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Lukasz’s first chance to see the non-communist world was when he was 8 years old and had just finished his first year of school.
He and his mother went to Paris for an entire month. It was also the first time ever when Lukasz travelled by plane.
They stayed at Lukasz’s father’s family — cousin Henryk and his wife Alicja whom Lukasz always liked a lot, both of them, and who later visited Lukasz and his parents in Poland on several occasions always bringing with them as a gift half a dozen bars of dark chocolate (uncle Henryk’s favourite, but turned out Lukasz liked them too), coffee, and maybe some other products of that sort which weren’t easily available in Poland at that time, plus some Francs for Lukasz (which always seemed a lot and probably was a lot, especially for a Polish kid).
Their son Martin who was 5 years Lukasz’s senior went away for holidays, so they didn’t meet the entire month.
Strangely there are no pictures of that trip, only memories.
Things Lukasz remembered from this month in Paris:
- driving with uncle Henryk from the airport,
- playing tennis with uncle Henryk,
- having pain au chocolat, or white bread with Nutella and orange juice for breakfast,
- juggling a soccer ball in the garden at the back of the house and being told by uncle Henryk that if he stayed in Paris he would enrol him for PSG (Paris Saint Germain) soccer academy for young boys,
- being taught by aunt Alicja how to properly clean the bathtub after using it,
- seeing aunt Alicja take care of her vegetables and chickens (she didn’t have many of them — just so that they could have their own eggs),
- visiting the popular discount department store TATI,
- walking with his mother to the train station from where they would take the train to downtown Paris,
- seeing Centre Pompidou (from the outside, the building).
He also remembers that when he showed up at his school in September people were surprised he came back to Poland. They were certain he would stay in Paris.