Illustrated; 68 pages
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“Over hamburgers sold!”
|excerpt: Jadwiga story No. 2: The green card|
additional Jadwiga stories since publication of the book
You might call Jadwiga a mail order bride – my brothers and I do. But she was not ordered; she volunteered. As you will be able to tell from the stories, Jadwiga does not take orders (although she was clerking in a convenience store in when I found her). She gives orders.
Pronunciation: “yahd-VEE-gah.” In the late 14th century a Queen Jadwiga ruled Poland, and Jadwiga is a popular name there. The name has no English equivalent. The closest translation is to the German name Hedwig.
These are stories of an immigrant’s adjustment, in midlife,
to a new culture – and of the new culture’s adjustment to her. They are true stories, all (although some names have been changed).
She's no Polish joke – but her husband might be!
– The Author
Now that Jadwiga had her green card (it’s pink, by the way), she could work again. This is what she did.
It is said that having a Polish cleaning lady is a status symbol for an upwardly mobile middle class African-American family in Chicago. Finding no UMMCAA’s here in our rural County in Kentucky, Jadwiga found an elderly German widow on the other side of the river to work for. Both were very happy with the arrangement (and Jadwiga made more money than I did some weeks).
The German widow, Lotte, spoke extremely halting English and knew no Polish, and Jadwiga spoke extremely halting English and knew no German. So the two of them communicated with each other in pidgin English – but, one of them in German pidgin and the other in Polish pidgin; and it was not at all clear that either of them had the slighest idea what the other was saying. It was quite entertaining to overhear the conversations. I could have sold tickets . . . .
Jadwiga story No. 36: The red T-shirt
polska.jpg "Polska" is Polish for "Poland." The emblem on the shirt is Poland's national emblem. The colors are those of thge Polish flag. And where did Jadwiga find this shirt? At the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Brownsville, Ky., where she works, of course. . . .
Jadwiga story No. 48: Polish cuisineI have been fed only potato salad, potato soup, and potato chips today.
– Marysia F.
Now top it off with some medicinal potato vodka.
– Gary L.
I hope you are well.
What’s the alcohol they make from potatoes? Have any of that, too? ;-)
– The Blenster
We actually have a Polish potato vodka in the house right now, which Jadwiga purchased on our last trip to the liquor store, Luksusowa.
I’m glad that both of you are having fun.
– Marysia F.
Looked it up as I’d never heard of vodka made from potatoes. Not only did it show Luksusowa vodka but informed me that vodka can also be made from fruit or just plain sugar.
– Carole O.
And Jadwiga does not even drink! She quit drinking years ago, not long after I quit smoking. . . .
How funny – that means it will last her a long time.
–Renée R .
I’m not a vodka drinker, but that sounds tasty. Does it have a potato taste?
– Fred D.
Tastes like a deadly chemical. Gary and I greatly prefer our homemade “ropa.”
Which is another reason it will last us a long time.