It was January 2017. The temperatures outside were freezing cold for yet another day in a row and a thick blanket of snow covered much of the south of Poland.
I was on the way back to my family home, after a long and emotionally challenging day. When I finally parked the car in front of the house, I saw what I thought were cat paw tracks, leading all the way to my house’s basement window. They were the only tracks visible in the fresh snow. The window pane was partly broken, and there was a small hole in its top left corner. At first, I thought it was far too small for any animal to squeeze through but then I saw a pair of glimmering, deep, bottle-green eyes staring right at me from behind it, anxiously waiting to see what happens next. Minutes later, I went down to the basement with an improvised, cat meal and something warm to drink. I took with me an old blanket to make sure the unheated, dark, cold space became a little cosier. The following day, when I arrived, to my surprise, the cat immediately emerged from inside the building, mewing and rubbing against my legs, without any fear or hesitation. Since that day, this furry, innocent, panther-black creature has become an inseparable companion. I had never had a cat before, but on that very day, last winter, I remembered my father had always loved cats and used to tell everyone stories about them. Stories of loyalty and love.
Much as it may sadden many of you, the spring edition of What’s Up Magazine will not be devoted entirely to abandoned, lonely animals living in our midst, but we have given them much prominent space nevertheless, talking to people who have saved many an animal life and never looked back.
Don’t let the sun go down
You have noticed it, haven’t you? The moment the sun started shining and the temperatures went up to double-digit levels, bringing back so much life into the surroundings, everyone started smiling from ear to ear, and the positive energy in the streets has become an almost tangible aspect of every big city life. Overnight, the number of people walking and cycling increased by a factor of 100, perhaps. In one of our feature stories this month, we talk to Piotr Kempf, in charge of Kraków’s green projects, about the city’s plans and ambitions to make Kraków’s many public spaces as welcoming and eco-friendly as possible. Following up on this #smartcity trajectory, we proceed to investigate the story of Nowa Huta Przyszłości (the “Nowa Huta of the Future” project). Also in this edition, we are taking you on a journey to the Sowie Mountains in Lower Silesia, and the mysterious wartime fortifications, with their many mysteries.
Last but not least
We’ve all heard the words Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency. It’s a fascinating (no longer so) new territory, with potential breakthrough implications for the future, especially the global job markets and how both simple and complex transactions will be carried out in the future. Over the last 6 months, I have facilitated two international conferences dedicated to this area, one in Warsaw and one in Berlin. They were attended by people representing over 30 nationalities, all the way from Gibraltar, across Europe, Asia, North and South America. This level of interest alone should be enough to encourage you to read our cover story! Here’s to spring 2018! Make sure you make the most of it!