Monday, January 30, 2017

Tadeusz in ATLAS: Bringing the world home

Tadeusz in ATLAS: Bringing the world home

He has traveled the world.

He has been to and seen many foreign countries. 
Now, when not so actively on a road any more he spends most of his days in ATLAS.
In a store full of books, maps, globes, travel guides and as the name says, atlases. 
It is his way of bringing the world home and sharing it to others.

Can I help you?

“Mogę ci pomóc?” he asks one older gentleman when seeing how I´m exploring with my eyes wide open, all those globes, maps and everything else. In fact globes, many globes in a big store window was the reason why I stepped into his shop. It was almost as if something was physically pulling me in.
Dzień dobry! Do you possibly speak English?” This I ask whilst answering his approach to help me, whilst not being very hopeful because most of the people in Poland within his age group would not be able to do so.

“In fact I do speak English! How can I help you?”, he is asking in a clear and confident voice.

“These are more globes than I´ve seen during my entire life”, I´m telling him this not even trying to hide my excitement from the shop and everything within. “I´ve always loved the maps of the world, atlases and as such having a globe is something which I have dreamed about since when I was a child.”
Special relationship

A moment later we are exploring the maps together. I am telling him that currently in Hipstel Hostel we are thinking of having one big world map so that guests are able to mark where they come from. “For this purpose I recommend this type of map as it works the same but is far cheaper. He kindly suggests this to me whilst answering yes to my query about the possibility to take photos
I nod towards Estonia telling him that this is my home country. I also point the way from Estonia to Vietnam whilst describing that this is from point to point where my little brother Meigo has been walking during the past 3 years. This results that even our grandmother is now following the world map; “So yes, we currently have a special relationship with all of the maps and world globuses”.
After hearing this he goes to another side of the shop: “I have maps from all over the world even from Canada,” and he brings one to show me. “This is one of the best companies to make international travel maps and I have very good relationships with them so if anyone wants to have the best map then I can help them!”.

His eyes sparkle and his face lights up when he is talking about all of these things making it clear that he too has a special relationship with everything that there is.
Tadeusz Prześlakiewicz and the entire WORLD

Owner and president 2in1

Just a moment later (as I had already presumed), I then find out that he is actually the owner of this place.Two seconds later it turns out that he is also the president of the Polish Bookseller´s Association and a past president of Warszawa City Rotary Club (District 2230).

“Nice to meet you Mr. President, my name is Kristi. Among other things I´m a freelance journalist and would love to write about this amazing store,” I answer with a smile in my face.

He goes to another room returning with a business card. “I don´t have my personal one as this is from the association. If you write to me then please use this email. I mean that you can use another one as well but that goes to the secretary.”

Tadeusz Prześlakiewicz” is the name I read from his card. ATLAS  is a family business, operating in a house which was built exactly 50 years ago in 1967. A year later in 1986 it was opened. Tadeusz has been managing this store for the last 31 years since 1986 and he has his best to bring the world home through all these travel books, tour guides, maps, globes and atlases.

Well I am not 18 anymore to travel around all the time and right now this store is the most important thing to me he says.

I ask him, what are the opening hours of the store, to which he replies: “It is open from 10 to 19 but I am usually here …(I was expecting him to say 5 or 6 the most) ... til eight in the evening as I really enjoy being here,” says Tadeusz, with a proud smile, looking at all those world maps with the gentle look as if he just saw something/someone very dear to him.

I suppose it says it all, doesn´t it?

Thank you, Tadeusz, it´s been nice meeting you and really inspiring to be able to spend some time in your shop!

Text and photos: Kristi Märk

1 comment:

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