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Poland vs. UK - how the manners differ


Ksysia 25 | 430  
8 Dec 2009 /  #1
As I understand the Anglophone side, there are complaints that:
- we don't have the custom of holding the door for them.. which is true, and yes, I am used to it now and do it. It doesn't hurt me and might even be nice. But originally we only have a custom of males doing that for females and not just behind one's back but standing to the side.

- we look at people. which is true, and I look at people. I don't agree with your version, I don't think it's rude and will continue to do it.

- we do have a custom of saying thanks, but not like the British quick 'cheers' used as our 'dobra dobra' and 'no super'. in fact 'cheers' and 'ta' are rude in my opinion, it's brushing off the other person. I use thanks.

- guys don't give enough gifts and meals out. that one is deeply cultural. you know what kind of women take gifts - not hook3rs, but moneymaker fiancées.

there might be others, feel free to rant.

Now let me present you with the Polish side, the opinions of my acquaintances, colleagues, friends and my humble self:

bad things:
- the table manners are bad in the UK, better in the US. Americans don't chomp so horribly. Brits like especially a packet of crisps, especially when it's quiet in the office, and while sitting behind one's back and with GLEE. I also don't know how do you speak so articulately with mouth full, and does the plate really need such forceful poking?

- gossip is rampant - not that we don't have it, but it's done differently.
- rudeness towards pedestrians while driving is life-threatening.
- some people don't realize that the person who enters the last, greets everyone first. they expect me to greet them, when I'm sitting inside! I politely smile and look and wait patiently. It might be due to some feudal laws of superiority or leftist bs. We in all honesty have had it as well, when a woman in the previous system would greet a man first, just because she worked for him. one argument against working women.

-telling on one another. haven't happened to me personally.
-the introductions never happen. you're left to fend for yourself.
-they ask for higher prices from foreigners. just this Sunday I paid £25 for a wreath, while it costed £15.. no matter, she can have a Christmas gift from me.

good things:
-thank you notes. I love that custom, it's so considerate.
-politeness towards other cars while driving
-small talk - we've lost that one.
-cashier packing your shopping
-customer service will at least pretend they are bothered
-shop assistants are nice and polite
-foreign people are never trying to force an invitation, at least not to my humble hut.
-they are insistent on paying cash for petrol after a longer ride, even though I didn't ask for it.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
8 Dec 2009 /  #2
I don't think thanks is said often enough here at all in Poland. Ta is often said for quick thanks when people are on the move.

In 5 years in Poland, I haven't seen a man open a door for a woman ONCE.

There isn't that much staring in Poland at all. Then again, I've experienced Japan and noticed it more readily there.

Cheers is not rude at all. It's for closeness and I often use it with good vibes. It is often said with a smile which is more than can be said for some here.

Don't give gifts? It depends!

Forceful poking? I've never seen that. Gossip is gossip, the stuff I hear here is dreadful.

I saw a guy get run down today and there are so many close shaves that I've seen. The crossings are a disgrace, often positioned just by intersections. Some cars just go way too fast.

Telling on one another happens here too and in a very nasty way, trust me.

Higher prices for foreigners happens everywhere where they think they can get off with it, in every country.

Greetings? I've never heard of what you described.
Torq 26 | 2,371  
8 Dec 2009 /  #3
In 5 years in Poland, I haven't seen a man open a door for a woman ONCE.

That's odd, Seanus. Seriously - even considering the fact that 98% of Poles
have peasant background and manners it still sounds unbelievable.

All my friends always open doors for their wives and female acquaintances
and it's quite obvious and natural, like using a knife and a fork.

Not ONCE in 5 years? That's shocking. You must live in some terrible
Greenock-like neighbourhood (no offence to all decent Greenockians ;)).
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
8 Dec 2009 /  #4
Seriously, I can't remember having seen this done. My memory is pretty good too.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702  
8 Dec 2009 /  #5
they ask for higher prices from foreigners. just this Sunday I paid £25 for a wreath, while it costed £15.. no matter, she can have a Christmas gift from me.

Where? We dont have foreigners rates in the UK a price in a shop is the price everyone pays whether they be English or Polish, there's no difference.

I dont even know why Im answering your post its just silly.

Seanus

Would you like me to do the introductions since I'm last on this thread? ;0)
frd 7 | 1,399  
8 Dec 2009 /  #6
Ksysia

Seanus

You should have focused on things that are a custom in one of the countries, badmouthing behind somebody's back is pretty popular in Poland.

Holding doors is a frequent sight whenever I go in my city, hence I have no idea from where exactly this strange thought emerged. People hold doors for each other, whether for a male of female, doesn't matter, always let through first these who are leaving the building.

