The Polish angel who appeared at midnight, loaded with books and Mozart CDs / Mario Lleonart

It was midnight and Warsaw, if wrongly judged, seemed to be taken only by the good times, clubs and bars. A group of Cubans, enraptured by the magic of the city, proof that freedom can finally rise above the nightmare of authoritarian communism, could not sleep despite the intense schedule of our days, and we went out to take the pulse of the Warsaw night. Seated at the tables next to the street of a bar where a trio did not stop singing Irish songs, suddenly, as in a vision, we contemplated the approach of a character like someone out of a novel.

A bearded Polish man was transporting by hand a bicycle loaded with treasures. The merchandise that he was hawking by night was none other than classical music and select literature. Mariana Hernández, a Cuban-American who confirmed for me that the Cubans of the exile and those within Cuba are are same people, and I went out to meet him to verify that in Warsaw, the same by day as by night, literature and culture walk the streets.

He wasn’t carrying Bibles among his books, but upon knowing of my interest in getting one in Polish, he let me know that the Bible Society was not far, and demonstrating that he had it among his frequented sites, he drew me a map with detailed directions of how to get there. And smiling as only a Polish angel can, he disappeared into the night giving us one of the most exact lessons which we received about the amazing nights of Warsaw.

4 July 2013