Halina – our little traveler, while being extremely family creature, decided to visit her grandmother over the weekend, expressing it by saying, quote: “baba, dada”. It is widely known that Halina rules at home, so together with M, we started preparations for the trip to Ciechocinek, where grandmother saves her spine and enjoys life in sanatorium. Spa welcomed us with heat, the sound of disco polo and views of undressed bodies. This explosive mix made me want to use the help of a healer myself… And if I wanted to transform this thought into action, I wouldn’t have to look far for it. Such services are offered there at every corner by the Romani people, gathering in Ciechocinek because of the upcoming festival.

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But going back to naked bodies… Most of them (because of the sanatorium “profile” of the city) have their years of splendor already behind. Believe me, however, many and many of us could learn self-acceptance from them, because arent’t you impressed by a 70-year old “grandmother” in short mini skirt and red, 12 centimeters high heels?! You may ask why the grandma needs mini skirt? Well, all “dressed up”, she’s heading to one of the afternoon dancings starting at 15, where in the rhythm of Italian hits from the ’80s, she will be dancing sorounded by men at similar age. If you are extremely inquisitive, you will also ask why the events start at 15? The answer is simple – about 22, all spa guests must politely lie in their beds, and the ladies at the reception (according to eyewitness accounts) are particularly uncompromising on this issue. The same witnesses also reported that the adjective “politely” may be a slight abuse in this context. Because in sanatoriums, in addition to health, you can also retrieve your social and sex life. This sociological aspect of our expedition, which we meticulously discussed with M, wasn’t interesting for Halina.

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She was fascinated by fans, balloons and hairy, pink dogs that could be found on every stall. Because Ciechocinek is all about stalls! You can buy everything there – plaster gnomes, CDs with disco polo, jewellerry that looks like it was made from gold (seriously!) snd portable mud treatment (?!). This multitude of articles and the cross-industry approach to a client, aroused our sincere admiration, which we expressed by by purchasing Hala a little fan.

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After this extraordinary amount of experience, we had nothing else left to do than cooling in the fountain and going home. And although today’s kitschy atmosphere of Ciechocinek can rather make you smile, I will tell you frankly that in those few years, I would like to have so much energy to dance with M on the dance floor to the rhythm of the Italian hits.

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translation: Agnieszka Wawiórko