So this year I had my first traditional Polish Christmas Eve. It was in Wales. Due to various circumstances Pani Williams and I sadly weren’t able to get back to Ohio, TG to celebrate with her half of the family. Instead we decided to have the Polish Christmas Eve on the 24th for my family at our house and the traditional British Christmas Day on the 25th at my parents’ house. It would be the best of both worlds. Nothing could go wrong…
''You've never been to Gwarki? You're lucky!''
That's is what I heard many times from my friends and family in Tarnowskie Gory. Well, they didn't all say ''You're lucky'', some said ''You have a luck'', which is technically incorrect but had the same message – don't bother going.
In 2005 I wanted to teach English in Poland. I chose Poland because my grandfather was from Mazury, but really it wasn’t important which part of the country I went to. I put my CV on the international teaching website and had job offers from places I had never even heard of, like Tarnowskie Gory. I played email tennis with Golden Gate owner Rafal Drewniak for a few weeks and we spoke on the phone once or twice and, after consideration, he convinced this Gorol to come to Silesia and work for him.
Alina Myszka was my colleague, flatmate and friend. She played a starring role in my first and most important year in Poland ten years ago and when I walk around Tarnowskie Gory she will be in my mind now and forever. As long as I have memories I’ll have Alina.
In Galeria in May this year, that being 2015, current Golden Gate Native Speaker Ben Sixsmith and I performed a beautiful acoustic song by Green Day called Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life). We performed it acoustically. Did we perform it beautifully? I don’t really care. We played it as well as we could and we did so in honour of Alina Myszka – an English Native Speaker from 2005 to 2006 and, really, the last female Native Speaker who ever had an impact at Golden Gate. She unfortunately died in April but isn’t forgotten.