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Experiences of Irish people who moved to Poland


Kris 3 | 9  
16 Sep 2007 /  #1
Many Poles have come to Ireland in the last few years and it is a good thing for Ireland, adding to the cultural diversity. But I'm curious about the experiences of Irish people moving to Poland.....what has been your experience? What hurdles did you have to overcome?
vndunne 43 | 279  
17 Sep 2007 /  #2
Hi. I am an irish person who has moved to poland. I moved here last year. My experience has been good for the most part. The biggest hurdle is mainly the language. Socially, it is not a problem. However, for business e.g. dealing with local authorities, it is a bit more challenging. You have to organise a translator for everything. And you cant just pick up the phone to do things. You have to arrange a transalator for the simplest things. Apart from that, the only 'hurdles' that i have had to overcome, is ones that polish people have to overcome...and that is the general apporach to customer service in poland. I have met some very good people, but i have also had to deal with some incredibly awkward people. I intend to stay here for at least another year or two.
OP Kris 3 | 9  
17 Sep 2007 /  #3
Hi,

Thats interesting, (Vincent?). I have Polish friends here in Dublin and they have told me of the difficulties with customer service and dealing with local authorities and people being awkward. What stands out most from what they tell me is the work culture. That you never get an option to negotiate salary (because jobs are scarce and someone will take a job at a lower salary than you expect so employers are really not interested in the 'right person for the job', that you're are expected to work seriously long hours compromising a work/life balance/healthy lifestyle, and that lunch breaks are not common. I wonder how true that is.

I hope to move to Poland in in time, and fortunately my employer is paying for a Polish course I'm starting soon. I will find it hard adhering to the customs of a Catholic country, for many reasons. But I like challenges. I have noticed much homophobia and xenophobia, and anti-capitalist sentiments on this forum and so I'm just wondering how welcoming it be be in reality for me. I'm guessing Krakov will be the best option for me and I'll only really know once I'm there. Is there much of an Irish 'community' there?

I'm hoping to find a pathway to work there via my current employer, but I'm looking the option of teaching English also. I did the TEFL course nearly 10 years ago but maybe I'd have to do it again as it was so long ago.
vndunne 43 | 279  
17 Sep 2007 /  #4
Only been down to Krakow twice for weekends so not sure about the irish community. It is the tourist place in poland for foreigners as there it is a lovely city, and has auswitch and the salt mines near by so there is plenty of things to do.

In relation to the catholic thing, dont be too frightened by it. Dont get me wrong, there is huge catholic influence here in goverment and among older people. But among younger people it is not as forceful i.e. a lot of the young people are not going to mass...and believe me, they are not afraid to show their love....It is quite similiar to ireland in the 80's. In relation to homohobia and xenophobia, yes there would be some of that there. But it warsaw is anything to go by, you can be gay and have a very good time here. Just dont expect to be able to get married any time soon. Really dont know about anti- capitalistism...from what i can see, polish people are very into setting up their own businesses and being successsful. Dont let some of the views on this forum sway you. I live in poznan, spend a lot of time in warsaw and wroclaw, and all these cities have something to offer.

You should avail of the cheap flights over here to get to know the place better as i first came here in 2002 and saw it as a country waiting to happen...and believe me it is.

In relation to the work thing....i think it depends on where you work. If you work for local authorities, you do as little as you get away with. And then the bell strikes, they are out of there.

If you are in the private sector, then generally, is would be harder. Work life here is still quite hierarchical...you have a boss and you treat them like a boss....I am not saying it is like it in all places but generally, there is this 'control' thing going on.

In relation to lunch breaks, they are not as prevalent as in ireland. When working in offices here, they would take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Oh...you said you like challenges.....This country gives you loads of them....
Marius 1 | 33  
21 Sep 2007 /  #5
vndunne

I think this is very useful practical feedback, not only for Irish people. I am Dutch and will move for work to Krakow next week; your posts give me a good insight in working culture and general atmosphere, what to expect. etc. Thanks!
vndunne 43 | 279  
21 Sep 2007 /  #6
No problem. Glad to be of help. Hope you have fun in Krakow.
espana 17 | 910  
21 Sep 2007 /  #7
what about the bigot!!!!! are you moving to poland daffy?
alexbd - | 2  
22 Sep 2007 /  #8
yes, when i start to live in Poland i was facing many many problem to culmination. But i have to had over come the situation

