Two wives in Krakow and a house in Treptow

Featured in

  • Published 20051104
  • ISBN: 9780733314544
  • Extent: 268 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

IN 1989,WHILE on a visit to Poland, I was introduced to Piotr (Peter) Skrzy­necki, the famous cabaret and artistic director who lived in the city of Krakow. I had heard of him and knew that his reputation was legendary. That we shared the same name made it all the more intriguing when a meeting was suggested by the government bureaucrats who were responsible for organising my itinerary. We shared meals, drank, discussed literature and art, went on a walking tour of the city and he took me to his cabaret/theatre, Piwnica Pod Baranami, located beneath Krakow Square. In all, our time together over two days was unique. Very special. When it came time for me to leave, the old man became emotional. To my surprise, he started to cry. “Don’t go back to Australia, stay here. You’re one of us. You belong here.”

I explained that I was now an Australian, that I had emigrated to Aus­tralia more than 40 years ago and belonged there; that my parents were still alive; that I had a wife and three children.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Share article

About the author

Peter Skrzynecki

Peter Skrzynecki was born in 1945 in Germany and came to Australia in 1949. He has published 15 books of poetry and prose. Awards...

More from this edition

Into self-imposed exile

ReviewIN 1929, ANTHONY Martin Fernando, an Aborigine, appeared at the Old Bailey in London charged with attempted assault. He admitted to brandishing a pistol...

Beyond exile

EssayShe, poor lady, hath by sad experience learnt how good a thing it is never to quit one's native land.– EuripidesExiles feed on hope.–...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.