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The past and future of Poland. Poland is lost.


Bratwurst Boy 12 | 12,324  
31 Jul 2008 /  #61
Now its just Europe.

??? :)

and most of you are just Europeans now. Good luck with that.

Erm...
OP michaelmansun 11 | 135  
31 Jul 2008 /  #62
Ashamed of what? Being European? No. But just because countries share a common currency that doesn't mean they should lose their identity. I do not believe in an integrated Europe in terms of government, and of culture, but of economics and freedom to travel and work, yes, I believe in that for Europe.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 12,324  
31 Jul 2008 /  #63
Well...you can't get the one without the other!

You can't have totally free business and travel and work and all without mixing and merging and importing life styles, ideas etc. which of course changes your "happy, little innocent island" too.

To achieve THAT, your idea of a country like no other, you should build a really high, impenetrable wall without any contact to the outside, no radio, no TV, no free travel allowed, news are filtered of course....ooops!
VaFunkoolo 6 | 654  
31 Jul 2008 /  #64
If you follow the links the other four are really interesting.

Yeah Carol that was an interesting set of clips - thanks for putting me on to it

They drew on the opinions of a good cross section of people - jews, germans, gays, asians, blacks - all of whom expresed views of Poland you can read every day on the forum

In answer to your question - yes, it is the truth as I see it
celinski 31 | 1,258  
31 Jul 2008 /  #65
In answer to your question - yes, it is the truth as I see it

Your very welcome and thanks for your confirming.
VaFunkoolo 6 | 654  
31 Jul 2008 /  #66
Youre welcome

How do you feel about seeing these views expressed by such a broad cross section of foreigners about their experiences of life in Poland?

The person I know is the black guy - he is a well respected musician and has been in Poland for years
celinski 31 | 1,258  
31 Jul 2008 /  #67
How do you feel about seeing these views

It looks like a blast if you go there with the right mindset. IMO I feel many that go are looking for Poland prior to takeover, like Communism went out the back door and everything was back to normal.

Its strange because growing up I always thought of Poland as some magical, beautiful lands with rolling hills and plentiful trees. As this was from my Grandfather's memories prior to 1939. He always left out the negitive of the war. He left there in 1951 for the states.

I was just talking with a guy that just spent a month in the states and he loved it, found the people very friendly. One thing he said was in the stores here the staff are outgoing and helpful, yet in Poland he said they are not?
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893  
31 Jul 2008 /  #68
One thing he said was in the stores here the staff are outgoing and helpful, yet in Poland he said they are not?

Customer service isn't the best and they can look a bit miserable and inconvenienced if you want something...
OP michaelmansun 11 | 135  
31 Jul 2008 /  #69
Store clerks make less than everyone. It's a miserable life. No money. They get tired of selling clothes to people with lots of money treating them like trash. That's in Poland..actually most of Europe. Actually, it is everywhere the same. Store clerks don't make much in the US either, but the expenses of life are cheaper here than in Poland and Europe in general, so maybe they can afford to be nicer here in the States.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
31 Jul 2008 /  #70
Country, city: usa

Not Guildford anymore ?
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544  
31 Jul 2008 /  #71
Ashamed of what? Being European? No. But just because countries share a common currency that doesn't mean they should lose their identity. I do not believe in an integrated Europe in terms of government, and of culture, but of economics and freedom to travel and work, yes, I believe in that for Europe.

A positive side effect of the situation when you get in touch with other cultures is that you learn to appreciate things that normally you take for granted in your old country. So it's not as bad as you might think. Actually it's getting better and better with every day.

Many have posted on this forum that Poland is as good, if not better, than the rest of Europe. This has been discussed at great length at various times

In some aspects it clearly is. In other it really has a lot to catch up.
VaFunkoolo 6 | 654  
31 Jul 2008 /  #72
It looks like a blast if you go there with the right mindset.

Poland is a blast. Theres no denying it, there is a hell of a lot of fun to be had there, but with that comes head bangingly infuriating frustration.

Your Grandfather's memories are spot on. Poland is awash with beautifully magical mountains, lakes, forest and beaches. And the guy you met is right too, compared to the states the shop and restaurant staff are not particularly outgoing or helpful. Poland is a country of contrasts

In some aspects it clearly is. In other it really has a lot to catch up.

True. But sometimes I get the feeling it is forefitting the best it has to offer in exchange of the worst the 'West' has to offer
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
1 Aug 2008 /  #73
Hello michaelmansun,
This thread is very interesting, I like the fact that your view of Poland (maybe the world) is so different to mine.
I am surprised that you are American but that just adds to my interest.
Would I be right in saying, that you think/feel/saw that since Poland joined West Europe it surrendered it self and sold out for a few Euro. And in doing so lost it's "Polishness" where before neighbors used to help each other and everyone was more or less the same (including foreigners), people turned to greed and "the all mighty dollar", that people fought and died to liberate their country and now have lost it to western influences (PC, happy meals, fast cars)?

