. Funny thing is that Poland is talking about raising its coal output once again (though most of it is super deep) as a means of energy security and Big Bear russia plans to build a pipeline under the Baltic to supply western Europe with gas (circumventing Poland as a transit country, hence the Poles are up in arms fearing that russia may once again try to wage war against them by turning off the gas as they did recently with the Ukrainians). Anyway this seemed to be a popular topic of conversation amongst the Poles along with the 'colorful-sorry-won't-last-for-long' coalition now in parliament that married a populast left-wing farmers party with a right-wing catholic, nationalist party and a sorta moderate big-business party all led by two twin brothers that a german newspaper recently called the 'two potatoes' on the Wisla (the main river through Poland). Anyway all of this good conversation took place over lot's of (you guessed it) eating and drinking.
I headed over to the Polish region of Silesia (Slask po polsku) to visit some friends and family. The region is still heavily industrial as it has been for the last 100 or so years. In fact most of the area was controled by Germany until the end of WWII (yes, I am know back in a country that calls the even World War II and here the war officially started in 1939). My train ride from Krakow was kinda funny for that train sped along at a seemingly normal speed of 120km per hour until it reached Myslowice (an old mine) where it poked along at like 60km per hour until it eventually pulled into Katowice 90 minuntes later. Turns out that the reason the train went so slow is that so much coal has been improperly removed from the area that the ground is slowly sinking beneath the tracks, so the train has to go slow to reduce the risk of derailment. My family there (mostly veterans of the once properous coal mining industry) told me that this problem is occurring throughout the region and that many buildings have been severely damaged as a result