Now my opinion If you know the language it will be very very enjoyable thing.
oldcaptin  
4 Oct 2007 /  #9
I planning on moving to Poland next year and want to open a business but what I don't know yet I have plenty of ideas. I have heard it's is very awarkward to open a business there is this true, I know in Ireland I had a difficult time with all our b**lsh*t I had to go through I was just wondering is it the same or does anyone know ?? I have been to Poland 4 times this year already to check things out and have a Polish girlfriend so as for a translator I'm fine but it's the location as well...any help will do just need a few pointers.....
captbdel  
7 Nov 2007 /  #10
Hi All,

Well I'm in the same boat I had a Polish girfriend now with a beautiful baby boy and I've been to LODZ a few times looking to buy property so I live / work there and see my son.

Now I'm all for having my own business I'm a IT consultant here in London but also love all things aviation. I just wonder if anyone would think of getting to together and maybe a few ex-pats starting up a business?. oh and I speak NIL Polish at the moment.

Your thoughts please.

Capt Bdel
cooper  
8 Nov 2007 /  #11
Poland is not the West....that is the simplest thing you can remember.

Unless you are very well off financially and can buy a house in a nice area things will not be up to the standard you are used to.

Attitudes are more apathetic and negative...cost can be surprisingly high for many things...people can be friendly in the house for dinner but in a shop or government office it is maddening how unhelpful they can be. Rules for everything depend on who you are talking to at the time...and EVERYTHING has a maddening amount of bureaucracy attached to it.

If you are part of a good family here (ie dating or married to their daughter) then hey will go out of their way to help you, but do not expect any stranger to life a finger.

Things that are commonplace in the West like customer service, warranties, good quality goods...are not commonplace here.

Poles are also often very difficult to do business with...they complain a ridiculous amount and are very stubborn when it comes to the littlest things. If you have Poles working for you be prepared for loads of excuses and no accountability really. They are still struggling with old attitudes and modern life as a society.

Is the West perfect? No way...but my basic point is any westerner who has been here for a decent amount of time will tell you...life is not as comfortable here in the big picture...most expats don't live here because it is a wonderful place to live...they live here because they have wives, kids or businesses here...and with the massive upcharge on imported goods and cheap labor you can make good business here...it's all about the money for most.

I will get slagged by Poles for saying such things but ask other expats who live here and you will hear the same.
opts 10 | 260  
8 Nov 2007 /  #12
I will get slagged by Poles for saying such things but ask other expats who live here and you will hear the same.

You will not get slagged. Your are correct. :)
cooper  
8 Nov 2007 /  #13
Oh and Captain Bdel,

I know there is a big aerobatic and soaring culture here and in Czech Rep but can't speak as to the access. They don't have loads of newer GA planes here from what I have seen and those they do have very high rental rates. Haven't seen them around the skies yet but the Poles got a bunch of F-16s recently and there seems to be airshows 2 or 3 times each spring/summer...but the winters here are not flying weather.

I have tried to take PPL lessons off and on for years and never got around to doing it proper. I checked on the only school I can find here in Warsaw and it seemed like everything else Polish...wrought with bureaucracy and more rules than seems possible. I think it would be much easier for me to do it back in the States.

I'd love to be part of some aviation business...just not sure what that would be here...
captbdel  
10 Nov 2007 /  #14
Hi Cooper,

I love flying and have not flown in Poland or elsewhere outside the uk. I have flying experience of Boeing 747-400, 737-800 real simulators in New Zealand and the UK. You might want to check these websites flightexperience.co.nz or flightadventures.ca

I would like to try flying in Poland over Europe some fantastic views in a glider at 10,000ft in New Zealand over the glaciers.

CAPT BDel
slick77 - | 127  
10 Nov 2007 /  #15
people can be friendly in the house for dinner but in a
shop or government office it is maddening how unhelpful they can be.

if you ever had to go to a public office here in chicago area you would probably discover a new meaning of the word unhelpful

If you are part of a good family here (ie dating or married to their daughter) then hey will go out of their way to help you, but do not expect any stranger to life a finger.

you can expect the same in any country cooper.
It seems to me like you were born yesterday.....

Things that are commonplace in the West like customer service, warranties, good quality goods...are not commonplace here.

cooper people who have never been out side of poland would probably belive your story but not those who live abroad and experienced exactly the same things in other countries...such as bad customer service, broken things, etc...

