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The strangest things in Poland

Tamara 9 | 202  
28 Jun 2008 /  #451
Poland is truly a land of horrors, where men stand too close, old ladies smell bad, and the roads are full of potholes. Plus children are required to change shoes at school - terrible infringement of their human rights...

Get the chip off of your shoulder - the title of the post is What you found "strange" in Poland - no one is making any judgements here, just that "FOR US, IN OUR OPINION" this things are unusual! Geez
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
28 Jun 2008 /  #452
It is not the Poles' fault that you find some things different. Some of you make it sound as if it actually were their fault, though. And that makes me feel rather uncomfortable.

To Tamara - this is what I said right after the bit you quoted. "Strange" should not mean only "shocking, wrong, stupid", but in many of the posts, it does. I do not like that. Sorry.
Tamara 9 | 202  
28 Jun 2008 /  #453
Of course it's not their "fault", people do what they learn and what is their custom. I don't know if you've ever been to the states, but I'm sure that there would be plenty that you would find strange, weird, shocking and that you might even thing the people doing it were wrong or stupid. But they are opinions and if you are going to get bent out of shape over people's opinions, you will be a very crooked and crippled person by the time you are older. You take them for what they are and say, I never thought about it that way, or there is a reason to why we do it this way, or simply, Ok, so we're strange, but so would be the rest of the world if you visited there probably as well. I'm sure that I would find things strange in Asia, Africa or any of the other European countries as well. Things are even different from state to state here or from home to home in the same neighborhood. That's just how they are and the people on this forum are here for the most part because they LOVE Poland so you don't have to stick up for the whole country. Spoko.
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
28 Jun 2008 /  #454
There are lots of strange things in Poland...nothing wrong with that.....I like being in a different country , and in time you get used to the strange things....By the time i go back to the UK i guess i will find it rather strange there.....
southern 75 | 7,096  
28 Jun 2008 /  #455
The way people have no concept of personal space

This works good with polish girls.Personally my attention is so limited in Poland due to some unexplainable reason,that I hardly notice any things,let alone strange.It is more like swimming with nymphets.
Switezianka - | 463  
29 Jun 2008 /  #456
Plus children are required to change shoes at school - terrible infringement of their human rights...

Try to lift an average Polish ten-years-old's school backpack with one hand.
The kids in Poland have to carry a lot of books, shoes for a change and their PE clothes + PE shoes to school. They cannot leave their shoes at school. I've got a pupil who is 12 and when she comes home from school on a day she's got PE, she has to call her parents on the intercom to come down and help her as she cannot carry all her stuff upstairs (living on the 4th floor). KIDS SHOULDN'T CARRY HEAVY STUFF EVERY DAY.

Yeah, that's great, all you stupid foreigners should have a f***ing lot of respect for our Polish customs.
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
29 Jun 2008 /  #457
stupid foreigners should have a f***ing lot of respect

I don,t think this is the way to get respect.....
legion - | 42  
29 Jun 2008 /  #458
If the foreigners don't like it they can leave
urszula 1 | 253  
29 Jun 2008 /  #459
I noticed Poles are afraid of wearing glasses. I have met many of them who cannot see well, but no way in hell they gonna get glasses!!
legion - | 42  
29 Jun 2008 /  #460
hehe I'm one of them
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
12 Jun 2009 /  #461
What did you find really strange?What really shocked or surprised you?

I was waiting at the side of the road, out side Angel City, a new apartment complex in Krakow today.
While a car was driving past me, it's exhaust fell on the ground and made a scrapping noise.
The car stopped at the traffic lights, in the furthest lane to the left, of three. (remember everyone drives on the right here).
So the passenger gets out of the car, to presumably check what has happened under the car.
He jumps out and standing there in the middle of the road, pulls down his pants/trousers till they're around his feet, stands up, gives himself a little cheer.

Then pulls up his trousers again, lies down on the ground to see what happened under the car.
Jumps up again, shrugs his shoulders and jumps in the car as it pulls off, ha ha ha
It made me laugh :)
opts 10 | 260  
12 Jun 2009 /  #462
I feel I am close to needing therapy on this

You do not need therapy. You are hilarious. :)
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
12 Jun 2009 /  #463
Seanny BM for reviving this thread. I thought about it earlier as I was trampling through the old threads. Coincidence for sure.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
12 Jun 2009 /  #464
I was just looking for a place to put the true story about the Poland I live in and it's inhabitants.

You know what i mean spud ;)
31 Jul 2009 /  #465
try 'tatar' :)
southern 75 | 7,096  
31 Jul 2009 /  #466
The strangest things in Poland

Polish girls everywhere.
Myszolow 3 | 157  
1 Aug 2009 /  #467
I've read right through this thread and a couple of things have been omitted.

