Compare the worst neighborhoods in America with the worst poverty and crime and put that into a whole country and that is what life was like.
lol. What a gibberish.
I know because my parents left Poland for American in 81 right before Solidarity, and we took several trips to visit relatives and see thehome land.
How old was you back then?
most people residing in urban centers had to walk or use tramwaje.
Many people who live in urban ceters still walk or use streetcars...
Those living in rural areas stayed on their farms and ranches and never left their towns for years because they could not afford to.
GrezgorzK, it's not the first time when you talk nonsense about Poland. It's really funny to read your stuff for a person who actually live in Poland.
I was a small child in 1989. What I remember is that it was kind of greyish on the streets, it could affected little child's imagination that it was not quite safe on the streets that time but my parents say on the contrary.
In that time people were looking for many opportunities in trade, they were trying to buy things cheaper abroad and then resell it or home manufacture something. People were putting little stalls everywhere they could and sell goods. Trade - it was easy money, since people were rave about buying even the ugliest clothes or the stupidest gadgets. I heard about a man who was living of manufacturing... lolipops! - and he made quite a big money out of it!
For me as a child it wasn't a bad time. My family was firm middle class, I had many toys and commodore computer, and virtually I could ask my parents for everything I wanted. So certainly I don't link those times with poverty, rather with kitch ;)
Kids were still playing together on the playground, later (in mid 90s) they dissapeared from streets as the home-sitting lifestyle (tv + computer games) became prevalent. Polonia 1 at the early 90s was a channel which shown many American series from the 80s (MacGyver, The A Team) and Japanese cartoons with Italian dubbing and Polish vioceover leyered on it ;)
Lot's of people were starting business. Because of inflation and privatisation some of the biggests factories were on the verge of bankruptcy. In the 90s those factories were shut down and many people find themselves unemployed without skills to make their way in the capitalism. That was a time when hooligan subculture started to rise. It's funny that when I see footage from 1989 I can say it because it 1991/1992 were lots of garffities on walls (mostly connetced with soccer team supposrters) unlike in 1989.
Mid 90s were notorious of thievery, especially car thievery, gangs were harrasing the reastaurant and club owners. But it's nothing close to Al Capone era.
1994 - Polsat tv channel started to broadcast full time. So we had now almost 6 channels in Polish (4 of TVP, Polonia 1 and Polsat ;). Polsat was kind of revolution back then.
1999/2000 - a rave about Internet. Internet cafes started to pop up like grass after a heavy rain. Most people had a phone modem at home which was quite expensive in use (3 PLN per hour?). Internet cafes weren't really cheaper but at least parents weren't upset seeing a phone bill ;) We all chatted. Internet was used for chat. Cafes were everywhere, literally every few steps, and still another were set up. Each one was crowded by teens and kids.
1998/2002 was also a time when digital cable television started to be popular. I remember being excited of watching all of those movie hits which just stopped to be screening in cinemas.
Cell phones. Cell phones apear on Polish market about in 1995 if I recall well but were rare and kind of flash. In my schoolclass I remember short fashion for beepers (does someone still remember this device?). It was around 1998. In 1999 cell phones started to be prevalent. Parents started to buy them for themselves and their kids. Aggressive commercials of GSM companies fighted for clients. My family cut off stationary phone few years ago since we all had cell phones and didn't need anymore a home phone.
1999/2000 was also hypermarket era. I remember the fist hypermarket in my city. Actually it wasn't hipermarket but a wholesale store but everyone who could were doing home shopping there. After some time western hipermarkets started to explore new Polish market. Local shops started to dissapear as they could not concur with big business.
If you was a teen and wanted really cool clothes, you had to wait untill 2002. That year fist shopping mall (galeria handlowa) in my city was open. Bafore, you had to buy clothes in the marketplace, in hipermarkets, or sometimes in few brand stores.
When we were kids no western fashion of gadgets or clothes avoided us. I mean that it wasn't like that we were fascinated with western fashion, heck, we didn't even know it's western fashion. We just took everything what was served to us: 1996/7 first hype for rollerskaters, 1998 - tamagotchi, 1999 - bojówki pants, and so on.