Saturday September 1, when I took the 5:30 pm Underground tour in Krakow, Poland, our guide showed us the displays and gave great explanations and he was interesting and fun. As a guide, he had taken the training for this museum, which is particular as it is all the artifacts unearthed when the Main Square was updated just a few years ago. It was an archeologist’s field day. Basically, it consisted of several graves, lost items amongst the garbage accumulated over the centuries and the original merchant stalls and cobblestone streets.
But the cost of development of making this into an underground museum was $250 million dollars, paid for by various groups and the government. It was fantastic.
On one of the enclosed glass display shelves were two glazed ceramic pieces, about 2 inches round. These are hollow with several smallish holes all over them. But not perfectly round. When held in a hand and waved back and forth there was a swishing noise as the air moved through and over the holes, so our guide said.
He squatted down in front of the display case.
Then he told us a personal story.
When he was small, three years old, he became very sick. The doctor said he did not know why and there was nothing that helped him. His parents took him to West Berlin, to see doctors in the big medical center and it was very expensive. But they did not know what was wrong either and could not help.
At home in Krakow again, his parents took four hour shifts sitting by his side as the doctor said he was going to stop breathing. As in die.
His grandfather disappeared for four days. He has no idea where he went. When he returned it was with an old woman who had one of these roundish holed ceramic pieces.
For three days she sat by his side and moved the piece back and forth, making a swishing sound. After the three days, she told his parents to gather herbs from the meadow, make a tea from them, enough to bathe the boy in a tub.
When the boy was put into the water, he was immediately healed. Immediately.
Then the old woman told the father to take the water or more exactly the disease, which I assume was in the water, out of the house and put it on a tree not faraway.
In ten days the tree was totally dead. And the family has a picture of it.
Now, he says, I am 36 years old and you can see I am big and healthy.
He stood up and said, we do not know as much as we think we do. His name is Thomas and he has a law degree, but loves guiding and telling us about his beloved city. Amazing.