Archive for August, 2010

Riding trams in Kraków

August 5, 2010

By now, I’ve worked out which number trams go to and from Bronowice Małe, which is where I live. I’ve also figured out – today, in fact – that the 13 is best for me and stops right outside school.

Secondary options include the 8 and then the 4, in order of pragmatics.

But that’s not what I’m writing about.

What I’m writing about is what I see on the tram as I ride into and out of town. My eyes flick every which way when I’m on the tram and I spend between half a second and up to 2-3 seconds looking at something before my eyes flick away.

That, compared with the speed of the tram, makes for very interesting observations of the Cracovians. Like today, my eyes flicked onto a girl standing just in front of a lamppost and very near the road. She was holding an old grey mobile and, just as my eyes clapped onto her, she threw up her hands (only from the wrists, mind) in exasperation and furrowed her brow (I just wrote “burrowed her frow” and couldn’t work out what was wrong with it). That made me smile.

A little later, I clapped eyes onto a woman who was crossing the road. Behind her (the tram stopped here, so I had time to watch her walk away too) chased a girl in a green uniform. She reached the woman and gave her a piece of paper she was holding. The woman had lots of shopping in her hands, so she just took it in her hands with her. I assume what she said was “dziękuję” (thank you) and she carried on walking. The girl in green then turned back and jogged back into the shop where she assumedly works.

I see a lot of things like that – small interactions either with one’s own consciousness or the surroundings or with someone else in that fraction of a second that I’m sitting on the tram and looking at these people. I can’t remember them all now, but that’s not the point.

If I were any better and recording moments like this in film (or even in photograph), I’d make a short little tram-ride-length feature about it.

FYI, my tram-ride-length is currently 40-50 minutes. And that’s annoying.