Auschwitz Christmas ornaments on Amazon? Why not! That's our weird start this week before turning to the long, strange death of Tesco in Poland, more bad news for a possible Metro system in Krakow, a tragic accident leaves eight people dead after a gas explosion, lots of gold comes home from the UK, Krakow will spend 6,500,000,000zl next year, Unity Centre is coming along, horse racing on Błonia and Ukrainian border guards are assholes.
With our special guest commentator this week—Jonathan Ornstein of the Krakow JCC—we start with the bizarre phenomenon of Black Friday in Poland before moving on to other things, like discovering that we apparently live in the most anti-Semitic country IN THE WORLD!!! Then it's Angela Merkel and her upcoming visit to Auschwitz, the obligatory discussion of trains and trams, something about Swiss Francs (some us stopped listening then) and a great story about drunk driving involving a horse.
New and higher taxes (it's always higher, isn't it?) on cigarettes and alcohol are our starting point this week before we move on to the related subject of smuggled cigarettes, an unwanted Jan Sobieski statue, yet another "gate" discovery delays renovations on Ul. Krakowska, a stolen bank card gets used a lot, graffiti "artists" get busted, unpaid parking tickets, parliamentary tricks and more.
Starting in January, stores will be closed every Sunday (with 7 exceptions throughout the year). Listen as we discuss this controversial law and wonder who the hell wanted it in the first place.
Yeah, the title is too easy but we couldn't resist after a Krakow tram driver was busted for watching porn while working. That's our starting point this week before moving on to Nazis on Netflix, Poland's new Climate Minister, Russian gas, smog and old furnaces, the end of Nowa Huta and an update on Wisła Kraków's tragicomic season.
Robert Lewandowski is Poland's most famous sports figure and for good reason. Listen as we discuss Dave's major man-crush on the striker and what makes him so amazing (Lewandowski, not Dave).
Starting from November 11, Poles no longer need to have a visa to travel to the United States. In this episode we discuss an issue that has long been an obsession in the media and try to decide if no one really cares or if Poland will be empty in six months.
We're back after a break and there's a lot to talk about. We start with national news, including death in a Wrocław strip club and Donald Tusk (no connection). After that, it's local Krakow news like the death of bike sharing, the wrong kind of drama at the Bagatela Theater, the end of Dolnych Młynów (again), graffiti and "security" cameras and Wisła Kraków is a disaster (again).
Andrzej Gołota was about twelve minutes away from becoming heavyweight champion of the world but his own dumb choices took his career in another direction. His bad habit of fighting dirty returned at the worst possible time and he lost TWO shots at the title in the same bizarre but amusing way before starting a downward spiral that resulted in some of the most embarrassing losses you'll ever see. Listen as we discuss the strange career of Poland's most famous boxer and be a witness to the birth of the term "Penis Punch".
In our last news in October, we start with a couple of post-election political stories before moving on to small nuclear power plants, more delays on ul. Dietla, the Angel Stradom renovation goes wrong, a new park on ul. Karmelicka, an Australian tries to exchange play money at a kantor and how do kantors make money anyway?
Ok, we're cheating here a little bit because this is not really a "Short History". It's more of an overview of Krakow's 10,000* universities (* not the actual number). Listen and learn the basics about the most familiar names when it comes to higher education in our city and work your way through the alphabet soup of UJ AGH PK AWF UP OMG LOL ETC.
We're talking about election results this week even though we're late to this party. After discussing about fifty different aspects of last week's big news, we move on to blind people and scooters (not ON scooters), a tram line gets cancelled before it exists, the city increases the (low) rent in their properties and a happy ending on Plac Szczepanski.
They play it 96 times every day, and you may have heard it once or twice, but do you know what it's all about? Are we commemorating the Mongol raids of the Middle Ages or was the legend created less than 100 years ago for American children? Oh, yeah–spoiler alert. Listen and learn more about the soundtrack to any walk through Krakow's Main Square.
We recorded this two days before the elections, so we'll come back to that subject next week. This time, we start by giving Dave credit for predicting the city's response to abandoned scooters before talking about how the trams returned to Bronowice and failed immediately. Then it's Olga Tokarczuk winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, Chinese tourism to Krakow and the Crazy Chicken on the city's coat of arms.
It's time to decide who's going to sit in the Polish parliament for the next four years and we're here to talk about the parties, people and issues in play. Get out there and vote! Or don't. You know, whatever...
If you weren't in Poland about 15 years ago, you might not know that Adam Małysz was mega-famous for being really good at jumping off mountains. When he wasn't doing that, he was appearing on every TV, billboard, magazine and newspaper in the country while promoting basically every product sold on the planet. Ok, slight exaggeration. Still, he was a big deal and in this episode of KrakCast Profiles we talk about the "Małyszomania" that ruled in Poland.
After complaining about the return of students to Krakow, we dive into the news, starting with a new runway at Krakow's airport, important news for people with mortgages in Swiss Francs, the death of Kornel Morawiecki, "Polish death camps" (NOT OUR WORDS!), the intensity of Polish mushroom season and Dave's hatred of mountain climbing.
We watched the 2014 film "Bogowie" ("Gods"), available now on Netflix and, um, "shareable" if you need subtitles. It's based on the true story of the first heart transplant in Poland and very much worth your time if you're looking to get into Polish cinema. Check out our review and discussion of the real-life events behind the story.
This week we start with some women who were fired (apparently) from their jobs with the Church in Krakow for being single mothers (maybe) before moving on to what to do with new land that has appeared under local railroad tracks, another plan to make electric scooters illegal, someone on the Krakow city council who obviously doesn't give a ****, Neckermann causes problems for Polish tourists, Tesco won't kill your carp this year and CELINE DION!!!
In the last of our profiles on politicians, we talk about the head of the Law & Justice Party (PiS), Jarosław Kaczyński. Whether you see him as the Darth Vader of Polish politics or the Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're sure to learn something from this KrakCast profile.