Correct me if I missunderstood anything.
I am from Ireland and over the past 10 years Ireland has gone from a very poor country to one of the richest in western Europe, so I see huge similarities between Poland and my own country. I think Ireland in fact was poorer than Poland, My parents did not have a toilet or running water for an example. And although everybody talks about the "Irish miracle" or the "Celtic tiger(s)" there are people who miss the old Ireland. I myself am a property developer but I get sick to death with Irish people talking about prices of houses. We had a pub culture but now people are paying off the crazy mortgages and are afraid to "waste time" in essence the have joined the Rat Race. Not to mention the people who did not do well and who have fallen through the cracks of the change from poor Ireland to rich Ireland and are now left struggling with loan repayments.

Because the changes happened so fast people get a head of themselves, think they are better than they are, if you know what I mean. Ukrainian sweatshops in Poland, Dubliners saying bad things about "F**king refugees" (Not Polish) and we are probably the biggest nation of refugees.

But, and this is were we disagree, my parents now have a toilet each, taps in each bathroom and kitchen, people for the first time in maybe 800years are staying in Ireland because there are opportunities in Ireland.

Poland 6 years ago, when I first lived here, had massive unemployment (45% in some areas), corruption and malnourished children, they could not leave the country with ease and the American consulate was a big joke to get a visa.

Not very well eduated either.

This does not sound like the Poland I know, I would say Polish people hold education in a higher respect than money. This sentence did annoy me, excuse me for nit picking. Having no education is certainly nothing to be proud of or to emulate.

Like in Ireland, we used to be thick simple paddys, to put it simply, now we are educated and can make decisions for ourselves, our families, our country and even our Europe.

I think the thing that I disagree with the most is that in no uncertain terms you are calling Polish people weak, they have lost their Polishness, their culture and their independence. Cultures are dynamic, it is not some thing that sits in the corner and stays exactly the same. A friend of mine is a traditional Polish dancer, he travels the world, rightfully showing off Polish culture.

I think you may be sentimental, you obviously worked hard and are disgusted at how easy it is for young people now.
And all this without mentioning communism. Don't even get me started on that one.
GodandBrown 2 | 63  
1 Aug 2008 /  #74
Sean BM, I fully agree with you. I have just been to Poland and I was totally impressed how things are going on there...I saw lots of steps done by the Poles, of course, with help of the EU (like Ireland), I saw people laughing, but I also heard people discussing the mentality change (due to the translation of my Polish wife).

I think some things will never change in Poland. Hospitality and the sense for education. It makes Poland so wonderful and fresh.
OP michaelmansun 11 | 135  
1 Aug 2008 /  #75
Wrong on most accounts. I rarely ever saw malnourished children. We have more of that in the US than I ever saw in Poland. Indoor plumbing? OK. Sory it was so tough in Ireland. I think I saw one outhouse during 6 years in Poland.

Am I bitter about how easy it is now for the young in Poland? That is oversimplification in its most oversimplified form. I met alot of young people in Poland last year. People I didn't know. Most of them had either been away to Spain or UK to make money or were planning to leave quite soon. The young still do not make money in Poland..not much anyway.

I met developers in Poland. One was from Holland, the other a Pole. I had lunch with them quite by accident. I asked them simply, "With annual average wages around 10,000 Euro in Poland, how do Poles afford to build a house or buy a flat at the prices you ask?" His response? "I don't market to Poles. I market to Western Europe. Poles drive the taxis, exchange the money, cook the meals, clean the houses."

BTW. Happy meals have been in Poland for yeaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrsssssssss. McDonalds was and has always been everywhere. The Poland you described was 70 years ago, man. Your description of Ireland is nothing like the Poland I knew 15 years ago. How old are you, dude?
noimmigration  
1 Aug 2008 /  #76
Poland

......... Please EU may we have some more ?
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
1 Aug 2008 /  #77
Wrong on most accounts.

This is a discussion, could you be more specific, I would like to know your thoughts.

OK. Sory it was so tough in Ireland.

Not at all, you have nothing to be sorry for or about. I was just making a comparison.
But you can see that Poland is not as poor as it used to be, can't you?

Am I bitter about how easy it is now for the young in Poland?

I don't know if that is aimed at me, I said

I think you may be sentimental, you obviously worked hard and are disgusted at how easy it is for young people now.

perhaps you could explain this further?

I met developers in Poland. One was from Holland, the other a Pole.

Well that just goes to show you meet greedy people everywhere. I am trying to build relatively small houses (120 metres square)for Polish people, with the emphases on cheap and good quality.