What about the fact that people spend so much time and effort sweeping the street in front of their house? Particularly before Christmas and Easter and at weekends.

The proliferation of drunks (although they seem to be mostly old and dying off in the Zgierz area).

The fact that in shops you can buy a bottle of beer and drink it on the premises in order not to have to pay a deposit (kaucja). I often feel sorry for the shop assistants that they have to put up with the pijaki hanging around all day.

Everything has to be done the cheapest possible way (najtańszy) - even if it takes ten times as long - particularly in house construction (this is changing now - thank God)

15 years ago I found it very funny that when you go to a museum you have to put funny outer shoe things on your feet so as to protect the floor. Do they still do that? I haven't been to a museum for a long time in Poland.

Having to wear plastic shoe covers when you visit someone in hospital. (The hospitals I've visited in Zgierz/£ódź are so grim, you'd think a little bit of dirt would improve them) :)

The fact that I was told it was a bit rude to talk about money and Poles never seem to talk about anything else. In fact I recently bought a bike and the neighbours on both sides were dying to know how much I paid for it (as with anything else you buy). "Ile kosztował?"

And then of course there's the "if you give a Pole an inch, he will ask you for a kilometer"

Poles seem to have absolutely no sense of personal shame and have real problems self-limiting.

Oh - here's one I remember from driving UK-Poland before Polska joined the EU. Used to be such things as border queues. When in a border queue, many of the Poles would push their car forward 5-10m instead of starting it up. I assumed it was to preserve the battery on an old car. In fact, I was told it was to save petrol/gas. PMSL.

Oszczędność - whilst the rest of the world could learn something about frugal living from the staropolski folk, the lengths those people go to to save a teeny sum of money astonish me. They'd rather live in a rubbish dump like Mr Trebus than ever throw anything away "bo może czegoś przyda" (maybe it'll be useful).

The traffic system simply doesn't work at complex junctions with traffic lights because pedestrians are allowed to cross when people should be turning right. This screws up the whole traffic flow. >:-(

Very few fat people and no fat kids. (although, sadly fat children are appearing now as the "coke and crisps" culture develops. This is a disaster. I hate to see fat kids. :()

I find Poles a lot louder than Brits.

I'm sure I will think of more. But that should be enough to be going on with. ;)

Thought of some more...

Workmen not owning the correct tools for the job and expecting you to provide them.
(When we had our house built I was astonished that, in some cases, my hobby tools were of higher quality than the "professional" tools used by the builders)

Workmen using the wrong tools for the job and making it take a very long time and hard work to do.

Workmen being extraordinarily creative in ways of doing stuff. (My father-in-law was a world leader in fixing things using inadequate tools and materials because no others were available).

The whole "quality" thing (wszystko jednakowy) attitude. This applies mostly to the generation who are 40-50+. Complete inability to look at an item and judge if it's quality or shite - end up buying the cheapest and kidding themselves that they're pleased with it. I think the reason for this is simply that this generation had no choices when they were growing up. If you wanted ser, it was żółty or biały, not Camembert, Brie, Roquefort, cheddar etc.

I find Poles generally quite generous with their time.

The whole "build a house over 25 years" and not move in until it's completely finished concept. (This is disappearing though)

Poles will not guess or estimate anything - EVER! Drives me up the wall. I think the school system is to blame. If you get penalised for guessing wrong you will stop guessing.

If you ask someone "how long will this take"? You can bet your arse you will get a "nie wiem" (don't know) answer. So you have to ask another question. "3 hours?" then you start to make progress

"no. More than that".

"5 hours"?
"na przykład" (for example)

So you only had to ask 3 questions to get a ball-park figure.

They hate being wrong - same as the krauts. ;)
1 Aug 2009 /  #468
i drove from Szczecin to Poznan 2 weeks ago, and found it interesting that they were re-paving kilometers of the 2 lane highway that is in fairly good condition whilst they are building a 4 lane expressway 50-200 meters away through the trees. (you can see it)

that puzzles me. :S

It also is strange that the maximum speed in the city is 40km/h. I love getting stuck behind a Maluch with grandpa driving in the front and grandma in the back with the left seat full of ***** willows that they are going to sell on the sideway outside of Społem. I love villages with that 40km/h for trucks, slowing traffic to a crawl

Speaking of strange.... how about the way ppl overtake when driving on the highways, pulling off the most stupidest of stunts.

I noticed tonight that the fire department uses wooden ladders. :S

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