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The strangest things in Poland


miranda  
24 Apr 2008 /  #391
Every day was a source of new, unexpected culture shocks of this caliber. I tend not to sympathize with people who get so upset over such minor and frankly stupid issues. I have lived in several different countries myself, and while adjusting is not always easy from day one, it is really rude to assume that if anything goes wrong, it is "their" fault.

I agree and this woman was definately a strange cookie, but mind you, a lot of Americans don't travel (not to offend the ones who do) and for some reason, they do expect things to be teh same as they are in the USA.
tankslappa 1 | 11  
24 Apr 2008 /  #392
Oh yeah, oliver has just shown me a classic Polish mistake, a free hols. They use 'a' to mean many and not just one.

It's a classic mistake made by many many speakers of foreign languages.

The definite and indefinite article one of the wonderful quirks of English.
Along with our ability to have inanimate objects without them having to have a gender! lol!
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
24 Apr 2008 /  #393
True, correct article use is hard for many countries' people. Even native speakers are not entirely consistent in their use of them.
Zgubiony 15 | 1,554  
18 May 2008 /  #394
Last time I was visiting the Baltic coast I've decided to take a bike ride along the coast to Sarbinowo. I rode the bike with no shirt on because it was hot as hell. I travelled through a short wooded area to the town and onto the path along the beach. I noticed that I was itching all over and it was starting to freak me out, so I look down at my chest and notice that I'm covered with thousands of little flies/larvae looking things and they were biting the hell out of me. They're called Meszki . They should be around now in some areas. I'd recommend trying to steer clear of these little devils.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
18 May 2008 /  #395
Meszki. They should be around now in some areas. I'd recommend trying to steer clear of these little devils.

Indeed, those can be nasty, especially during very hot periods (I guess it helps much their breeding), I remember one summer in Poznań, when the city was plagued the whole month of June.

Still better than scorpions and some killing spiders :)
Guest  
18 May 2008 /  #396
we change them in ontario and the weather is the same as in poland!
Ingrid - | 12  
26 May 2008 /  #397
I love Poland which I consider my homeland so here are some things I found a little different from my country of origin:

- taking shoes off before entering the house; it's so nice, but some ppl actually already told me it was ok to keep them on, even though, I took them off too! :)

- whenever I visited someone in Poland they ALWAYS offered me something to drink, water, vodka, coffee, etc. . .

- having to buy your tickets in those Polish kioskis and when you enter the bus you need to put it in some sort of little box and then this little box gives you back

- i often saw many drivers hitting the side-walks while parking their car, LOL :P

- many poles manage to drink warm beer, how's that possible?! =/ other thing is, if someone in Poland offers you something e.g: Beer, just drink it. . otherwise they will insist until you drink at least once sip of it, [are all poles like that?], I talked to some and they to me is quite normal to insist that you should drink lol :D great, uh? But what if you don't drink at all? =/ in my case there was no problem, i love drinking hahaha yes, and Polish beer has a higher percentage of alcohol, that mean I get drunk much faster :D

- they seem to drink tea or coffee all the time

- for the 2 years and a half that I was in Poland I saw ONCE one black person there, I was freaked out, not because I'm a racist but because I was so used to see ONLY white people, that when I saw once guy once I was REALLY surprised, and started to point, (oh no) now I understand why Poles consider blacks exotic o.O

- having to wait the streets lights go green for pedestrians, even if there's no car coming your way, I've heard, you might get a fine if you attempt to do so when those are red for pedestrians

- having the name day as most important rather than the birthday, though my name is German :(

- taking shower once a week LOL :)

- listening to the word kurwa all the time ahaha mostly said by men. . . 5 out of ten words lol

- putting on fat on the entire face before going out in the snowy cold winter of
-20C degrees :D uhullll \m/

- drinking shots of vodka in the winter to get warm :D yuuupie!

