except for urban well off and educated classes is culturally (including food, but not only) closer to Eastern Europe
Poland is not France that is not a brainier Capitan Obvious, I would take any day dumplings over fried snails or frogs, that disgusting food, why don't you put in flies for a good measure.
Most Poles also physically look more Eastern Europeans
Sunshine, there is no eastern European look like there is no western European look, you according to your own snobbish western progressiveness standards are being racist. I don't care about that but I'm always ready to point out an obvious hypocrisy and double standers deployed by our holier than thou PF snobs.
I think that an average Pole and an Albanian differ in many things including "looks."
what about all the old women outside main cities wearing colorful headscarves?
Again, so what? Look at your own movie stars from the 60' silly goose. There are not uniformity - that is a good thing, don't you think?
Why Poles don't like to be put into Eastern European shoes?
It is quite simple really:
1, because graphically Poland doesn't belong to eastern Europe,
2, because culturally Poland doesn't belong to eastern Europe,
3, Poland culture is basically western.
Poland stopped to be under the soviet boot 25 years ago, evidently it is not enough time for westerners to get used to the new reality, they rather remain stuck in their own rectum claiming that their own farts are smelling sweet, much sweeter than fresh air.
So be it.
Live and let live. :)