Monday, January 4, 2010

Death in white

It is mid winter now in Cracow, Poland and the beautiful city is covered by snow.
Making it even more pretty.
Almost fairy tale like when one sees for example the Cracow castle.

However, one aspect of winter in Poland is that weekly people die because of the cold.
A kind of involuntary suicide because it is due to excessive use of alcohol.

The thing is that vodka, a very strong liquor, is widely consumed in Poland.
And for many the approach is to drink so much that drunkenness is reached.
A tolerated phenomenon in Polish society.

And this is the start for the persons to die in the streets of the villages and towns of Poland.
Drunk they leave the house or the bar while the snow on the pavement is slippery.
They fall down and think in their drunkenness they have arrived at a spot where it is not so bad to have a nap.
Laying in the snow on the pavement deep in drunkenness and sleep, the body gets under cooled and soon death has struck.
Another life unnecessarily ended.

In Cracow this situation can be seen frequently.
Another man on the pavement dying.

Once a man was between a high wall and parked cars.
Stretched out on the snow of the pavement.
It was night and dark and it was a scaring sight.
What to do?
The street was crossed to be able to continue the walk.
In a different sentiment realizing a man was there laying drunk probably dying if no help would come.
More people passed and ignored the situation.
Not knowing what to do and feeling visitors in a strange country seeing the Polish not interfering or assisting themselves.

Once a man was totally unconscious more or less sitting in an unnatural pose on the steps of a house.
Completely knocked out by overusing alcohol.
Ready to die also.
He was surrounded by two policemen who were radioing for an ambulance.

Once a man was sitting against a wall in the snow obviously not on this world anymore carried away by too much alcohol.
A well dressed couple passed by and were touched by the man.
They knew he would die if nothing was done.
They called the man but he was too deep in his stupor.
Then the well dressed man put himself in front of the drunk and started to clap in his hands.
To wake him up.
To bring him back.
To life and survival.
But the drunken man didn't respond.
Too far gone to respond to these kinds of rescue efforts.
The well dressed couple gave up and continued their walk.

Press agency IRNA reports on December 21, 2009:

Dozens freeze to death in Poland over weekend
At least 42 people froze to death in Poland over the weekend as temperatures plunged to as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius in parts of the country, police said in Warsaw on Monday.
The victims were reportedly mainly homeless and drunk people between the age of 30 and 50.

Police urged Poles to alert them, if they saw either homeless or drunk persons lying outdoors.

Meanwhile, police was searching for empty houses, garden-sheds and city parks to re-locate the homeless to shelters.

At least, 71 people froze to death in Poland since the beginning of this month.


For a more detailed story about people freezing to death in Poland, check:


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