Return PolishForums LIVE
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives - 2005-2009 / Life  % width 13

Swimming certificate/bribing the bureaucrats in Poland


HelenaWojtczak 28 | 177  
9 Aug 2008 /  #1
In my travels across communist Poland 20-30 years ago I discovered that any brick-wall the bureaucracy placed in my path would magically disappear when a dollar or pound was slipped into someone's hand. Suddenly, yes, there WAS a seat or a couchette for me on a train, or a table in a restaurant, that two seconds earlier was "full up".

Staying with close friends they told me that I would not be allowed to swim in a public pool, take out a kayak, etc without a passcard that proved I had passed a swimming test. As a foreigner, of course I didn't have such a thing but I got around it four times by slipping a couple of dollars or pounds to the person in charge (pool ticket clerk, lifeguard etc). In those days a US $ was worth 1,000 to 1,500zl.

Do you still have to have a swimming pass, and if so how can I get around the problem now? I don't know what/how/whether I need to bribe anymore, now that there is no Black Market currency market.

Your rather old-fashioned and out-of-touch Helena
ukpolska  
9 Aug 2008 /  #2
Bribing is more and more less common, but its always apparent that when you find yourself in a situation it's easy to 'flash the wod', but be careful who you try to bribe i.e. the Police will not be so open to bribes any more and you might find yourself in deep doo-daa! ;0)
Lukasz K - | 103  
9 Aug 2008 /  #3
It is not true.
Thos papers as swimming, biking, saling papers are not in use any more.
You just need to be adult to ride a bike or rent a small saling boat.

Brbing of course happens, ut less and less frequently when you speak about everyday life. Sometimes, especially in the countryside you can bribe a policeman not to give you a ticket for speeding, but it is risky, becouse if you bump ino honest one you can end up in jail.

Todays bribes ount in milions and are called lobbing....

Lukasz
OP HelenaWojtczak 28 | 177  
9 Aug 2008 /  #4
Of course I never tried to bribe a policeman! These people were just minor officials who had it in their power to make life easy or difficult for me. They practically asked me for the money, and as soon as they caught hold of it they immediately "zalatwiached" everything for me!
Vincent 9 | 810   Moderator
9 Aug 2008 /  #5
In my travels across communist Poland 20-30 years ago

Helena just a long shot:) where you that lovely lady who was on here last year, as a quest, and wrote about her memoirs of her trips to Poland as a young lady in communist times?
LondonChick 31 | 1,134  
9 Aug 2008 /  #6
Do you still have to have a swimming pass, and if so how can I get around the problem now?

Not any more. The only trouble that I had last time I went to a swimming pool in Poland was trying to figuire out what time I could get into the pool, as there were lots of elderly people having an aqua-aerobics class, and the pool staff wouldn't just let me swim up and down in the background.
sobieski 107 | 2,128  
9 Aug 2008 /  #7
Short guide to go swimming in Warsaw:

1. Take your bike/car/bus/tram/ whatever to the closest-by OSIR (swimming pool complex)
2. Pay to enter or present your subscription-chipped card (my company gives everybody a chipcard for six months for a reduced rate)
3. Enjoy

By the way the "Warszawianka" OSIR on PUĊ‚awska is to be avoided at all costs. Too many loud teenagers, and they start to count your minutes to moment you enter. My friend's wife has very long hair which needs ages to dry and every minute is counted.
OP HelenaWojtczak 28 | 177  
11 Aug 2008 /  #8
Yes, VIncent. I had to re-register under a slightly different name cos I forgot my login/password!
Vincent 9 | 810   Moderator
11 Aug 2008 /  #9
well Helena it's great that you have come back again ....Myself and others enjoyed reading about your memoirs and, lets hope that you will tell us some more, in the near future :)
osiol 55 | 3,922  
11 Aug 2008 /  #10
....Myself and others enjoyed reading about your memoirs

I believe I remember this, although it was a while ago. Anyone got a link to it. I did try looking for it once but couldn't find it.

It may help someone find a link if I just show that in this bag I have a very nice bottle of vodka, almost itching to escape and change hands.
Vincent 9 | 810   Moderator
11 Aug 2008 /  #11
have tried to find it myself for sometime too...hopefully the good lady herself will refresh our memories :)
Vincent 9 | 810   Moderator
12 Aug 2008 /  #13
Thanks for the link Helena going to enjoy reading this again:)

Archives - 2005-2009 / Life / Swimming certificate/bribing the bureaucrats in PolandArchived