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The Warsaw experience


Jay24 12 | 64  
26 Aug 2009 /  #1
I like Warsaw. I’ve only been here for a short time but I am intrigued by the city. Coming from the UK and having spent so much of my time living close to and working in London, I feel quite at home being in a big city. Like all big cities, Warsaw has it’s quirks and I’ve noticed a few of them during my short time here. I’m sure in fact that not all of these are unique to Warsaw and could be attributed to other towns and cities, both in Poland and elsewhere. Anyway, I wanted to share my observations with you and I would be keen to hear your thoughts and similar experiences.

One of the first things I noticed about Warsaw is if you spend any time around the city centre during the day, then you are very likely to find yourself stepping out onto what can only be described as a carpet of softcore porn. Yes, quite often you will find yourself walking down a street covered in discarded calling cards that were tossed to the floor by the disgruntled owners of many of the cities vehicles. The glossy filth is normally seen piled under the windscreen wipers of rows of cars until the owners return. I saw one guy literally fly into a fit rage after discovering his car had been decorated in the adult educational material. I also found that I spent a great deal of time walking around looking at the floor when I first came to Warsaw.

Next. Burning Bins. I was really quite taken aback when I saw my first burning bin in Warsaw. I was with my girlfriend who didn’t seem too bothered by me shouting fire, fire and sh* a few times. Apparently this is quite normal. A discarded cigarette often produces a roaring fire in the cities bins and should simply be ignored. Now every time I see a flaming dust bin, I just avert my gaze and go back to studying the ground porn.

Now this next one might seem a little strange and I’m sure this would not have been witnessed by many of you. Warsaw has a very dark side that not many people have seen. I’m referring to falling wardrobes. That’s right people, falling wardrobes. Let me explain. I arrived in Poland at the end of April. I have an agreement with my current employer that I spend 3 days per week working in Warsaw and the rest of my time working from home in Krakow. What this means is I’ve spent many nights now living in a number of the cities apartments. Let’s be clear, these are not hotels but simply managed apartments which are let out by a management company. I have opted to stay in these various apartments as it is much cheaper than staying in a hotel. These apartments however all have one thing in common, they are all decked out in the latest furnishings and flat packs from Ikea. In several of the apartments I have stayed in, I had a number of very close calls with the resident wardrobes. These MDF giants seem to reside on some sort of invisible pivot which means if you open both wardrobe doors together, the wardrobe will start to lean slowly towards you. The first time this happened, I thought there was a problem with my eyes. I opened the wardrobe doors and I could sense movement in front of me but couldn’t tell what was causing it. It was an odd sensation and I thought my eyes were going blurry. I quickly realised however that it was in fact the wardrobe and not my eyes that was the problem. I quickly put my hands up and leant into the wardrobe to stop it falling further. I then moved it upright, closed the doors straight away and chose to hang my clothes from the curtain rail instead. This was not the only time this has happened, I’ve been in other apartments where I’ve had similar wardrobe experiences. It has only been my quick reflexes and alertness that has so far saved me from being entombed in one of the plywood beasts. This is a warning people, beware the Warsaw Wardrobes.

In all honesty, it is a great city and I like the place very much. These little incidents and quirks are not criticisms of my time here, some are just small things which are part of Warsaws make up and others are part of my own personal Polish experience. I’m looking forward to my future experiences here and I will write again of any further tales and dangers I may encounter.
scotjock 1 | 40  
26 Aug 2009 /  #2
That was quite humorous Jay. If you're staying 3 days a week for quite some time why not appraoch some hotels like the Marriott. They normally do deals do secure regular income. Their wardrobes don't fall down!!
OP Jay24 12 | 64  
26 Aug 2009 /  #3
why not appraoch some hotels like the Marriott. They normally do deals do secure regular income

Do you reckon they could do a deal of less than 200PLN per night? Will be going past there tonight so might have a word.
szarlotka 8 | 2,209  
26 Aug 2009 /  #4
discarded calling cards

Known locally as Pokeman Cards;)

I see that you have not yet met the peacocks in Lazienski Park. Be afraid, very afraid.

Nice post Jay
ShawnH 8 | 1,508  
26 Aug 2009 /  #5
beware the Warsaw Wardrobes.

I have had the same experience with Billy Cabinets here in Canader.

Ikea usually supplies a tie down, to be attached at the top of the cabinet to the wall. I am in the habit of securing them every time!

Excellent post!
OP Jay24 12 | 64  
26 Aug 2009 /  #6
Known locally as Pokeman Cards;)

Like that :)
OsiedleRuda  
26 Aug 2009 /  #7
These apartments however all have one thing in common, they are all decked out in the latest furnishings and flat packs from Ikea. In several of the apartments I have stayed in, I had a number of very close calls with the resident wardrobes.

hahahahaha!!!!! I'm never going to look at my Warsaw wardrobes in the same way ever again after that! :)

All the rest is, funnily enough, true as well. What always makes me laugh in Warsaw is why they always give me "szkola angielskiego" leaflets near the subways, no matter how "I'm in a hurry" I look. Surely I look like a tourist???? lol
Chipmunk 12 | 61  
31 Aug 2009 /  #8
This was great!

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