chłonąć mądrości antycznych ludów. Przez tysiąclecia dawać życie. Na tysiąclecia grzebać miasta i zabytki. Być drogą ku nowym lądom i bramą nowych cywilizacji. Na głowie, niczym diadem z kuźni Hefajstosa, chciałbym nosić starożytną Helladę. Karmić, ale i topić smutki współczesnego Greka. Oczy kierować na wielką Italię, włoskie winnice i oliwne gaje. W prawej dłoni trzymać chciałbym jak zabawki z klocków – tureckie meczety. Palcami lewej zrywać kwiaty Koranu. Wsiąkać chciałbym w Ziemię Świętą. Ziemie chciałbym obiecywać. Dawać chciałbym i odbierać. Dla igraszki czasem rozgniewać się i coś zatopić. Przede wszystkim jednak koić chciałbym i barwić skórę.

Chciałbym być Morzem Śródziemnym.



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