Poles are also often very difficult to do business with

with the massive upcharge on imported goods and cheap labor you can make good business here

you need to decide...
coop  
10 Nov 2007 /  #16
Well we simply disagree...while yes I have had bad service in a multitude of places including
Little Poland (Chicago)...Poland proper is by far the worst.

And to your last quote...if you don't understand it I cannot help you.....it is quite clear the difference.
Puzzler 9 | 1,089  
10 Nov 2007 /  #17
Poland is not the West

- Why not?

but my basic point is any westerner

- What do you mean by 'westerner'? What do you mean by 'the West'? Do you mean the so-called Wild West? :)

If you are part of a good family here (ie dating or married to their daughter) then hey will go out of their way to help you, but do not expect any stranger to life a finger.

Attitudes are more apathetic and negative...cost can be surprisingly high for many things...people can be friendly in the house for dinner but in a shop or government office it is maddening how unhelpful they can be. Rules for everything depend on who you are talking to at the time...and EVERYTHING has a maddening amount of bureaucracy attached to it.

- Well, it sounds like America to me, or in fact any other country.

Things that are commonplace in the West like customer service, warranties, good quality goods...are not commonplace here.

- And that's another lie. What a vicious liar.

Poles are also often very difficult to do business with...they complain a ridiculous amount and are very stubborn when it comes to the littlest things. If you have Poles working for you be prepared for loads of excuses and no accountability really.

- Hm, should the above be true, I wonder why we have such a massive foreign investment?

life is not as comfortable here in the big picture...most expats don't live here because it is a wonderful place to live...they live here because they have wives, kids or businesses here...and with the massive upcharge on imported goods and cheap labor you can make good business here...it's all about the money for most.

- Well, so you've been living here, in spite of the alleged discomfort, and it seems that in spite of those allegedly badly accountable, complaining, anti-business Poles you and scores of others have been making better living in Poland than in your own countries, including America? So after all, contrary to your other statements, you now say 'you can make good business' in Poland? See what a dumb liar you are?

Poland proper is by far the worst.

- Then why don't you get the hell out of here, along with your business (if you got any, loser)?

Out of my country, racist lying scumbag - now.

Well, as regards pooper and similar hate-spewing trolls in this forum, haven't I said in another thread that those like them come to this forum in order to spy on what is being said about their (widely disliked) 'ethnic group,' slander and create disharmony?

:)
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
13 Nov 2007 /  #18
If you are part of a good family here (ie dating or married to their daughter) then hey will go out of their way to help you, but do not expect any stranger to life a finger.

True. Once you're in the family, you're in. Until then, they are very unfriendly if you can't offer them anything. Friends are measured by what they can offer.
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,510  
13 Nov 2007 /  #19
Quoting: cooper
Poles are also often very difficult to do business with...they complain a ridiculous amount and are very stubborn when it comes to the littlest things.

- Hm, should the above be true, I wonder why we have such a massive foreign investment?

this is my experience too - negotiating the contract for mokwy was an absolute farce... so much so that at one point i ripped the contract up infront of them and told them to sort their fukin sh!t out and stop wasting everybody's time...

it really did appear that their main concern was that i was trying to rip them off and spent all their effort trying to add clauses that would some how protect their interests... they came up with a preposterous get out clause which was offensive to say the least but i eventually agreed to and then used to my advantage when i wanted out of the contract

ridiculous

why is there such massive investment - because with all investments you weigh the pros against the cons - despite the bollox involved in trying to do business in poland, the rewards, at present, make it worthwhile
captbdel  
14 Nov 2007 /  #20
Well I hope to start a IT Business in LODZ and I'm Irish and I love a challenge.
irishdeano 5 | 304  
14 Nov 2007 /  #21
give me a job there :P :P :P
IrishJohn  
5 Feb 2008 /  #22
Hello,
I am from Dublin and I live permanently in Poland near Krakow. I used to live here for two years but that was three years ago and things have changed a lot (simular to Ireland did). There are many more jobs and more money in general. There used to be stories in the news about malnourished children now there is news about obese children. I find that Polish people are very simular to Irish. With Catholicism, A bad history, alcohol (although pub culture is new and only young people eat out or go to bars)and the Celtic tiger... I find Poland a very welcoming place. You have to learn the language, true(I thought that was obvious?). Polish generally work earlier and leave earlier. Start 7:00 and leave at 15:00 and take little or no breaks, it has been said to me, because they want to have a life outside of work. You must also put things into a historical perspective, there is a lot of bureaucracy but I think another way of looking at it is Ireland had very little, it was all done on a nod and a wink in Ireland. I used to teach English here and I was being paid a ridiculous amount of money, much more than a fully qualified Doctor and all I did was a TEFL course. I don't know how that is now. The women are beautiful!!!

