Is there such an expression as 'on the fly' in English? It sounds very strange to me indeed.
Sounds about as strange as 'jak leci?' to me ;)
Poles will not laugh at u too much, they are aware of the complexity of the language.
I agree, for the most part Poles are willing to help you through it, as long as you show them the same courtesy with English.
I am a Canadian living in England, and to my surprise (but apparently not to the surprise of the English) I have found many Polish friends here. But I think friendship wouldn't really be enough to stimulate me into learning a language. I have no Polish that I know of in my family history, but I think I connected with the Poles because their sense of patriotism about Poland is similar to mine about Canada.
In a way, it made it easier for me to identify with them, than say the Brits (who think patriotism is tacky), the Americans (who think patriotism means being a psycho fanatic for themsevles and everyone else sucks), or the Germans (who are still very self concious of the bad things nationalism can do).
To be honest, Poland wasn't even "on my map" before I moved here. Now I am interested in going. I guess we'll see if I connect with Polish culture as much as I do with Polish people.
Another reason would be embarassment at speaking only one language (after eight years of French in the Canadian school system, bah).