My name is Katy, and I was the first resident native female English speaker at Golden Gate. Six months’ in, on March 14, 1994, I wrote in my journal, “I thought yesterday, while standing outside my office [Golden Gate], what will I remember of this in 20 years? What will I take with me? Life is like a puzzle. Everywhere you go, everyone you encounter, adds another piece.” When Rafal asked me to write this 30-year Anniversary essay, I thought of that journal entry.
I spent a long time in Tarnowskie Gory (for a native). While Pan Williams may be fast approaching my seven years in total, I still hold pride in the fact I'm the longest serving native consecutively. I arrived in Poland on a grey Tuesday in October 2010; within my first 24 hours I had discovered the cost of cigarettes, held a photo shoot featuring blue berets, and been driven to Tesco at midnight for 'supplies'. When I left in the summer of 2017, I left with a broken nose, the ability to play drums, and a broader sense of people and the world. Not bad for a choice I made spontaneously; to move to Poland, because 2010 England sucked.