The Vagina Cafe Concert in Poland
The Vagina Cafe Review:
Freedom Plaza is one of three market squares in the town of Bielsko-Biala. It is the first encountered when heading west from the main thorough-fare along November 11th Street, which celebrates not just the end of World War I, but the birth of Polish independence after 125 years of foreign occupation. It is the perfect place for a café called Vagina.
Darek drove me to Freedom Plaza. We were heading to Gosia’s other business. As we approached the traditional outdoor umbrellas branded with the name of Lech beer everything seemed ordinary. I passed a collection of bicycles for rent. I noticed one of them sported a rainbow colored cannabis leaf on its frame. A light pole was tightly wrapped in a multi-colored spider’s web of yarn.
There were mannequins in front of the doorway which led down a hall littered with more mannequins wearing crochet vests and dresses. The hall opened on a narrow courtyard. An umbrella made of yarn hung upside-down on a wire. A woman with dreads in her hair sat with a pair of men underneath an umbrella. Upon closer inspection the dreads too were made of the same multicolored yarn. A sign on the wall read, “Babukatorium. A meeting with Hungarian culture.”
The woman with the dreads was Babuka. She was a crochet artist. She was looking for her hook. A pair of local girls had taken it. They kept coming up to her to feel her dreads. “I never need a pillow,” explained Babuka to me later. “I always carry one with me.” She let me rest my head against them. I had to admit it was comfortable. The girls made her promise to make some for them.
Musicians showed up. A band was scheduled to perform outside in the square. Their equipment had been stashed in a bathroom adjoining the courtyard. One of them saw me with my camera. He asked if I might be able to photograph the concert. Their own photographer was missing. Naturally I agreed.
The MCS Blues Band played more than one encore. Babuka danced in the square with the children. It was unfortunate that a sizable crowd didn’t form until towards the end. A competing concert had been taking place nearby. When the Blues Band was done a crowd formed at the Vagina Café.
The atmosphere was festive. Unfortunately a party had been planned that same night at the nude sauna. Darek was meant to DJ. He left the concert early but came back soon saying that only two couples had showed up. He blamed the weather. It was turning into a cold night.
At some point that evening one of the children gave me a hat that had been made out of a long balloon. The main bit was bent into a circle and the remainder jutted straight out. I tactfully arranged the hat so that the bit that jutted out faced backwards. Somebody had the bright idea to turn it around. Gosia laughed. It reminded her of a chuj, a dirty Polish word for part of the male anatomy.
In the circumstances it seemed appropriate.