One thing that amazes me now is that if you go into a trendy bar or hotel bar in Warsaw, Poznan and Krakow and ask for a vodka tonic then often you get served Absolut, Finlandia or Smirnoff - lower quality than Polish vodka for higher price !
Because these places are full of tourists and they like to be served what they are used to, which is the crap they find in their native countries, the mediocre products invented for their own national markets according to their taste. Be it vodka or any other typical product from just any country, it's a common phenomenon.
I wanted to add this. Here (in Belgium), I'm used to drinking Zubrowka, Wysent and Zoladkowa which I buy from a small Polish shop. They are indeed cheaper and better than the Smirnoff, Eristoff and the like...
One night however I had ran out of vodka and was expecting friends at home. I ran to the night-shop on the corner and they only had Smirnoff. So I bought it and put it in the freezer to cool it efficiently, as I usually do with vodka. When my friends arrived, I removed the Smirnoff from the freezer and the liquid inside was completely frozen. So what's in the bottle ??? Please don't call it vodka.