I would like to apologize for that there has not been another Absurdistan recently – i am in the middle of a complicated relocation process from Glasgow to Helsinki.
But i don’t want you to feel left out. Luckily, Poland delivers as always, so I don’t have to do much work. I just translate.
Let me introduce you to some background first. To a surprise of everyone, a strange benches based in a Poland-shaped shelter in a Russian colours (I guess the creator of this wanted them to be in Polish colours and added blue for contrast, but obviously never thought it through) started to pop up in various places.
Ciekawostki ze świata: mamy w Rzeszowie nową ławkę. Z obszernym regulaminem. Nie można na nią wchodzić ze zwierzętami, na ławce mogą przebywać max 3 osoby, a ludzie czekający w kolejce(!) do odpoczynku muszą oczekiwać minimum 1,5 metra od instalacji pic.twitter.com/DKXOwSBuo2
— Matka Kebaboska (@MarksMikkelsen) August 29, 2022
The benches were fitted with a ridiculous users manual. The investigation unveiled that this is actually a part of a government project. The benches are located in strategic places, and if you sit at them you cam admire some of the newest projects constructed by this government. There will be 16 of them in total and the whole project was worth 1.6 million PLN, which makes each of the benches worth about 100 000 zł. Progress. You might remember independence benches – those were only 30 000 a piece…
So for the price of not even two of such wooden holiday homes suitable for all year living, you can get a bench in a Poland-shape shelter. A bench, that is not accessible to disabled people in the shelter that won’t protect you neither from the rain or the sun.
And this is why the users manual is needed. Because you can expect that most people will know how to sit on the bench. But using a symbol? Thats a different story.
So sit back and get educated.
BYE-LAWS FOR USING THE BENCH
„WITH POLISH FLAG”
WITH USERS MANUAL
1. „The bench” is an instalation designed for recreation and rest, composed of the seat, Poland-shaped stillage along with thestairs and a podium secured with chain
2. It is mandatory for people wishing to use the bench to read this regulations and observe them.
3. The bench is provided for use by adults and children, however children under 12 should be supervised by adults when using it at all time.
4. The bench can be occupied by maximum of three persons at the time, but their total combined weight could not exceed 225 kgs
5. Entering and leaving the bench should only be conducted by the stairs provided while holding the railing. The stairs are located on the back of the installation.
6. The bench should be used solely in the seating position, the person using it should hold the armrests and ensure his or her back is pressed against backrest.
7. It is forbidden to:
– stand on the bench
– seat on the backrest of the bench
– jumping on the bench
– jumping down from the bench
– seating and being present on the bench if damaged
– using speaker system and other noise-generating equipment
– using open fire
8. Installation should be used only for its intended use.
9. On the bench, and in its immediate surroundings, there is a total ban on consuming alcoholic beverages, psycho-active drugs, smoking tobbaco, e-cigarettes and using open fire.
10. Persons awaiting their turn to use the bench should do so outside the immediate surrounding of the installation, no closer than 1.5 metres from it.
11. It is not allowed to enter and use the bench with dangerous items that could pose risk for themselves and other people [yes, this is what the document says, THEMSELVES and other people – T.O.] and also with the mean of transport (i.e. bicycles, scooters, roller blades, buggies etc.)
12. It is not permitted to use and be present on the bench with animals.
13. In case of not observing those rules, persons breaking them might be asked to uncoditionally vacate the beanch and leave the installation
14. The administrator takes no responsibility for damages caused by incorrect usage of the bench
15. The people who will not be following the aforementioned rules or who caused damage to the bench might be met with consequences based on general laws of the country.
See, dear readers? My job here is done. The Absurdistan series writes themselves.
I was awaiting a train in Wrocław today with my girlfriend. The message from the speakers went as follows (quoting from memory, but the gist is here):
„The train to Gdynia Główna will enter track 3, platform 2. The train is subject to mandatory place reservation. The cars number 6. 7 and 8 are located in the front of the train. The cars number 10, 12 and 14 are located on the back of the train. The cars number 4. 11 and 13 are located in the centre of the train”. There were, apparently, no cars number 1, 2, 3, 5 and 9…
I rest my case. NOTHING in this country can be normal.
This piece was written for Britské Listy