Life in Poland

Independence and Bubbles

Here in Poland, our little Polish/American (or American/Polish if you wish) family celebrated July 4th czyli American Independence Day. It was a blast.

Truth be told, my sister is famous for her legendary 4th of July parties. Three years ago we happened to be in the States for her party, and we were not disappointed. I think the whole town was there. We stopped counting when we reached a hundred people. And the food…so good. The best part of all was the hour-long firework show thanks to my brother-in-law’s completed course and certification in firework handling (?) and my father’s deep pockets. 
We finally found the flag that we purchased at Target last year. It was in a safe place that we couldn’t remember. We also found a great fireworks store, but decided not to burn the whole village down and opted for sparklers only, so-called “zimny ognie” in Polish which translates to “cold fire”.
Here’s how our flag presented on the barn door.

Our romantic country netting fared much worse as it was windy and wasps kept getting trapped inside.

It found a new home.

I almost forgot that before the party we hit a local flea market and came out with these great party finds.

It was hot as hell yesterday so we did our best to stay cool. Some of us were chilling in the shade of the barn.

The rest of us enjoyed the low-tech fun of getting sprayed with the hose. That water’s straight from the spigot in the basement, and it was c-o-l-d!


The loft in the barn is always an attraction for our little guests and for their parents a nice reminder of childhoods spent with grandparents. 

We also organized a scavenger hunt. It wasn’t too complicated, but the kids’ natural rivalry came out. They were running around despite the heat trying to be the first to complete their list. Here are two little ladies presenting their findings to the judge.

Our village had a small festival as well. There was no occasion. I suppose our local municipality got some money and had to use it up. Or I can pretend that it was in my honor. There were games and competitions for kids, some small rides, a water curtain, popcorn, cotton candy, etc. Our girls and their guests came home with arms full of prizes. Forgive the picture above, but this man fascinated me throughout the whole festival. I don’t know if it was the no-shirt and suspenders combination or the fact that he had the suspenders hitched to his jeans in the back, but hitched to his underpants in the front. Additionally these suspenders were in no way doing their job of keeping his trousers up. He deserved a prize too.

We ended the day with sparklers which I didn’t catch a picture of because I was having too much sparkler fun myself and also with bubbles using my own homemade bubble concoction which worked perfectly if I do say so myself.

All in all, it was a great day.
Here’s my very imprecise recipe for bubble mix:
I mixed everything in a big jar of water. I added about a 1/2 cup good quality dishwashing liquid. Here in Europe “Fairy” which is “Dawn” in the States. Next I added a little 50 gram bottle of glycerin. I don’t know if that is too little or too much. After that I added a teaspoon or less of baking powder. All of that was sufficient for making bubbles, but the bubbles didn’t want to come off the wand, they weren’t reflective, and they popped right away. Google to the rescue, I discovered I was missing a key ingredient – some kind of polymer to help the bubbles along. We found that polymer at the pharmacy in the form of Durex 2 in 1 lubricant similar to KY jelly. I added a couple of squirts only. After that the bubbles came right out of the wands, were big and colorful, and lasted a long time. My mix was a bit concentrated so I transferred it to a plastic bottle and then diluted individual portions with water. 
Give it a try!

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  • Reply
    July 6, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Looks like everyone had a blast on the 4th! As expats, you learn to adapt no matter where you go! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 7, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Love your bubble mix 🙂 Expecially the last addition.Unfortunately in Cracow it's so hot, that even thoug we have a small pool in the garden kids don't even want to go outside, it's to hot for them. Thirthy-odd Celcius in shadow… Frape in hand, lost of ice in the fridge and i can keep going.Nina, Cracow

  • Reply
    July 8, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Joy – But nobody wanted to sing the Star Spangled Banner:(Nina – Yes, you shouldn't ask fthe pharmacists for the biggest bottle and explain that you're having a party ;)It's pretty hot here but we hit the local swimming hole to cool off and play in the sand. Keep cool!

  • Reply
    July 16, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Chris, your next post \”Patriotism po polsku II\” has disappeared…

  • Reply
    July 16, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Yes, I deleted it. I posted it to replace the pictures which disappeared from the original post but then I figured out how to return them to the original. So they are all there now in Patriotism po polsku from last November.

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