Postcard from… Świnoujście

On the beach the few walkers out on the sands leaned forward into the wind that whipped in from the east, as if delivered straight from Kaliningrad or beyond. A young couple had come out from behind the dunes with their pushchair but had immediately seen sense, and were struggling back up the slope as the wheels dug ever deeper into the sand. We pulled our hats down over our ears, our jackets up to our chins. The next town was six kilometres away. An unspoken moment and we all knew we were not going to make it, that we would take the train instead.

None of this, not the cold nor the the wind, seemed to bother the fisherman in the shallows. He continued to work, the icy waters up to his knees. Patiently dredging his net before leaning forward to inspect his catch. Sweep, bend, check. Sweep, bend, check. We could not work out what he was looking for, and it would have been wrong to shout across the small, Baltic waves, to ask. So we pressed on as he continued to work, not even pausing to glance up as the container ship passed by the lighthouse and the sea wall, aiming for safe harbour. Sweep, bend, check. Sweep, bend, check. Soon he was out of sight, as we found sanctuary behind the dunes.

Photo: Katrin Schönig

This postcard is from a moment on one of two walks Elsewhere editor in chief Paul Scraton made for his essay in the digital-only zero edition of the journal, that was released earlier this week as part of our crowdfunding campaign.