- in the summer everyone wants to get a tan

- just about everyone has a great sense of fashion

- the toilette is separate from the bathroom

- on Easter they eat cooked egg and pray

- they do appreciate when you (non-polish) try to speak their language

- they always talked in Polish to me thinking I was a Pole lol

- the doors open inwards lol, nice!

well I can't remember anything else being so soooo different from where I'm from, but I love that experience as I as consider myself Polish too.

let's post more stuff, people!

omg, i forgot to mention, the wedding ring i use is on the right hand :)

very nice!
KatieKasia 3 | 39  
26 May 2008 /  #398
I love this post!
I now live here perminantly but only moved from london a few weeks ago, i find the following odd:

*to give a tip at a bar, you say thanks and walk away, or tap the bar with your money as you hand it over, and you put your money in a tray, not hand it into there hand.

*there seems to be little regard for speed limits, drunk driving and street signs. in london you would be hung for the driving here!

*always turning headlights on, regarless for the time of day (only put them on in the dark in the UK)

*again, the people clapping when you land, i physicly Jumped when it happned the first time i landed in Gdansk! my boyfriend said '******* idiots' in polish (he is polish) it irritates him alot.

*people seem to be much much more superstitious here.

*HOW IS IT THAT ALL THE POLISH WOMEN LOOK LIKE SUPERMODELS? - i ask my boyfriend almost every day, there seems to be no answer.

*Iv only met about 2 people who dont smoke, and everyone drinks. I wory about the future of my health.

more to come no doubt...

Katiekasia
Saja - | 9  
27 May 2008 /  #399
And here are couple of USA <> Poland differences - on Poland + ;)

Poland+
- in Poland you don`t have to tell shop seller that you wanna use Fitting rooms and get "special key".. you just get staff and go there.

- supermarket shoping is better here, because you can actually put the car on the parking, and after shopping reach you car with "truck"? . In USA you can`t go with shop truck on the parking.

- hard to say that, but there are much better clothes in shop here than in USA (yeap, sounds weird but true).

- MacDonald is better (Chessburger taste much better)

- Girls are 1000 more hot than USA girls (their "hot girl" definition is our normal)
Philips1 2 | 38  
27 May 2008 /  #400
"The sklep people" drinking cheap beer or wine in front of little "skleps".
gosiaczek 1 | 85  
27 May 2008 /  #401
they are called "żule spod sklepu" <lol>
kingkong1 - | 27  
27 May 2008 /  #402
- they do appreciate when you (non-polish) try to speak their language

Is that why 2 Polish men literary smashed into a lamppsot staring at me in utter shock upon hearing me speak perfect Polish in Oxford- England? Laughed so hard I nearly pissed myself!
Ingrid - | 12  
28 May 2008 /  #403
Ingrid:
- they do appreciate when you (non-polish) try to speak their language

Is that why 2 Polish men literary smashed into a lamppsot staring at me in utter shock upon hearing me speak perfect Polish in Oxford- England? Laughed so hard I nearly pissed myself!

hahahahah :D
nice!
well, I figure they appreciate it a lot because Polish is so difficult to learn and it's everyone that's able to speak, now if you speak it near perfect Polish then they might really shocked. . .no wonder then LOL

Few people were like jaw-dropping after listening my Polish too xD I'm from Brazil by the way :)
I guess I wouldn't have learned this good if I hadn't lived there for more than 2 years, which I did xD
Other thing is, I find very respectful when you're in another country and at least try to speak this country's language, don't ya think so?

:)
chrisscole 3 | 10  
28 May 2008 /  #404
kingkong1:

Ingrid:
- they do appreciate when you (non-polish) try to speak their language

Is that why 2 Polish men literary smashed into a lamppsot staring at me in utter shock upon hearing me speak perfect Polish in Oxford- England? Laughed so hard I nearly pissed myself!

hahahahah :D
nice!
well, I figure they appreciate it a lot because Polish is so difficult to learn and it's everyone that's able to speak, now if you speak it near perfect Polish then they might really shocked. . .no wonder then LOL

You'd think so, depends on the person I suppose. When I tried to speak Polish to Poles in UK, they were like totally amazed, but when you're living here, you're kind of expected to speak Polish, so if you don't speak it perfectly I suppose you're more the silly foreigner who can't speak Polish properly.

