Teaching English in Poland with the APASS scheme

Lonely-Planet-Poland-Wilson-Neil-9781740595223.jpg

Source: http://www.betterworldbooks.com/lonely-planet-poland-id-174059522X.aspx

We went on a 36 hour road trip from London to Poland, stopping off in Germany for breakfast, squinting in the morning light , tradesmen opening their shutters. Thanks to the APASS scheme advert that used to be run I had noticed on the campus noticeboards at university.

We got to know each other on the coach. My roommate in the teachers residence came from Brighton. I was introduced to him on the coach.

We taught English classes that summer, constructing lesson plans about Wavel Cathedral, the place where the Hindu God Shiva was said to have thrown a magic stone, legend has it, the place remained unoccupied during the the Nazi occupation of World War II. The stone is said to be in the foundations, so that’s why you see people from the Hindu faith meditating in the area. Peace, not war, I suppose.

I constructed word search and crossword games for the students, to increase their vocabulary, however it always started with the most simple words of the English language, that was the way I had been taught to write. Along the way on the chessboard of life, making sense of it all, I learned Polish words, though my enunciation clearly needed work.
My accent was terrible. Carousing with the teachers on our time off at the bar, stupidly drunk I impressed some words upon the girls, as chat up lines, and it was quite easy to get girls’ numbers, I wrote them on a postcard I had bought on my sightseeing around the country. There was another British-Asian in Poland, who wore spectacles. He liked the attention of being one of the few Asians in the country. He enlisted on the APASS teaching scheme several times I had heard. He piqued the interest of the locals, who asked if he was Moroccan…

The girls in Poland are pretty. The men that accompany them are not as fashion conscious, handlebar mustaches with socks and sandals are the order of the day.

Vodka is the drink of the people. It’s drunk in the way beer is drunk in Britain.

One of the students came up to me to ask about the lyrics to some Red Hot Chili Peppers song. We took the students outdoors on the green. I played them a song, handing out the lyrics to High and Dry, a song by Radiohead.

Me and my roommate were in the teachers residence, there was a mosquito in the room, so he got out his lighter and sparked an aerosol spray to burn it. he slept in the opposite bed, and said I slept with my eyes slightly open, maybe I was stressed, I don’t sleep like that anymore.

© Zubyre Parvez 2016 All Rights Reserved

If you enjoyed this post, please share with colleagues, friends and family. To read further posts about travel check out the following:

On Teaching ABC English in Mexico

The EaghamsWRITER BIO: Zubyre Parvez (BA hons) studied English Literature at Hertfordshire University. He writes song lyrics, poetry, short stories, reviews, and articles for The Taoist Crucible.  His poetry won runners up in a competition judged by Simon Armitage and Margaret Atwood. His poetry has been published in Kobita. His articles have appeared in The Epoch Times as a journalist for the newspaper. He has worked for New Tang Dynasty Television as a journalist. You can catch up with his tweets @TheEaghams

ARTIST BIO:The Eaghams aka Zubyre Parvez is an Urban Indie singer songwriter from London. His song The Roots was played on BBC 1Xtra by DJ Excalibuh. He has collaborated with artists such as Mr Hectic and Jason Air formerly of Island records. He has played at The Garage, and various open mics.

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The Twenties

Maybe you went to University, accepted onto a course that cost thousands of pounds, when you did your additions, having spent the lot on traveling between semesters. History of Art, English Literature, mechanical engineering or any other course of your choice. Maybe you went to freshers week, finding the location and people refreshing. Maybe you worked as a clerk during your twenties and progressed to Administrator, the paperwork of so much form filling bureaucracy, small spaces you can hardly explain yourself, or be legible inside.

Maybe on the weekend you dressed to kill at Fabric, powders that brewed plots, make up that was unrelentingly you.
Maybe on your weekend you huddled at the bar with your mates, maybe you were a tea coloured Asian drinking Perrier whilst you drove your mates home, always being an example of goodness and teetotal.

zu-s

Source: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d753818-Reviews-Zu_s-London_England.html

Maybe you smoked sheesha, taking after the Arabian princes, you as firey as a gun, the mist in Zu’s, the Moroccan decor turquoise, eating chicken shawarmas over donners. Maybe the graffiti artists who were accosted sprayed wildly the words ‘virgin zone’ for their own code of values we don’t know. Maybe the Pride and Prejudice gallantry of Mr Darcy style introductions were lost in other parts of London, but this was East London, not West.

Maybe the businessmen were shrewd, though this was the area that produced James Caan the millionaire, a standard of integrity, perhaps. Yet they spoke of limited goods, that you should purchase from a good friend – the business partner, passing on his number in city slickness.

Maybe as soon as you saw an alpha male you asked him the price of his Pumas, seeing who was cotching in his ride. Maybe you were listening to grime on the estate full of vitality, getting your hands dirty in the city. The grime atmospheric and gothic. You got promoted and start listening to the upmarket jazz your laidback employer, an executive at the firm listened to on suede and leather headphones.

Maybe you stayed at home with old teddies, your imagination spread out on the dog-eared page, reading historical fiction. Maybe you were in the Boleyn, playing pool wondering how you would escape the dive in your small group of friends’ pretension, listening to old Smiths records.

Maybe you staggered in drunk off your head on Stella Artois, in halls at 3am, your room full of posters affixed to the walls of Radiohead, of The Verve, of Starsailor. Maybe the music came alive when you were bright eyed and drunk, as if you could get inside the music.

Maybe you travelled a lone wolf to the wildernesses of South America drinking Ayahuasca tea feeling close to nature and the tribal spirit.

