Jinky is short for Jinkooya which means thank you. I remember hearing my friend Georgia use the word Jinky when she came back from Poland the first time and thinking that it was a word she made up, but in fact, it's real. When I heard someone use it for the first time I thought, "wait - that's Georgia's pretend word!!"
I haven't been very good at keeping up with my "two new polish words a day" rule. The first week, the tenor and I promised that as a team we would learn two polish words a day and practice them on each other, but he left for all of last week to go sing a concert elsewhere and without the buddy system, I completely gave up. Plus, I ended up spending so much time speaking italian last week that I kept trying to speak italian to the polish people and wondering why they didn't understand me. It's funny how your brain works that way - it thinks: foreign country, foreign language, and for a split second you forget you can't communicate in this country in this language. I will have these moments where I will be about to walk up to a counter of some kind with the idea in my head that I'm going to be able to ask for something, only to realize at the last moment that the sentence I was just absentmindedly constructing in my head was in italian, and polish people don't speak italian. But almost everyone under 35 in poland seems to speak english, so I'm usually okay.
This weekend we had 4 days free and I wondered what the hell I was gonna do with that many free days. Luckily, the day before all the days off I struck up a conversation with one of the assistant directors who happens to be italian, and discovered that he would also be here all weekend with not much to do. So he and I ended up spending about 8 hours a day together walking around warsaw (even though ALL THE STORES were closed from saturday at 4PM until this morning!!! ARUGH!!!!) and chatting in about 70% italian and 30% english. It's really easy to spend a lot of time with someone who is about as good as you are in their language in your language because both of you get to practice the other language, but when you get tired of thinking too hard you can just switch to your own language. Plus it comes in really handy sometimes to be able to communicate in more than one language - usually if we speak english other people in poland can understand us so it's better to speak italian, but one night we had dinner in this sort of touristy restaurant where for some reason there were tons of italian tourists, so we switched to english so we could talk about private stuff and not be understood. Every time I speak italian however, I am reminded of far I need to go before I can really just blab away and understand absolutely everything, and it makes me long for the day when I will again get paid to spend months at a time in Italy.
Having a lot of time off, whether it be between rehearsals, performances, or entire gigs, makes me remember how much I really love the part of this job that is rehearsing. I really enjoy rehearsing so much! It makes me so happy to make music and drama and work and change things in a pressure-less environment, and to be around other people and laugh and make jokes and make music. It sounds so cheesy but I really do enjoy both the creative parts and the collaborative parts so much, that when I have too many days off I miss rehearsing terribly. Luckily today we got back at it, the full cast has now arrived, and we're off and running. And all I will tell you about this production for now is that there is some public urination that happens, and I am involved in it. I don't want to give away any director secrets, so if you want to know more you'll just have to come to warsaw and check it out (don't worry, I'll give you the full details after the show opens. Maybe I'll even get a photo!!) JINKY!