While I’d rather go on holiday with Voltaire than Mother Teresa, I’m generally pretty laid back about religion. It’s a rum do being human and we all have to make what we can of it in our own way. However,
Polish catholicism has pushed things a bit too far.
The danger sign the first time I was in Gdansk was the well-combed children eating their reward for good behaviour post-church ices. I was aware it was Sunday but was unprepared for all the museums being closed. This time the warning signs were more subtle. Soldiers cavorting in formation along the waterfront and far too many people dressed up as if
they were going to church.
After an interesting stroll around Gdynia and 20 minutes of gross misbehaviour by Google Maps, I find my bookshop, dreaming of a slim volume of pics explaining the buildings I’d looked at. But all was closed as it was Assumption Day (when Mary went to heaven, unclear to me (and a lot of others I suspect) whether she was supposed to have died or not
(dormition)) and Armed Forces Day. This made me long for Gustaf II Adolf to rise from the dead and sweep down to restore the Baltic coast to its previous protestantism (though preferably without junkers..). Most of my contacts with Polish culture and its people have been agreeable but their faiblesse for Catholicism is a weak point. Like a bone-deprived dog, I get a bit growly when deprived of a planned book.