Last week I went to Sosnowiec, one of the cities in the Upper Silesian Industrial Region. I went to fetch a car for myself, so I took a bus, then I travelled by city tram. I looked around greedily and got very disappointed - the views were so depressing. I saw dull neglected architecture, grey streets, facades smeared by air pollution. Yes, a few dozen historical houses in the center but practically devoid of ornaments and one or two old churches, that`s all. Communist blocks everywhere, a few standard malls.
After heavy industry became obsolete, those places are slowly dying due to intensive depopulation. After mines and steel plants were closed, people look for jobs in more prosperous cities. Sosnowiec (pronounced [sɔˈsnɔvʲɛt͡s] (About this sound listen)) is an industrial city county in the Dąbrowa Basin (Zagłębie Dąbrowskie) of southern Poland, which is also part of the Silesian Metropolis municipal association. Located in the eastern part of the Upper Silesian Industrial Region, Sosnowiec is one of the cities of the Katowice urban area, which is a conurbation with the overall population of 2.7 million people; as well as the greater Upper Silesian metropolitan area populated by about 5.3 million people. The population of the city was 220,450 as of June 2009.
I found it irritating in Sosnowiec that bus and tram stops didn`t display large numbers of lines servicing particular routes. I had to cross busy streets in order to check the numbers on small boards instead of seeing them in the distance. Probably residents don`t have a problem with it, but newcomers who want to use public transport can be confused. Not only newcomers - when I go to the centre in my home town, I usually go by tram and I always have to check the numbers. A small thing but shows a certain aspect of life here and there, I suppose.
BTW, I didn`t take a taxi because I am mean. I even took a walk to save on a tram ticket. :0 You know the resident of which city it implies.
OOps, I just checked Gdańsk and its stops don`t display big numbers, either. Shame!