Most people have their reasons for picking a favourite:
- It’s the first place I visited
- It’s scenic/has a lot of history/…
- The people are wonderful
Mine is a combination of the above, but the precise moment when I fell in love with the place has to do with my love for the movies.
Gdansk was indeed the first place I visited outside of India. I went there for some project meetings nearly ten years ago and one of my Polish colleagues came to the airport to pick me up. I had heard that Polish was a slightly tough language to master, so I asked my colleague Karolina how the name of the city was pronounced. Her explanation can be summarized as follows: The G in the beginning is pronounced, the d is soft and there’s an implicit i before the n. Guh-dayinsk. More or less.
In the Polish alphabet, the n used in Gdansk has a tail attached to it (like so: ɲ), which is how you know to add the i in front when you pronounce it. She explained that this letter was called Ni.
And added, by way of clarification: “Like the Knights who say Ni.”
Game, set and match.