When my husband’s wiry hair stands up in the morning I remind him he looks like Kazimerz. We have fond memories of Kazimerz from our Jewish heritage trip to Poland. He was our driver, ferrying us about as we learned of the vibrant Jewish life and culture which once flourished in Eastern Europe from a knowledgeable Polish guide. We walked the streets of the former Warsaw ghetto, toured ancient cemeteries in Krakow, and gritted our teeth while visiting the death camp of Auschwitz.
Every morning as our small group trudged on the bus, Kazimerz would help us up the steep stairs with his bad haircut getting worse as the week went on as did his body odor. Taciturn, he barely gave a smile or grunt. His blondish hair was trimmed close on the sides but the top part would be standing up at precarious angles and had a life of its own .No real barber could have done this. His wife must have cut his hair in the kitchen. As the week went on his lack of bathing and hairstyle became a hot topic of conversation.
At the end of the tour it is customary to “tip” the tour guide and driver, and our guide was not shy in reminding us. We dutifully handed them our tips and Kazimerz lit up like a Christmas tree, all smiles, babbling away in Polish. The international language of money must have done the trick. Maybe now he could do something about his hair.