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“Przekrój” Magazine brings to the English reader some of the best journalism from across Central and Eastern Europe, in such fields as culture, society, ecology and literature. Stand aside from the haste and fierceness of everyday news and join us now!

Przekrój
In this edition of “Conversations from the Playground”, the discussion is a little different – ...
2020-08-06 09:00:00
Conversations from the Playground

Everybody Knows
An Innocent Discussion About Youth

Everybody Knows

As a result of everybody knows what, we weren’t able to organize the next debate with the flower of Polish underage intelligence. As if what everybody knows wasn’t enough, in addition the table we meet at moved to a different kitchen, in a completely different house. The series is governed by its own laws, and it would be difficult for us to give up and accept the fact that in our quarterly’s summer edition it could just simply be missing. We decided to take risky steps. Because while the article was being prepared, people who live together were allowed to meet not only freely, but also without masks or the need to maintain social distance, we decided to concentrate on the circle closest to panellist Lu and the representative of “Przekrój”, who have been sharing various domiciles for more than seven years now.

Read in 3 minutes

What does living together actually mean? Do the residents of the falowiec block of flats in Gdańsk, Poland’s longest residential building, with 16 stairwells, 11 storeys and 1792 apartments, live together within the meaning of this law? We don’t know, but we managed to establish that Lu and “Przekrój” live one floor below the resolute Kornel. One thing led to another, and it turned out that in all his life Kornel has never had the pleasure of appearing on any kind of panel – and he would love to. Nor had he ever granted an interview, and as it would turn out a bit later, he had quite a few things to tell our Esteemed Readers.

To avoid tempting fate unnecessarily, we agreed to meet in the garden. “Przekrój” prepared our audio recorder with the appropriate windscreen.

Kornel, what do you imagine an interview is like? What’s it all about?

Kornel: I don’t know.

Generally one person asks questions, and the other answers in a way that will make them look as good as possible.

Lu: I don’t want to do that today. Nobody else does either.

Kornel: Oooooooooooo-kaaaaaay!

Lu: Can you not draw out your words?

Kornel: Iiiiiiiiii caaaaaaaaan!

What is youth? What does ‘young’ mean?

Lu: Youth is just simply that you’re young.

Kornel: That, that, that, that this...

Lu: That everything’s so beautiful, thin, delicate

Kornel: That like they saaaaaaaaiiiiid? That you don’t have grey hairs.

And if you have two?

Kornel: That’s still OK, you can’t have a whole head of them.

Lu: You have beautiful hair, you’re still small and in general everything is better.

Youth is better than age?

Kornel: Whaaat?

But young people often have less money than older ones.

Lu: But it’s still cool.

Kornel: And I have a wallet, and a full piggy-bank too.

I guess you also have bad moods?

Lu: I get these moods where I don’t want to do anything. And everything annoys me.

Kornel: Everybody has that mood. And I have a mum who’s 42 years old.

Lu: And I have a mum who’s 49.

Excuse me, how old?

Lu: [laughing] 39?

40!

Lu: OK, I have a mum who’s 40, and a dad who’s I don’t know how old.

Kornel: You’re young, don’t worry.

Lu: Yes, you’ll be young for a few more years. Maybe not too long, a couple more years. Mum, I don’t want you to get old!

Are you already dreaming of being grown up?

Kornel: Nooooooo!

Lu: Youth, only youth!

Kornel: Getting old is no fun. You just die.

Lu: That’s not true. My aunt is 50 and she hasn’t died. Don’t talk about my aunt!

You’re sitting at home these days. Would you prefer to go to work?

Kornel: Well, not so much, really, but my mum’s office is great, they have an espresso maker that can make cocoa, and even drinking chocolate. Whatever you want. You just press the button and there it is – the most delicious cocoa! And my dad works from home, I could say it’s a little boring. My mum also has a paper shredder, that shreds silly things. Can you imagine? It weighs five tonnes!

How are you dealing with staying at home?

Lu: No problem.

Kornel: My brother and I quarrel a lot, but he’s not around right now, because a tick bit him. Unfortunately.

Lu: It’s strange, everybody’s wearing masks.

Kornel: Yessss! Even the police! And I even saw the police arresting some lady, and even she had a mask!

Lu: Well, but not for that.

Kornel: Noooo, she hit another car.

Lu: OK, I don’t want to talk anymore.

Kornel: [leaning over the recorder] Iiiiiiii dooooooon’t eeeiiitheeeeer!

Lu: Kornel, stop that! We’ve all had enough!

And at that moment, everybody had had enough. Lu ran into the garden, Kornel ran off to the cat, “Przekrój” gave a sob of nostalgia for the meetings of our broader pool of regular panellists, whom we’d like to acknowledge at this time. Hanna, Wanda, Gutek, Hugo, Hania: see you next time!

Rawpixel, Flickr (CC BY 4.0)
Rawpixel, Flickr (CC BY 4.0)

Translated from the Polish by Nathaniel Espino

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