In 5 years in Poland, I haven't seen a man open a door for a woman ONCE.

pieronie, kaj ty lukasz synek.
:P
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
8 Dec 2009 /  #7
In 5 years in Poland, I haven't seen a man open a door for a woman ONCE.

that's pretty unbelievable! i find it rare amongst British men to do this, but all Polish guys at work open and hold the doors for me, my dad does it, all men in my family do, ALL Polish men i know in fact!

gossip is rampant - not that we don't have it, but it's done differently.

they love it don't they, it's like they feed on it

As for rude manners at the table, i find it disgusting that so many people here in UK - including women - find burping and farting socially acceptable! And saying 'pardon' is good enough to apologise and carry on with their pig-like manners. It's just gotta come out.

People talk about sex freely as if they were talkig about what they had for breakfast. The older they are, the worse they get too!

I very much agree with Ksysias observations, made me laugh...
OP Ksysia 25 | 430  
8 Dec 2009 /  #8
Ksysias observations, made me laugh..

i'm glad! - cieszę się!
stevepl 2 | 49  
8 Dec 2009 /  #9
Definitely the shop assistants here are terrible. They seem to take particular delight if they can reply 'nie ma'.
In the UK it would be pretty standard to say they were sorry they were out of stock and offer an alternative or let you know when it would be available.

Apart from that I find people much more polite here, but then again politeness and formality are still part of the language here.
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
8 Dec 2009 /  #10
Apart from that I find people much more polite here, but then again politeness and formality are still part of the language here.

i would actually dare to say that in Poland people are not so much polite but purely formal. they may well address you as pan/pani but still be a rude twat to you.

They seem to take particular delight if they can reply 'nie ma'

same with drobne ;)
Nika 2 | 507  
8 Dec 2009 /  #11
Definitely the shop assistants here are terrible. They seem to take particular delight if they can reply 'nie ma'.

hahahahaha, yeah I know this feeling...our dear shop assistants can drive one mad!!!!

As for rude manners at the table, i find it disgusting that so many people here in UK - including women - find burping and farting socially acceptable!

PEOPLE, IT IS ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING AND UNACCEPTABLE TO BURP AND FART AT THE TABLE!
stevepl 2 | 49  
8 Dec 2009 /  #12
That's true enough. Prosze Pana ... Is usualy delivered in the most condescending tone possible when someone is just about to tell you why they think they're right and your wrong.
Steveramsfan 2 | 306  
8 Dec 2009 /  #13
PEOPLE, IT IS ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING AND UNACCEPTABLE TO BURP AND FART AT THE TABLE!

I agree, but its not common practice to fart at the dinner table.

Introductions is also a cultural thing, I have to say that the English people you have met are not the best examples if they just ignore you when they walk in.

In Uk where I am from, the host introduces people to each other, its not left up to the individual to introduce themselves.

Guess what?

I'm not offended to introduce myself when in Poland, its just one of your traditions. There are a few things about Poland that are weird to me but its how you do things and I must put up with them if I stay in your country.

Your post made me laugh, if thats all you have to worry about in your life you are very lucky.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
8 Dec 2009 /  #14
Maybe because I went through automatic doors to work for 3 years here (2 years in quiet buildings) ;) ;) Maybe if I wore some lipstick and puffed up those man boobs? ;) ;)

That's true, I've known many people to burp and fart at the table. Better out than in ;) ;) Not very nice at all really.

Some families, like mine, take their shoes off when entering a house but it's more widespread in Poland. That suits me just fine as I had to do it in Japan all the time. It's very much a rule there, not an option.
OP Ksysia 25 | 430  
8 Dec 2009 /  #15
Some families, like mine, take their shoes off when entering a house but it's more widespread in Poland. That suits me just fine as I had to do it in Japan all the time. It's very much a rule there, not an option.

That's admirable, Seanus! we have that custom as well. And all the emigrant bunch around does... except one: she recently got a payrise and stopped taking the shoes off. It must be that she read in a newspaper that posh people don't take shoes off. Nevermind.

Posh aside, have you got any ideas how can I get the newly rich to take her shoes off again? Asking directly is not helping, she ignores me.
Steveramsfan 2 | 306  
8 Dec 2009 /  #16
Posh aside, have you got any ideas how can I get the newly rich to take her shoes off again?

Pin her down and remove them from her feet.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
8 Dec 2009 /  #17
Spit on them and ask her to give them a good polish with it ;) ;) That soon takes them back to normality.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702  
8 Dec 2009 /  #18
PEOPLE, IT IS ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING AND UNACCEPTABLE TO BURP AND FART AT THE TABLE!

Im English and I have never in my life come across it. Im English, lived here all my life and all my family and (bar a couple) friends are English, no burping, no farting, no eating with ones mouth gaping open, no speaking with food in said mouth and in general good manners all round. I havent noticed Poles doing it either, maybe I just mix with nice Poles and you lot mix with ropey Brits.