Stealing expensive price tags, in your community service you were tagged on the ankle tracking your movements, when the beat showed up arms of the law and fists of the law banging on the door, with clubs on entry, thumping house music turned down. You were sold on the advertisers quick fix, images of what took years to acquire in a snapshot or framed on some Instagram picture.

Maybe you were on company days off throwing stones into the sea at the beach and your impact the concentric rings expanded beyond your circle in London, your presence felt you were a stones throw away from the company headquarters, at the the hub, you were promoted to further departments. Your curriculum vitae your virtue was filled with skills and experience, nothing was Greek to you, you changed roles, you always played the clown.

To read the further pieces in this series please click the following links:

The Thirties

The Fifties

© Zubyre Parvez 2016 All Rights Reserved The EaghamsWRITER BIO: Zubyre Parvez (BA hons) studied English Literature at Hertfordshire University. He writes song lyrics, poetry, short stories, reviews, and articles for The Taoist Crucible.  His poetry won runners up in a competition judged by Simon Armitage and Margaret Atwood. His poetry has been published in Kobita. His articles have appeared in The Epoch Times as a journalist for the newspaper. He has worked for New Tang Dynasty Television as a journalist. You can catch up with his tweets @TheEaghams

ARTIST BIO:The Eaghams aka Zubyre Parvez is an Urban Indie singer songwriter from London. His song The Roots was played on BBC 1Xtra by DJ Excalibuh. He has collaborated with artists such as Mr Hectic and Jason Air formerly of Island records. He has played at The Garage, and various open mics.

The Fifties

As mammoth as auntie was she was still old-fashioned, her vintage music collection was as mushy as the flavours of the 70s, she feasted on. Her views were still as old as the subcontinent and her pride made her belong to the past, not the present. She was in a deep old rut and there she wished to be in all her passion and heavy fervour. A stick in the mud, you try to wave in the air. The clockwork precision. Rambunctious by the heavy cemented pillars. I’ll try something new if variety is the spice of life, who am I , not just a race, I wouldn’t fight with you, Old Auntie, dexterity eludes the slow moving elephant of your nostalgia and undoes you.

I can’t remember, but that keeps us casting ourselves out there far from your enclosure of space, the fresh new waters.

If you are going to draw on 70s music, let’s make something new of it. Check out this tune by AZ called World Don’t Stop. I am particularly fond of this remix version, I hope you like it too.

If you would like to read the further pieces in this series please see the following links:

The Twenties

The Thirties

The EaghamsWRITER BIO: Zubyre Parvez (BA hons) studied English Literature at Hertfordshire University. He writes song lyrics, poetry, short stories, reviews, and articles for The Taoist Crucible.  His poetry won runners up in a competition judged by Simon Armitage and Margaret Atwood. His poetry has been published in Kobita. His articles have appeared in The Epoch Times as a journalist for the newspaper. He has worked for New Tang Dynasty Television as a journalist. You can catch up with his tweets @TheEaghams

ARTIST BIO:The Eaghams aka Zubyre Parvez is an Urban Indie singer songwriter from London. His song The Roots was played on BBC 1Xtra by DJ Excalibuh. He has collaborated with artists such as Mr Hectic and Jason Air formerly of Island records. He has played at The Garage, and various open mics.

The Thirties

The Thirties



By The Eaghams 

When you're thirty five, you've traveled far and wide and read broadly, made some progress in a career, had a relationship or two, listened to some cool artists and bands, watched some classic movies. Maybe you've calmed down and drink Nescafe, (as the advertisements expect you when you reach your 30s) and go to restaurants, have a good mate from the early years - you reap what you sow. Maybe you're at a crossroads, maybe the road is level.

Maybe, the clubs are something you can revisit. Maybe the old group of your mates have scattered. Some married, some abroad, some doing new careers.

Maybe what worked for you was trial and error, and in your experimentation you went too far, run-ins with the law, or perhaps transcendence of some kind. Maybe conformity was your thing, to watch and follow suit, and not to set yourself so free you'd wind up having to define yourself anew.

Maybe you're wiser, maybe more reluctant, maybe more steadfast.

Maybe you don't need the dramas of your 20s, that art would do your sense of perspective good.

Maybe that although you'd been there and done that and got the t-shirt, it didn't portend anything too much as you were onto getting the whole suit and the three piece.

Maybe the concerts were a fire you could burn again in and experience didn't get in the way of whats new.

Maybe it's not that were thirty five that makes us more cautious but the playing out of events in our lives, the betrayals and dishonor.

Maybe others hardships made us steer clear and withdraw, maybe all the hype wasn't what it was supposed to be for, and withdrawing some hasn't been so bad if it's peace that we want, at least some of the time.

Maybe the incessant purchases of mp3s each week makes our jobs worthwhile, for the days off, the days of our lives.

Maybe it's our little obsessions that makes life sweeter, the being all dressed up is somewhere to go and if nothing happens maybe it does, but so slowly that you've already done so much, and culture our wardrobe.

If you would like to read the further pieces in this series please click on the following links:

The Twenties

The Fifties

© Zubyre Parvez 2016 All Rights Reserved

The EaghamsWRITER BIO: Zubyre Parvez (BA hons) studied English Literature at Hertfordshire University. He writes song lyrics, poetry, short stories, reviews, and articles for The Taoist Crucible.  His poetry won runners up in a competition judged by Simon Armitage and Margaret Atwood. His poetry has been published in Kobita. His articles have appeared in The Epoch Times as a journalist for the newspaper. He has worked for New Tang Dynasty Television as a journalist. You can catch up with his tweets @TheEaghams