I was in the supermarket the other day and the cashier was trying to ask me if I wanted a points card, and took me a while to understand her. When I said that Polish was a hard language, she said, nie jest asz taki trudny, 'it's not that hard'. Little does she know. :)
Guest  
28 May 2008 /  #405
*HOW IS IT THAT ALL THE POLISH WOMEN LOOK LIKE SUPERMODELS? - i ask my boyfriend almost every day, there seems to be no answer.

That is so not true. But I think the myth is kept alive by remebering only the pretty ones....
Zgubiony 15 | 1,554  
28 May 2008 /  #406
- supermarket shoping is better here, because you can actually put the car on the parking, and after shopping reach you car with "truck"? . In USA you can`t go with shop truck on the parking.

I'm not sure I understand. Are you referring to the trolley? In the US, you can walk your trolley home if you wish :) There's never a problem with taking it into the parking lot. It's the whole point of a trolley. Maybe I misunderstood you though.

- in Poland you don`t have to tell shop seller that you wanna use Fitting rooms and get "special key".. you just get staff and go there

In boutiques you have to do this, most department stores have open rooms in the back...similar to stores in PL malls ie. H&M

- MacDonald is better (Chessburger taste much better)

Crappy beef is crappy beef no matter what country you're in :)
Ingrid - | 12  
28 May 2008 /  #407
I was in the supermarket the other day and the cashier was trying to ask me if I wanted a points card, and took me a while to understand her. When I said that Polish was a hard language, she said, nie jest asz taki trudny, 'it's not that hard'. Little does she know. :)

I don't agree too much with you that we pass as "silly foreigner" if we can't speak it very good, you know? I lived in Poland for 2 years, and my Polish is almost perfect (the pronunciation), I just lack of some vocabulary, people were dropping their jaw literally when I was speaking it, I think they appreciate they effort you put on it, no matter how you speak it, if you speak it somehow just for the sake of communicating with them, then you will gain some respect, I'm saying this because people were often telling me: "it's great that you're trying to speak our language, thank you and keep it up", Btw, I would love to see a foreigner trying to speak my native language too :)
Bartolome 2 | 1,085  
28 May 2008 /  #408
*always turning headlights on, regarless for the time of day (only put them on in the dark in the UK)

It's compulsory all year long now in Poland.

they are called "żule spod sklepu" <lol>

Or simply 'żule' ('żul' for one individual).
chrisscole 3 | 10  
28 May 2008 /  #409
I don't agree too much with you that we pass as "silly foreigner" if we can't speak it very good, you know? I lived in Poland for 2 years, and my Polish is almost perfect (the pronunciation), I just lack of some vocabulary, people were dropping their jaw literally when I was speaking it, I think they appreciate they effort you put on it, no matter how you speak it, if you speak it somehow just for the sake of communicating with them, then you will gain some respect, I'm saying this because people were often telling me: "it's great that you're trying to speak our language, thank you and keep it up", Btw, I would love to see a foreigner trying to speak my native language too :)

he he, i would love to speak that well. Having only been here for a couple of months it's still a bit of an uphill struggle. I do get quite a bit of respect from Polish friends, and they are constantly saying my Polish is coming on very well. Very encouraging. It's just in day to day life - shopping, asking for directions, as in this example, not everyone, is understanding of how difficult it is to learn for an English person.

Par example, Eu esterai seis mesas em Sao Paulo, ainde falar porque portuguese. Eu pensar que portuguese e muito mais faco que polonaise. Sorry probably a bit rusty, but hope that cheers you up. :) It's been 7 years since I've spoken it properly.
CADinDanzig - | 3  
28 May 2008 /  #410
1)Kids do start school a year earlier, thus kids finishing grade 12 in the US are 18 when they finish, the polish kids in "liceum" are 19 at the end, unless they go to zawodowka or technikum.

