Un-Ordinary Life of Agata Napiórska

100% woman – a tomboy inside, she is a great storyteller – she writes even better, she is passionate about locality – she is an explorer of inaccessible lands. I met Agata shortly after she came back from her trip to Georgia – it was the first Autumn evening, her tan was fresh, she was wearing a skimpy summer outfit and drinking her favorite cider; with flushes on her face, she was talking about her adventures there. If it had not been for the fact that we had scheduled photos for the following day, there would not have been end to the stories, because where Agata goes, the chain of events creates unique stories. Get to know the Un-Ordinary Life of Agata Napiórska.

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What does your day look like? How do you work and relax?

On weekdays, I have quite a regular daily routine. I get up at 6.30. I always eat the same thing for breakfast, because I have no time for thinking. So I eat cereal. I drink the first coffee at work. I have a long way to travel to my publishing house. I am a lucky one because if I do not feel like cycling, if it is raining or in winter, my colleague gives me a lift from home to work in his car. For 40 minutes, I am being educated musically in the area of metal, hc and punk. That is how I start my day. Then I work and work. Until 4 pm. Then usually I continue working, only the surroundings change, and working for Zwykłe Życie (Eng. “Average Life”) is life in itself. The office of Zwykłe Życie is on my way from work, but anyway we usually do most of the fork online. We see each other with the girls from the editorial board several times a week. A very important thing for me is doing sport. Although I have already lost my chances in that area, I am not giving up. I swim twice a week and twice a week I train muay thai. Apart from that, things come out spontaneously: cinema, theatre, concerts, socialising and dating, wine, dancing and singing. In the evening I read and listen to music. During the weekends I sleep until 9, I cook and I catch up with things. I often travel. The best form of relaxing for me is the swimming pool. During the first 40 lengths of the swimming poll I swim, I solve the problems and I consult certain ideas with myself, and then the brain switches off and the only thing that exists is the swimming pool. I also like to lay in the bath and read. I generally like lying. I relax while performing mechanical activities like ironing, gardening, chopping vegetables or cleaning up the drawers. And I relax by walking in the forest.

Tell us about your flat and its surroundings.

I live at Plac Hallera. My flat is small, bright and there are a lot of plants and books in it.I like my kitchen and the fact that my friend from secondary school lives in the neighbourhood and she often invites me for dinners cooked by her husband. The swimming pool at ul. Namysłowska reminds mi of the swimming pool where I was going at the primary school for School Sports Club’s classes. I know all the cloakroom attendants here, the lifeguards give me valuable advice and the end of the swimming time is signalled with a bell ring. I visit the market that is located in the area of former open-air swimming pools. One can find there almost everything one needs to live: German household chemicals, remote controls, puppies with falsified pedigree certificates, fruits and vegetables. I also like to walk through Śląsko-Dąbrowski Bridge. I like Nowa Praga and its monumental sandstone buildings and the fact that this area is full of green areas.

Your favourite places in Warsaw?

I respect the city entirely. And what I like the most are parks, bridges, monuments and the planetarium. I also like to visit old sports facilities, I like Hala Mirowska, walking along the Vistula River, the Warsaw Underground and the Palace of Culture and Science.

Your favourite places in the world and your ideal holidays?

I work a lot, so I have to rest a lot to find some balance. On holidays, also for the sake of finding balance I need to „get wasted“. My style of travelling is „let’s see what happens“. Organised trips are not for me (although I participated in a sports camp this year and it was cool). I do not book accommodation, and the route plans itself spontaneously. I like to discover new places by accident, use the recommendations of local people, listen to their stories. I do not care about tourist attractions where you have to queue for hours on end. I prefer small towns, villages and the wilderness, a tent, forest, lakes and rivers. I love Grudziądz – it is my hometown. I like Liverpool, since I have great memories linked with this city. Recently I was in Georgian wilderness with my brother, it was a perfect trip. He is a great companion, and great company is the most important thing on a trip.

How did you come up with the idea of Zwykłe Życie and how does the work in the magazine look like?

Zwykłe Życie is an initiative of both me and Marta Mach – my childhood friend. As early as in the primary school we got excited when we saw paper and we wanted to have our own publishing house, so when we finally met in Warsaw after several years of separation, we immediately started to plan and act. We started with a blog, the „zero“ edition of the magazine was published only on-line and we have been printing for two years now. An important moment for us was starting to co-operate with Olek Modzelewski, because we know nothing about design. Our work looks as follows: we order texts, editorials, illustrations, photos for the articles. We draw the flat-plan, we divide the work and we set the deadlines. We divided our work so that Marta controls the photos and the production of the session, I control all texts and illustrations. Gosia Bartkowiak deals with advertisements. When we receive material from the authors, after editorial work, correction and DTP edition, all is sent to Olek. Next we discuss the entire edition after bringing the thing together. The permanent team also includes Kasia Wójcik (PR and patronage), and Gosia Kuśnierz (editorial and correction). Zwykłe Życie is published 3 times a year, but it is not only a magazine. We run our webpage on a daily basis, we often organise breakfasts, meetings with craftsmen, and other events.

What do you do apart from working for Zwykłe Życie and what were you doing before?

For six years I have been working in Wydawnicwo Nasza Księgarnia. I write for the Kikimora Magazine on a constant basis. I sometimes translate. Now I am translating a nice book– Daily rituals. How artists work. And before… I was working in many places. I was a housemaid, a caretaker, I was working in a bookshop, in a café, in a sweet shop, in a house for the mentally disabled, in a theatre, in a car wash. The first illegal business, which was not successful, was founded by me and Marta when we were 13. We were cleaning the staircases. I appreciate all those experiences. I hate doing nothing.

How would you describe your dressing style, what do you most like wearing?

I get extremely tired while shopping, so I avoid it as much as I can. I buy clothes while doing other things. I like simple forms and colours. I choose good quality, comfort and functionality. My clothes are quite monotonous. I have a few clothes, but a lot of shoes. I feel best in shirts, dresses, sneakers. I am crazy about silk. I like original things with their own history: such as military parka from a military shop, gloves from a glove-maker, a belt from a belt-maker. My favourite tailor – Mrs Żaneta lives in Grudziądz. There are also best second-hand shops in Grudziądz. I hate artificial fabrics, imitations and high heels. The jewellery I am used to includes a golden ring and a watch I once received from my grandma, and the beltmaker at ul. Hoża 25 made a new belt for it.

How do you care for yourself – do you have any rituals, favourite cosmetics, perfumes?

I abide by the principle my mother once taught me: the less, the better. I do not dye my hair, I only use a shampoo from Siberian herbs. I like bar soaps from different parts of the world. I always bring them from my holidays and I get them from my relatives and friends. A good micellar cream, argan oil, and brushes. Three years ago, a brush-maker from ul. Poznańska explained the sense of dry-brushing to me. It is a great massage and it wakes you up. I wear make up only occasionally, but I am addicted to a brick-red lipstick by MAC. I have been using Amber perfumes by Loccitane for years. They have just stopped producing it or I will steal the recipe and I will make it myself, or I will smell only of swimming pool chlorine.

Something to read for the end of the summer?

Perhaps „The Baron in the Trees” by Italo Calvino? Or some reportage, I am now reading „Caucassus Planet“ by Góreckiego, and earlier I have read „Bucarest” by Rejmer. And Palahniuk, he is good for every season of the year.