Posh aside, have you got any ideas how can I get the newly rich to take her shoes off again? Asking directly is not helping, she ignores me.

Dont invite her in.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
8 Dec 2009 /  #19
I can't remember so many Scots shouting cuss words so loudly on the streets. The number of 'kurwa' or 'ja pierdole' shouts by hooded twats is incredible. It's quite embarrassing!

Shopkeepers in Scotland are more receptive in the main, esp the small local shops where people know one another. Here, the old biddies come in and say 'dzień dobry' to the floor. I've never seen so many wannabe snobs dressed as peasants and tarts. The 'do widzenia na odpier*ol się' is also a laugh.

Also, I noticed more people acknowledging their turn in Scotland. If a shop assistant became free, most Scots would invite the person in another queue who was before them in. Here, only a small handful do that.
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
9 Dec 2009 /  #20
Here, only a small handful do that.

oh they don't have to announce there's another till open, the Poles will run in their direction stomping all over each other before the cashier can sit down properly ;D
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
9 Dec 2009 /  #21
Well, it's not that bad ;) ;) Still, there does seem to be less respect for others here.
tornado2007 11 | 2,275  
9 Dec 2009 /  #22
I know it is one in the same thing, rather than being disrespectful to others in purpose, i would describe it as them being 'selfish' something i see in a lot of Polish people. Its not always a bad thing to be self centred, taking it as far as a que though, well thats just a little OTT :)
frd 7 | 1,399  
9 Dec 2009 /  #23
PEOPLE, IT IS ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING AND UNACCEPTABLE TO BURP AND FART AT THE TABLE!

oh come on, little fart here and there never harmed anyone..
bravo 4 | 63  
9 Dec 2009 /  #24
What a rediculous benign thread. Honestly folks give it upto a higher power or soemthing.

Get a life.

God dammit I have to say it though I hate myself for getting involved in this garbage.

'Polish people never hold doors for anyone unless they are making A SHOW of it.'
Otherwise the poles are just swell
frd 7 | 1,399  
9 Dec 2009 /  #25
'Polish people never hold doors for anyone unless they are making A SHOW of it.'

Indeed you shouldn't have participated in this thread, if the only thing you provided us with is this drivel.
Bzibzioh  
9 Dec 2009 /  #26
God dammit I have to say it though I hate myself for getting involved in this garbage.

Nice first post. I'm sure your future threads are going to be a bunch of gems :)
asik 2 | 220  
9 Dec 2009 /  #27
That's admirable, Seanus! we have that custom as well. And all the emigrant bunch around does... except one: she recently got a payrise and stopped taking the shoes off. It must be that she read in a newspaper that posh people don't take shoes off. Nevermind.

Posh aside, have you got any ideas how can I get the newly rich to take her shoes off again? Asking directly is not helping, she ignores me.

I don't think it has anything to do with becoming rich.
Some people, while visiting, don't like ie: to sit around the dinner table without their shoes on or barefoot (if during summer) and it is a good manner to respect that.

When you expect your guests to take off their shoes you should be able to offer them some new or nearly new "domestic" clean shoes.

I personally don't like when my guests take off their shoes and it has many reasons ie: foot diseases or getting cold.

In some countries there is a custom not to wear shoes while entering the building - they have a good reasons for that too (most of the time people over there are sitting on the floors) and we need to respect their traditions.
time means 5 | 1,310  
9 Dec 2009 /  #28
God dammit

Taking the Lords name in vain.

Bad manners indeed.
Rogalski 5 | 94  
9 Dec 2009 /  #29
Holding doors is a frequent sight whenever I go in my city, hence I have no idea from where exactly this strange thought emerged. People hold doors for each other, whether for a male of female, doesn't matter, always let through first these who are leaving the building.

I have regularly held doors open to let people out, or stepped aside as a courtesy ... and nothing. Not everyone in the UK says thanks either, but more often than not people would say thank you. But Poles seem to expect it as a matter of course? Or perhaps they are perplexed that I am not barging past them ...
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
9 Dec 2009 /  #30
oh come on, little fart here and there never harmed anyone..

i don't like your attitude! lol

What a rediculous benign thread. Honestly folks give it upto a higher power or soemthing.

bravo indeed, what a contribution you made! i feel like i wasted precious seconds of my life just reading your excuse of a post.

But Poles seem to expect it as a matter of course?

it's a very common thing in Poland to hold doors for women, it's not so much that we expect it, it's always been that way and it's the norm. suppose we should understand that not all nations are as courteous, even if Poles do it mechanically, not to be polite ;). i often hold doors for other women or kids, if i try to hold doors for a bloke though then in most cases they will thank me and let me get through first anyway :).

I have regularly held doors open to let people out, or stepped aside as a courtesy ...

i find they always say thank you, and i make sure i say thank you if they do it for me

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