Is it a bird? Is it a fish? Co to jest?

Here’s a quick quiz for all Polandian readers. Living in the suburbs of Kraków, you can’t go too far without seeing one of the ‘Wielka Płyta’ (literal translation: great plate) housing blocks. Some people find them quite depressing, so efforts have been made to jazz them up with a bit of colour or other adornments, in order to try and divert the eye from the 10 solid stories of grey block.

In one block near where I live, they have used an interesting twist on this approach by adding a 1.5 metre high image of an animal near each entrance point along the block. Presumably, the principle is to try to get the name of the animal associated with each of the blocks to foster a higher sense of belonging. To me, they just look weird.

The aim of the game thus, is to try to guess which animal is represented in each image. Please note, there are no wrong answers, as I also don’t really know what each animal is – so your guess is as good as mine. My guesses follow the images.

Image #1 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “Looks like a woodpecker”

Image #2 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “Polish Piranha”

Image #3 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “A smiling dog”

Image #4 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “The Faceless Panther”

Image #5 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “I’m seeing double! 4 disappointed dingos”

Image #6 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “The oft-spotted housecat”

Image #7 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “The lesser spotted flying shark (Now with extra wings!)”

Image #8 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “A Polish turkey. Still alive thanks to all the carp!”

Image #9 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “A humpless camel, presumably from the Błędów desert

Image #10 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “A bottle opener”

Image #11 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “Hmmm… Wings, 3 legs and a bird head. It’s probably a platypus”

Image #12 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “The wide eyes suggest drug-addicted duck”

Image #13 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “Two smiling faces connected by a random blob… I have no idea…”

Image #14 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “A horse looking into a mirror”

Image #15 ˅˅˅˅˅˅:

Decoy says: “The structural damage means the turtle is done for”

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8 thoughts on “Is it a bird? Is it a fish? Co to jest?

  1. Grze$ko says:

    Some people see things in clouds… a face, a dragon, god’s hand… our artist has obviously taken to the ancient art of “poo reading”.
    Some of “them-things” look almost oriental.
    1. Tucan or tu can. A staircase where the empty cans are rolled down the stairs at 3am.
    2. This staircase smells of fish.
    3. Rastafarians live here
    4. Come get some pussy here!
    5. Warning, Pitbulls!
    6. Fat Cat lives here
    7. Pop in for a quick loan, interest negotiable!
    8. A friendly spot to “release a peacock” (puscic pawia)
    9. A chimera
    10. A crocodile in Australia
    … enough.

  2. Stefan says:

    You’ve made my day! :D

  3. Steve says:

    It’s the character of the inhabitants:

    1. Two Can (Toucan)
    2. Diner’s Whim (Dino’s Swim)
    3. Lie On (Lion)
    4. Pant Her (Panther)
    5. Dog On (Doggone)
    6. Pussy
    7. Mooning shark
    8. A bird with great tail
    9. Muzzled dog
    10. Old crock (croc)
    11. Ugly, malformed bird with spread legs. (Looking at the picture full size, it’s clearly obscene.)
    12. Howls! (Owls)
    13. It’s happy to have swallowed something, but I don’t know what it is.
    14. Unbuttoned fly (From butterfly, but this is the male equivalent of image 11 – see full size again.)
    15. Clapped out motorcyclist

  4. bob says:

    decoy – amazing

    Perhaps it is easier to remember to go to the toucan building after a healthy dose of wodka than to ul. Bzrczjzltrsgwlaprzna 128/3c?

    In any event it seems like a bizarre regressive thing to do.

  5. @ Bob –

    ul. Bzrczjzltrsgwlaprzna 128/3c

    Nice one!

  6. scatts says:

    Ian says: “The architects wife is a sculptress who specialises in wooden animals.”

  7. bob says:

    Thanks Michael

    Ian is correct, I would add:

    I think it stinks of łapówki >Forest Ranger Selling wood on the side > delivered to the tartak by the local Sołtys’s trucking firm > dried and sanded by the tartak owned by the Spoldzenia President >delivered to the sculptor (who is the mistress of the Burmistz) once again by the Sołtys’s trucking firm >Lacquered by Wiesław who is the son in law of the local PiS party leader > and finally attached to the walls by the son in law of the Director of the local Solidarity Union chapter.

    Paid for by public funds of course and in May 2012 found to be in violation of the Polish Constitution and ordered to be removed and he process starts in reverse.


  8. island1 says:

    A lot of cynicism here. I think it’s a good idea, if not very well executed. There’s a long tradition in Krakow of identifying buildings with representations of animals (and other things)—Pod Baranami being probably the most famous example. There are lots of them in the Old Town.

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