I Desire You, I Want You

How crossing a bridge I stumbled upon an interesting story and why I had to spent hours researching Italian love stories.

While in Opole yesterday, I had to go the City Center to find an ATM. It wasn’t far, so I took a walk rather then driving. Turns out it was an excellent idea. Despite a really terrible weather forecast, it was still very warm, a little muggy, but it wasn’t raining. To get to the commercial part of town from the German Consulate, I had to cross the Młynówka river using an old, beautiful, green bridge called “Most Groszowy” (Penny Bridge) or “Most Westchnień” (Bridge of Sighs). I’m usually not the type of guy to notice that, but the bridge surroundings were quite nice –  birds singing in the nearby trees and bushes, the quiet river underneath. I can see how on a starry night, with the soothing sound of water and under moonlight, this can be quite a romantic place.

A local tradition - many locks on the foot bridge over the Odra river.I’m not the most observant person, but crossing the bridge for the second time, on my way back to the Consulate, I’ve noticed a few padlocks hanging on the painted green cast iron fencing of the bridge. I decided that with a right angle, this could be an interesting picture. Without thinking, I aimed, shot and I was back on my way. Only later I started asking myself, what’s the meaning of those locks…?

After getting back home I researched the subject on the internet. Few years ago, local students in an attempt to create a new tradition, adapted an Italian custom. Apparently, the practice was first described by Federico Moccia, an Italian writer. In his love story novel called Ho Voglia DI TE (I Desire You, I Want You), the main characters close a padlock on with their names engraved on it on a bridge, than kiss and throw the key into the Tiber river, near Rome. Today, one can find similar bridges in Paris, Florence, Venice and Moscow.

While researching the subject, I found that Federico Moccia is very popular among especially young readers across Europe. Ho Voglia DI TE (I Desire You, I Want You) is a continuation to Tre metri sopra il cielo (Three Steps Over Heaven). They tell a story of Babi, a girl from a so-called “good home”, a great student and exemplary daughter, who as a result of a coincident meets Step, an aggressive hooligan, whose life consists of exercises in the gym, races on a motorcycle and senseless fighting. Despite the radically different characters they fall in love, and… so on, and so on. I’m not going to spoil it for you. There’s also a movie version of the “Ho Voglia Di Te” for those who don’t like or have no time reading.

Obviously, I didn’t read those books, just the teasers I’ve found in the internet. Sounds like a great read for my wife and something I want my daughter never to put her hands on!

German Consulate in Opole

Weather in Poland can change in an instant. Today the sunny, hot and humid turned into cold and soaking wet in just few minutes. Fortunately at the time we were in the car, unfortunately we had cover 60 miles in very limited visibility.

Yesterday Grandma took Agnieszka and the kids to a large pool complex, where the kids had a really good time. Alex doesn’t want to do anything else now – he constantly talks about the slides and tubes. He wants to go to the pool every day.

In the meantime, I took my Father to Opole – a town about 100 km North West from Chorzów. We had some business at the German Consulate, and despite the bad weather forecast I decided to take the camera with me. I’m glad I did. Opole is an old German town and thanks to significant support from the European Union it starts to look nice again. I didn’t have much time to walk around, but due to my credit card failure, I had to find an ATM. The German Consulate is very close to the center of the city, where I’ve found the nearest machine. That gave me an opportunity to take a few shots.

On the way back it started raining. First it was just a few drops, but then the temperature dropped from 33C (92F) down to 17C (62F) in just half an hour and the clouds spilled tons of water. In Poland usually everyone drives on a highway slightly (<10%) over the speed limit of 130 km/h (80 mph). Some people drive significantly faster (125 mph or more). And that regardless of weather. For them pouring rain and poor visibility is no excuse to slow down. Good thing the road between Opole and Chorzów is kept in excellet shape.