My first impression of meeting Babcia was shock; she does not look like an 80-something-year-old woman! Her skin is so beautiful, she was just glowing. She introduced herself to me as "Babcia" which means "grandmother" in Polish. I later learned that that introduction is a really big deal and that it means she likes me a lot. Maybe it's because I spoke "my Polish words" for her when I introduced myself. :)
Moving on...eating a Polish meal is quite a process. And I love it. You start with a bowl of soup (99% of the time it's barszcz, which is made from beets) as an appetizer. The problem I have with this is that this "appetizer" is huge! Seriously. Usually I cannot even finish the bowl and, if I can, I am not at all ready for 2 more courses! Other than barszcz, we ate potatoes, beets and baked salmon with spinach and cucumber sauce. I can't remember the last time I've had fish (maybe 2 years ago? or more?) so I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to handle it.... but it was delicious!
It's funny having a conversation with someone who doesn't speak your language, thus necessitating a mediator to translate back and forth, back and forth - every sentence. I know a little over 100 Polish words (oh, don't worry - I wrote them all down and counted), which is not many, needless to say. I had my proudest moment at lunch, however, when Babcia asked me a question and I nodded and said, "Tak" (yes). Everyone at the table just looked at me and said, "You understood that?" and I said, "Oh...I guess I did!". I never thought I'd want to learn yet another language (especially after German has proved to be the semi-bane of my existence and everyone tells me Polish is 10x harder) but learning through immersion would be infinitely easier than the classroom. I mean, after awhile, my reciting the 100 words I know and speaking in one-word sentences will stop eliciting laughs at the dinner table and become just downright annoying.
Oh well...until then!