I still think you are sentimental about the "good old days". But to be honest from your remarks "the good old days" sound crap in many ways but this is probably just where we disagree?
OP michaelmansun 11 | 135  
1 Aug 2008 /  #78
I'll elaborate later. Anyway, everyone's perspective is different depending on who they know and their status in life. Either you are looking up or looking down. Some are in the middle looking up and down. Either way, I realize a lot of Poles are grateful for EU membership. I have nothing against the EU. It's good for Poland in a lot of ways. I guess I just believe that Poland should be for Poles first...and not become a bargain market for people who have the money to buy whatever they want while a lot of Poles still have to go outside the country to find a well-paid job.
ParisJazz - | 172  
1 Aug 2008 /  #79
and not become a bargain market for people who have the money to buy whatever they want

I cant think of many things that a foreigner would have to go to Poland and buy out of passion or deep desire. The country is a classic case of an ex communist state with all its ills, and has very little appeal. That's a fact.

Also, I cant believe that some people are still complaining about foreigners buying up property in Poland. If anything the poles should be grateful. That's called foreign investment and the money is recycled into the wider economy in more ways then u'd ever think.

PJ
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
1 Aug 2008 /  #80
Also, I cant believe that some people are still complaining about foreigners buying up property in Poland

nor can i. actually wait. yes i can. this is poland we are talking about afterall
celinski 31 | 1,258  
1 Aug 2008 /  #81
The country is a classic case of an ex communist state with all its ills, and has very little appeal. That's a fact.

Give it time your negitive seems to be hard on the people that never gave up on hope.
ParisJazz - | 172  
1 Aug 2008 /  #82
I am not saying the place is hopeless, far from it.

I was replying to the person who seems to imply that every rich man and his dog are flocking to Poland buying up half the country. It simply ain't true. The country has next to zero appeal. And that's a fact.

The country has been in the EU for a while now and I don't know a single person in my entourage who is even considering going there for a weekend, let alone go there to buy stuff.

The only western foreigners I keep coming across in Poland are professional people who are there for professional reasons: work or business.

Otherwise there is the usual load of Ukrainians, Belarussians and so forth, who are just too happy to be around. But these are hardly the sort of people buying up the country.

PJ
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
1 Aug 2008 /  #83
Poland

funny that this picture comes from The Bounce Magazine and refers to comments based on the character of Oliver Twist. Wasn't he an English character described by an English author and concerning the English poor?
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
1 Aug 2008 /  #84
How old are you, dude?

I am 30 and I would prefer if you refered to me as Sean not dude.

Poland should be for Poles first...and not become a bargain market for people who have the money to buy whatever they want while a lot of Poles still have to go outside the country to find a well-paid job.

That is a fair enough point but I would say that it is only a minority for foreigners who buy here.
The wages are going up but so are most things in price. And In my opinion Polish people moving around is healthy and good, as ambassadors and to get ideas, some will come back others will not but they are working hard and carry Poland with them, in a very similar way Irish people did.

The country is a classic case of an ex communist state with all its ills, and has very little appeal. That's a fact.

That is pure opinion, not fact as you put it and in my opinion a false statment, there are many wonderful things Poland has to offer.

Have you ever lived in any other country that is a classic case of an ex communist state? I have and it was not a good experience.

I don't know a single person in my entourage who is even considering going there for a weekend

This leads me to believe your entourage are few in numbers or limited. Although I said before there are not that many foreigners buying here.

But back to the main point

I'll elaborate later. Anyway, everyone's perspective is different

I wish you would elaborate and yes everyone's perspective is different but that is why I find this thread interesting.
southern 75 | 7,096  
1 Aug 2008 /  #85
It is true in my opinion that during communism the national charcter of states was maintained.I do not know why.Maybe because of Stalin connecting communism to patriotism-nationalism.

So in Czech Republic you felt immediately in the 90's that this is czech land,Poland was polish,Ukraine ukrainian,folklore and local customs and mentality were rampant.

Since EU integration much has changed to homogenization.It seems the same process that Western Europe went through during the fifties and sixties,the so called americanization.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
1 Aug 2008 /  #87
t is true in my opinion that during communism the national charcter of states was maintained.I do not know why.Maybe because of Stalin connecting communism to patriotism-nationalism.

Perhaps or perhaps because there was limitations on travel, education and a basic keeping down of the people that it was stagnation, just a thought.

And maybe this stagnation is taken in Ireland and England as Stag Nation? (sorry a little joke there)

americanization.

Yes, there is a point to that. It is happening across the globe, unfortunate in many many respects.

Polska dla Polakow!!

Aren't you an American? ha ha ha


Polish people are usually surprised when I say I live here, they wonder why, when so many Poles go to my country I come here. I tell them that there is an unofficial agreement between our two countries, that for every one hundred thousand Poles that go to Ireland they send one Irish man here and that is me.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837  
1 Aug 2008 /  #88
in the 90's

Communism had fallen in 1989. So in the nineties everything was up for grabs and people were as a rule much more America-friendly, capitalist-oriented, and happy to run the rat race than they are now, almost 20 years after the deed was done. McDonalds, PCs and shopping malls are not a novelty any more, they're just another ho-hum fact of life, and nobody's wetting their pants with excitement about being in the EU either. I'd say most Polish people see EU membership, politically, more as a lesser of two evils than anything else.

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