This is my second stint in Poland, ten years this time. I’m here with my Polish wife and my son. We live in a roof top terrace apartment. I have twin daughters who live in England.

I’ve been largely working from home. I’m the Chief operating officer for one of the worlds largest law firms. I cover this office; Moscow and Milan – a bit of an odd mix. I usually travel a lot. I think Covid will change the way we work long term.

Poland has had a fairly low infection rate, the country went early and took a measured approach. I don’t always agree with this government’s politics, but I think they’ve handled the virus well. Poles take adversity in their stride, to them being locked in their homes is not that difficult.

My mother is in Tauranga with one sister, she has become very, very ill and that’s been hard. We’ve talked it through as a family and as it is, I can’t go back. As soon as the lock down ends, I’ll be on the first plane.

I grew up largely in Taupo, I have a brother and another sister who are still there. I went to Massey and left the country two years later in 1990. I was reluctant to go, but a friend offered to shout me a ticket, I didn’t take it up, but thought if it was that good, I better go.

Deep down your character is built on where you’re from. Then there are those special life moments, the birth of your children, buying your first home, getting married; you start to question “who am I” and “where am I from”?

Every time I come home it fits like a glove, but I only come home at Christmas, New Zealand is summer now.

***********************************************************************************************************************************

Image supplied by interviewee

This interview and the others in the series are an extension of my new book “This Is Us” it is in all good bookshops in New Zealand now.

This Is Us – the diaspora in lockdown – these interviews are slightly different from the ones in the book as they focus on New Zealanders living abroad in this time of isolation.  Copyright Licensing have awarded me a grant to complete this project and convert these postings into a book.

If you can think of suitable interview subjects please let me know via pete@petecarter.nz – I currently need interviews in the more unusual places around the world.

Exisle have released This Is Us as an e-book you can buy it here.

This Is Us – please follow us on Facebook:

And/or on Instagram

 

Pete Carter is the author of This is Us. Due out in June 2020 it will be published by Exisle and tells the story of more than 200 New Zealanders in words and pictures. The book is really a portrait of the nation and how it is made up. Pete wrote Our Dog Benji a children’s book illustrated by his nephew, published by EK in 2017. He is also the author of two books of poetry. He has had magazine articles published and poetry in anthologies. As a photographer he has had two solo exhibitions and work included in group exhibitions in NZ and overseas and has sold work to and been commissioned by corporate clients.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *