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Moving to Warszawa for 2 months for work: bank account, local culture, photography, people


incastone  
18 Jul 2011 /  #1
Hi everyone, I had a good look around the forum and got some useful tidbits before going for my first post (well 2nd post technically but hey).

I'm arriving in Warsaw tomorrow to do some contract work until the end of september.
I do not speak Polish, and although my work is translation based and I'm pretty good with languages, I'm not expecting to get anywhere with the Polish language in a couple of months, although I'll try to pick up enough to not seem completely ignorant :0)

I've got a couple fo questions though that I couldn't find up to date answers for, I hope you can give me a few tips.

1. Bank account: I need to open a Polish bank account. My rate is calculated in euros (gulp) but I'll be paid in zloty. I expect to save most of what I earn and will convert to sterling before I leave, so don't need a multi-currency account but will definitely need someone that speaks English, an English language internet banking site and a debit card, preferably visa but mastercard is fine too.

I need to have the account up and running by next monday. Possible? If so is there anything out of the ordinary that I need to provide to get it sorted?

2. I've lived and worked outside of the UK (where I'm from) since 2000, so I like to get involved in a bit of local culture. I'm not the kind of person that's really into the 'expat scene' (no offence), so I'm assuming and hoping that the Poles aren't the kind of people that will look down on you for not speaking Polish!

Are there decent electronic clubs or decent chilled bars and cafes that play electronic music where I can go get a beer on my days off, and not feel out of place for not being able to speak the language?

3. I'm into photography so if there are any events or things that are especially photo-worthy then it would be good to know about them.

4. I've read quite a lot of very scary posts quite frankly, from people that make it sound like they expect Polish girls to be lined up for sale in a mail-order wife fashion.

It's all a bit wrong.
I am single, and of course I'd like to meet some Polish girls/women/whatever your preferred term is but I'm pretty keen on avoiding some disastrous weird encounter with a member of the opposite sex that thinks I want to take her to another country :0)

Where do 'normal' people go to mix and hang out in the city - is the club scene good?

5. How does it all work?! What are the people like/what should I expect? Are there any cultural tips you can give me that will stop me from making a complete fool of myself, and/or offending people?!

Thanks for all and any info or advice, it's appreciated!

Matt
peter_olsztyn  
19 Jul 2011 /  #2
hoping that the Poles aren't the kind of people that will look down on you for not speaking Polish!

Don't bother that. Majority of us will be confused due to the lack of language skills ;)
Harry  
19 Jul 2011 /  #3
Are there decent electronic clubs or decent chilled bars and cafes that play electronic music where I can go get a beer on my days off, and not feel out of place for not being able to speak the language?

In terms of chilled bars/cafes, try Chlodna 25 or Kwadrat, both have a superb selection of beer. Neither play much in the way of electronic music though. You might want to try Beirut, they have a prominent set of CDJ2000s but I have no idea what kind of music they play, the beer there is Lithuanian or Belgian.

In terms of banks, Citibank may well be your best bet. Or perhaps HSBC.

they expect Polish girls to be lined up for sale in a mail-order wife fashion.

They are either about 20 years out of date or too stupid to know the difference between Warsaw and some third world city in Russia.

is the club scene good?

Sadly it is well past its best. The glory days of 2000 to 2003 are now pretty much just a memory if you like the kind of clubbing where everything starts with an e. But there are a couple of places which still sort of keep the flag flying and more places that you can shake a ****** stick at if you like your clubbing cocktails to feature French champagne.

what should I expect?

Every second commercial premises will be a bank or a coffeeshop.
OP incastone  
19 Jul 2011 /  #4
The bars you mentioned Harry will be a good starting point, liking the sound of the beer selection..

I produce electronic music myself for kicks so always nice to find a club that plays decent tunes, but my glory days were in Brighton in the early nineties - I've definitely done my time/getting old :0) So not a huge deal if there isn't a great selection, and I don't think they make them like they used to anyway, do they? :0)

I'm not a champagne cocktail fan no, but I do love coffee so looks like I won't miss out there.
Thanks for the input guys.
Harry  
19 Jul 2011 /  #5
my glory days were in Brighton in the early nineties

Don't suppose you happen to know Pete Hayward, do you?
OP incastone  
19 Jul 2011 /  #6
Hm, if I did I don't remember - bit fuzzy those years to be honest, but I don't recall the name, no.

What did he do?
Harry  
19 Jul 2011 /  #7
What did he do?

Rather decent DJ from Brighton who played here more than a few times and got himself the ultimate Polish life accessory!
poland_  
19 Jul 2011 /  #8
Hi Matt

If you are into your music, have a look at this link livefestival.pl/news_en.html for the "Coke festival" in Krakow 19-20 August, the Music festival scene is very well organized in Poland, the vibe is very chilled out and people are up for fun. It is not as dark as some of the UK fests. They are also very inexpensive, in comparison to the rest of Europe. Krakow is also a must see city.
teflcat  
19 Jul 2011 /  #9
Wait for (especially older) women to extend their hand to shake; don't initiate. Don't be surprised if somebody is reluctant to shake your hand over a threshold. Bad luck. I know somebody is bound to shoot me down, saying the younger generation are different, but if you are in a formal situation, every little helps, especially with older/professionally senior people.
OP incastone  
30 Jul 2011 /  #10
Thanks for the extra tips :0)

That festival sounds good and I definitely want to see Krakow so that's on the to-do list.

I've been here just under two weeks now and I'm liking it a lot. The prices are obviously fantastic, the people have all been friendly and helpful so far and even coming from Copenhagen where the gene pool is insane, the women here are very beautiful (my first Danish girlfriend was half Polish though so I all ready knew I liked those Slavic cheekbones) :0)

I was kind of gobsmacked at the traffic I have to admit, time to build a few extra lanes maybe! Rush hour is insane.

Public transport works fine though, and I walk to work/get the train to town usually so not that bothered.

The only thing that kind of sucks is the tax system, and I have some questions about that but will post them elsewhere.
Actually, the other thing that I will be avoiding as much as possible is using the post office, and taking a book with me when I can't avoid it ;0)

Harry, I can safely say that I've forgotten more names than I've smoked cigarettes, but most likely heard him play!

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