We came down the length of Poland. Last time I took this route, the bus driver had stopped beside a forest. We’d all jumped out and squatted behind trees. Mosquitoes snacked at our bare bottoms in the same way as we’d been eating sandwiches an hour before. This time the bus had a minuscule but perfectly functioning toilet. We rode long grew carpets. Motorways smooth and straight. All built with EU money that Poland has to pay back double or triple or twelve million fold.
We arrived in Zakopane late after sitting in stand-still traffic. We bundled gratefully out of the bus. Me, my mum, Lu, Delph and my grandma. Five of us made a crowd standing together. ‘Ok,’ my grandmother said, ‘let’s go.’ She took her light-weight walking sticks, looking decidedly more mountain-scaler than older person and began her way down the street.
‘Hey! What about the suitcases?’ my mum called after her. Crowds stood at the back of the bus while the conductor unloaded each suitcase.
My grandmother stopped. She looked back. She smiled her most charming smile.