2) They do have smoke detectors.
3)You can buy alcohol in every single store, unlike Canada..lol
3) They buy food more regularly cuz more ppl use the trams and buses, AND the fridges usually are smaller so less food.
4)All the teenage girls have uneven haircuts ad scarves
5)All the cashiers in stores sit on a chair.
6) if u order a mcflurry in mcdonalds and pronounce it the AMERICAN way, they laigh at you and correct you that its "McFlahrhi"

7)When university students go to exams, they wear suits, ties, black skirts,
8) Peeople dress up to go to the store.
polishgirltx  
28 May 2008 /  #411
Peeople dress up to go to the store.

unlike in the US, very often pj's...yes, PL is a civilized country... :)

When university students go to exams, they wear suits, ties, black skirts,

and i like that...it shows a respect to the institution... :)
KatieKasia 3 | 39  
30 May 2008 /  #412
I sugested i go down to the shop to buy mleko thismorning and slipped on some sandals with my rather eclectic PJ's, my boyfriend suggested i change my clothes and with the horrified look on my face (in our flat in london we would always nip to the corner shop in what we slept in) he explained the people are more formal here and have higher expectations of what people should look like

(i feel this also be why i am a source of much pointing, staring and gossiping from random strangers) when im just walking around in what i concider to be my normal london clothes....bizzare place...

p.s. where are all the coloured people?
Kamil_pl  
31 May 2008 /  #413
p.s. where are all the coloured people?

In UK and France :)
southern 75 | 7,096  
31 May 2008 /  #414
I like when you go to the supermarket in the morning and see all these hot polish girls in shorts,mini skirts and lipstick.It is a stimulating experience.
mbarbara - | 12  
12 Jun 2008 /  #415
i dont see that as a bad thing - it's a just a custom, and a quaint custom at that. I for one am kind of sick of everything becoming too causual and sloppy.

yeah Polish people whine a lot. I think it has somethign to do with communism and the fact that everyone is still used ot getting something for nothing from the government - BUT YET whatever they get (got) from the state was always crap anyways so they complained about it. hopefully after a few more generations of democracy and capitalism this will begin to dissappear.

"2. The food. The meat and vegetables are really tasty. I didn't know how good a cucumber or tomato could taste until I went to Poland."

I KNOW. Lol maybe that's why I'm one of the few people I know who actually LIKE vegatables - without needing to put tons of fattening crap on them to make them taste good!

southern, wow that description of Poland was quite.... intense. I've never been to Auchswitz so I can't say anything about that but that's so cool how the atmosphere has affected you so deeply. very interesting! love it!
turin - | 16  
23 Jun 2008 /  #416
- a MickyD's in what looked like a 13th century (i.e. really freakin' old by US standards) basement (w Krakowie)

- a shopping center at the top of the ski-lift (w Zakopanu)

- public transportation (my first experience with such a concept)

- buying fireworks in "Walmart" (the apparent Polish eq. thereof) for Sylwester

- no card games during a social gathering

- extremely formal

- proliferation of homemade "wodka" (and I use the term loosely) and the intense social obligation to "sample" each "variety"

- the furniture (especially the bed) and bedding implimentations (all though now I suppose it would be much less of a shock since IKEA has established a strong presense here)

- extreme security measures

- old fashioned market is the norm, even w Krakowie (I absolutely love this aspect of Poland)

- funny warning sign for pedestrians crossing the road (it is a stick figure getting hit by a "stick car" and flying off balance)

- Oswencim

- three days of Christmas

- Polish driving/"roadways"

- breakfast

- all that spoken and writen Polish everywhere (although sadly it is hard to get away from English in the background)
PolskaLaska 2 | 6  
23 Jun 2008 /  #417
I don't think changing your tires for the winter is strange..lol.. I'm from Canada..we do it every year =)
urszula 1 | 253  
24 Jun 2008 /  #418
I think it's weird. I live in the US and not many people do it. We buy all season tires and they work very good, plus as soon as it snows the plows hit the roads. Not like in Poland, where you need to change tires because they don't plow the roads as well.
cjj - | 281  
24 Jun 2008 /  #419
>>>8) Peeople dress up to go to the store.

ah, they do that in Quebec city too ... a very strange experience for visiting vancouverites :D
turin - | 16  
24 Jun 2008 /  #420
I can't believe I forgot this one:

eating raw meat (sausage, bacon)

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