I just read some of the other people's views, I really enjoy living in Poland I think Polish people are great. I have a business here and of course things are done differently but of course they are (different does not mean bad). I suppose the point I am trying to make is that a lot of foreigners that move abroad are messed up and I usualy do not associate with them. They go on about how everything is better at home, but they left and are just being the same useless wasters that they were at home, except people at home won't take it because they understand!.

The way the conversation has been going on on this forum no wonder it stopped Nov last year. I hope Polish people are getting a better reception in my country?.

So in good faith I would like to talk about Poland and let us create positive differences and annihilate negative differences.
So on that thought I would like to mention things I love about the place, (I feel I must amend for the abuses that have been thrown around on this forum).

1. The women are simply beautiful
2. The difference in seasons makes the place feel like a different country from snow white winters to blistering hot summers.(As appossed to Ireland's all year round rainy season)

3. The food, all natural all delicious, I have gained weight as a result. Walking through the market picking up fruits'n'veg fresh from the farm.

4. The beer, it's all good!
5. Polish films are a real insight to the culture, e.g. Sex mission, Mis, rozmova controlovana. (sorry for my polish spelling)
6. Polish people smile with their eyes, very warm and friendly.
7. The road sign with the girl with the lolly pop.
8. The Tatra mountains and the zakopana architecture. Krakow has a beautiful charm.
9. The year round sports activities, snowboarding,mountain walking, cycling, etc...
10. Did I mention the women ;)
sirgayer  
5 Feb 2008 /  #23
The way the conversation has been going on on this forum no wonder it stopped Nov last year. I hope Polish people are getting a better reception in my country?.

Reading your comments my friend, It seems you were a failure in Ireland..lol
Irish girls are nice.
Your only hope is your money.
Oscypek - | 107  
5 Feb 2008 /  #24
Hello,I am from Dublin and I live permanently in Poland near Krakow.

IrishJohn, having visited and spent time both countries I find your observations to be quite good. Excellent posts.
finT 12 | 167  
5 Feb 2008 /  #25
10. Did I mention the women ;)

The women are beautiful!!!

1. The women are simply beautiful

So that makes everything fine does it? I actually think Coopers analysis was pretty spot on, well written and unoffensive, just good observation. Shame it threw Puzzler into an almighty tantrum though.
Marcus911 3 | 102  
7 Feb 2008 /  #26
Then why don't you get the hell out of here, along with your business (if you got any, loser)?

Out of my country, racist lying scumbag - now.

I think what Cooper is saying is true, there is no need to get on your high horse Puzzler, I and my Polish wife and her family understand how difficult it can be especially with government officials, they look at you as if you have two heads when you ask for something, even when you are paying for their time. Shop assistants can be also have the same traight of thought.. when you enter the shop it's like, "Why should I sell you this, and you can forget about bringing it back if it is faulty.

Apart from that and a few other things, I like Poland,..

Polish people do not complain enough, you are being trodden on by your local government departments, who YOU are paying with your taxes, they are the Peoples employees, and as for the shops, they should give guarantees and train their staff to be nicer to the public, after all it is the public who keep the business running.
Dublinjohn - | 38  
4 Jul 2008 /  #27
Are there any Polish people near Krakow on here?

Related:

Do English/Irish people trust Polish businesses?

I am not wondering about simple stuff such as shops etc. but about more serious commitments like a wedding photography.

Outside of Poland, without a doubt. Polish workers do have a good reputation, and I think for professional services such as wedding photography, they're no less trusted than natives.

In Poland however is a different story - many foreigners in Poland have had bad experiences with Polish businesses. In this respect, I'd say that it's partially language barrier and partially "let's rip off the foreign guy" - as well as naivety on the part of the person buying the service.

Ultimately, due diligence is everything.

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