Poland – the Nude Europe Adventure Begins
The Nude Europe Trip Begins!
Nude Europe – On Monday I arrived in Poland. The so-called “New Europe.” Where a new naturist federation formed two years ago.
Thirty kilometers from the airport in Wroclaw (Yes, you read me right. Kilometers. I have no idea how far that is and yes that is the letter “L” with a line through it. Interestingly it sounds like a “W” whereas the first “W” in the name of that town sounds like a “V” while the second “W” sounds like an “F” and the “C” sounds like the “ts” in the word “cats” giving you – never mind. Welcome to Europe.) I found a Polish-style used car lot. It was six cars parked along the side of the road. Pieces of xerox paper taped to the inside of the windows spelled out the make, the model, and some numbers with commas in between them that I don’t quite understand. None of the cars had radios. Where a radio should have been were wires sticking out in every direction. I didn’t ask.
One of the six cars was the car my uncle had suggested I buy. It was a Ford Mondeo, which over the phone had sounded like Fort Monday, oh! I had never heard of such a car. It was not something I thought Ford would make. I was afraid Fort was more than a phonetic mishandling. Like the Somy television I had once watched where the soccer player’s pants had been stretched out two feet behind him. Yet there was the logo. Just like in America. Ford. Minus a radio.
I passed on the Mondeo. In town I found an Escort for sale from 1997. Same Ford Logo. Same xerox paper taped to the window. This one had something different. It had a radio. Air conditioning. Power windows. The mileage read 50,000. I realized the odometer had only five digits. Clever.
I took the Escort for a test-drive. The owner said his wife had used it to visit her parents. She didn’t need it anymore. The wheels squeaked but otherwise the car handled itself well. The engine stalled twice but that’s not ususual when you’re gauging a car’s manual transmission for the first time. It’s something you have to get used to.
I agreed to buy the car. I drove it myself down to the bank so I could withdraw cash. The man took cash for a very specific reason that I will not get into but unfortunately when I came back to the car and tried to unlock the door the key would not work. My uncle called up the man. He forgot to tell us the lock on the driver’s side was busted. To open the door on the passenger side you had to jiggle the key a certain way. He drove down to the bank to show us. We bargained down the price a bit. (It looked like a lot more on paper. Reference above.) Cash changed hands.
I took the car to a garage to get it inspected. Everything seemed fine. The mechanics told me I got a good deal. Until the car went up on the lift. They saw the rotten spot behind the wheel. They started jabbing at it. A hole formed. It got bigger. Half the frame ended up on the floor. My uncle suggested I take it to another mechanic. “The kind you don’t have to pay,” he said, winking. I didn’t know what he meant. But I am glad he’s my godfather.
I went to buy insurance. It turns out the previous owner wasn’t just shunning his in-laws. His wife had caused an accident. The premium on the Ford Escort had gone sky-high. Funny how that hadn’t been mentioned. When I went to see the new mechanic he gave me the bad news. The engine stalls when it’s cold. Here I thought it was my clumsiness with the clutch. He says it’s not even worth fixing. I said never mind. I got behind the wheel. I turned on the air conditioning. Thank God it works. I went to turn it off. The knob broke off in my hand.