Rip van Wojciech

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Reuters reports:

A 65-year-old railwayman who fell into a coma following an accident in communist Poland regained consciousness 19 years later to find democracy and a market economy, Polish media reported on Saturday….

"When I went into a coma there was only tea and vinegar in the shops, meat was rationed and huge petrol queues were everywhere," Grzebski told TVN24, describing his recollections of the communist system's economic collapse.

"Now I see people on the streets with cell phones and there are so many goods in the shops it makes my head spin."

Full story here. I suppose I should link to this, too.

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  1. Wait til he sees internet porn. Babalu’s gonna flip!

  2. Life imitates art. Art imitates life.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodbye_Lenin

  3. “Now I see people on the streets with cell phones and there are so many goods in the shops it makes my head spin.”

    Headline: Experience of Revived Pole Shows That Too Much Choice May Make Us Unhappy

  4. Goddam, the party forgot to pull the feeding tube when they left the building.

  5. Uh, 1988 was hardly the height of the Cold War. Gorby was knee deep in perestroika at the time, and wasn’t Solidarity a political force to be reckoned with in Poland as well?

  6. let’s re-argue the Terry Schiavo case in light of this man’s experience!

  7. MMMMMrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggh!

  8. biologist,

    No. Besides, this guy was just in a coma, not in a coma and in a persistent vegetative state. There’s a huge difference. Especially at parties.

    It’s quite amazing that these things happen. I can’t imagine how rocked this guy’s world is. You’ve got the whole “living in the future” bit, but I imagine that the personal changes are even bigger for him. If it were me, I’d be so amazingly pissed that we still lacked flying cars and a permanent moon base that I’d return to my coma.

  9. He also said, “And the handles are on the outside of the coffee cups!”

  10. This guy suffers a coma-inducing brain injury at work AND had a brain tumor? And now he’s walking and talking?

    That’s pretty incredible right there.

  11. He can go “what a country!” without leaving.

  12. Mmmm…

    Moon pies?

  13. I’m pretty sure they had Moon Pies in 1988.

  14. Story I read this morning had him saying that the store shelves had just mustard and vinegar last he remembered. Wow, did Soviet era Poland suck, or what?

  15. Sage — You da MAN!

  16. As so often, it ain’t what it seems at first glance.

    Der Spiegel now reports (n German) that the man wasn’t really in a coma for 19 years after all, but rather in a state of paralysis until two years ago his condition began gradually to improve. During the 17 years,while he was paralysed except for his face, he could for instance eat and watch TV.

    Comments Der Spiegel: “It has become apparent, that the Polish journalists didn’t clearly distinguish between a coma and a paralysis.”

    They conclude: “Even if it isn’t a wake-up sensation, the story of Gertruda and Jan nonetheless is a remarkable love-story”

  17. “Commie comes out of coma; compelled to comment.”

  18. It has become apparent, that the Polish journalists didn’t clearly distinguish between a coma and a paralysis.

    I have the greatest respect for Polish thinkers throughout the ages, from Copernicus to Marie Curie to Pope JP2. Which is why I won’t indulge in the OBVIOUS POLLOCH JOKE that’s coming to my mind…

  19. I also thought of Goodbye Lenin. Man, that movie was great.

  20. the store shelves had just mustard and vinegar last he remembered. Wow, did Soviet era Poland suck, or what?

    Not if you like pickles.
    And mustard on your, um…pickles.
    Oh, and the Pope too.

  21. polloch?

    polack, right? (spelling i mean)

    which i’ve been told is polish for, well, polish.

  22. Let’s see how happy he is once he’s handed a bill for 19 years of medical care.

  23. Did he order pizza and then ask about his kids?

    /SFA

  24. Hey! Did someone order a pizza?

  25. jp –

    I think I got a an email with your headline – “Experience of Revived Pole” – but I deleted it as just more spam.

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