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Posts by andysterdam  

Joined: 12 Mar 2008 / Male ♂
Last Post: 16 Apr 2008
Threads: Total: 3 / Live: 1 / Archived: 2
Posts: Total: 45 / Live: 23 / Archived: 22

Speaks Polish?: No

Displayed posts: 24
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andysterdam   
11 Apr 2008
Life / Electronics in Poland - what kinds are popular? [20]

How much would a 2GB Pentium Core Duo cost in Poland (average)? I don't know if I should pay for excess luggage and bring ours or leave it here and buy a new one in Poland.
andysterdam   
30 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

If anyone wants to read about some fun times I had in a boring Polish town, check out my thread here.

Your romper-stomper through £omża & co. is a gripping read, osiol! I've just finished plowing through the whole thing. I posted a YouTube video of the (possibly) same shot from the tower in town that you mention.

I've read some very negative reviews of £omża beer, though ironically the export variety seems to be worse than the home-brew one. Either way, Browar £omża seems to sponsor some pretty cool events in the region.

andysterdam I see, that you'll be teaching english... I guess the first thing you will have to learn is the totally different approach to cheating on exams than in most countries ;)

Yeah, I got the skinny on cheating from this American dude who taught in town some years back. Here's what he wrote on his blog:

"Cheating: This may be an unfair stereotype, or even a vicious, bigoted remark, but one of my stronger feelings about Polish students is that Polish students are a bunch of filthy cheats. I mean, okay, of course some American students cheat. Some people will cheat at anything. But at least in America there is something of a stigma against cheating; people acknowledge that it is somehow wrong. Not here. My students cheat at any opportunity; they think of all kinds of inventive ways to cheat on tests and exams; they invest considerable time and effort in cheating. They basically seem to consider all of their work to be something of a group effort, and they all try to help each other do as well as possible in school."

You can read the whole entry here:

monodrone.org/fulldisclosure/working.html
andysterdam   
29 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

Used, few years old cars prices are usually somewhere between 10-20k zl. You can buy some cheap old one for as low as 3-4k or something good and almost new for over 20k.

i just bought a volvo 2002 model from uk for 14 000 zl

You guys are an endless source of priceless information!! :) Now I can gauge how much of my budget to put aside towards the car as I save up for the move. I'm going to sell my Elantra 2005 and hopefully have enough for a used clunker.

The Volvo 2002 sounds pretty affordable for 14K zl! I've always wanted a Volvo (right after the BMW that I'll never be able to afford).

Cheers!
andysterdam   
26 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

No, it's at the new business college. There is a British School in town; maybe they use Callan, or is Callan always exclusive?
andysterdam   
26 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

Teaching English. But keep in mind that this is 5000zl gross. Also, I've rounded it up from 4885zl for convenience's sake.
andysterdam   
26 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

What would you expect?

These are very good points, Bla. There is also that amazing national park that apparently is only 30 km away from town. I realize this may have been already taken up in other threads, but would buying a used car (not too old) in Lomza be affordable? Or, would I be better off buying one in Warsaw? From what I've read elsewhere, cars in Poland don't depreciate in value as quickly as they do in North America. But is the difference between a new car and a used car so low that I'd be better off buying a new one?

Here is a great shot of the town (though the image itself has been too compressed):
andysterdam   
26 Mar 2008
Work / Brazilian moving to Poland - job ideas, Polish language, other tips? [30]

Is there any brazilian people living in Poland and does anyone else have any ideas what could I do there?

I know of a lot of Poles living in Brazil, but not the other way around. But I think immigration reached its height during WWII. Poznan is supposed to be a fantastic city, from what I hear. I'm also debating a similar move, but frankly, I'd rather stay in London. Then again, I'm childless, so your case is different. All the best of luck to you.
andysterdam   
18 Mar 2008
Study / Gdansk / Tricity; university - information [30]

Could anyone let me know the academic dates for Polish universities? I mean, when does the school year begin, Christmas break, any other breaks for reading week, summer vacations, etc? Thanks :)
andysterdam   
17 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

Hey, I've driven through Kincardine many times! That's hilarious, so close... :) Yeah, the isolation is my main complaint about being in the outer reaches of the Huron peninsula, but awesome in summer. Let me know if you plan to come to Goderich this summer. Assuming that we haven't yet left for £omża I'll take you out for a beer. Cheers on this St. Patty's Day!

Warsaw is better place to have fun, I think.

I hope we'll be able to go while it's still summer, so we see £omża at its best. Thanks for the feedback on the College. It seems like it has all the right credentials, and like you said it's pretty new so it's understandable that not all the wheels are in motion yet. It's part of the Erasmus EU charter, so there should be quite a traffic in foreign students; if not now soon. I'm hoping to buy a car before long, which would make us much more mobile; assuming of course that I'll be able to afford one.

Warsaw does sound like a fun place, though one has to go where the job is. At least £omża is close enough that we could get away on weekends. Hey, I checked out the fitness club you posted. It looks almost exactly like the place I used to be a member of in my town. I'd appreciate any other links you might have to places in town. Thanks!:)
andysterdam   
16 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

I thnik you should ask for job for your wife (if she wants to work) help of your employer can be very helpful.

Fantastic shots, Lukasz! I'm e-mailing the Director today with a request for a job for my wife. Even if she earns a below-average salary, I suppose our combined incomes would allow us to live well and travel in the region. Maybe we could even rent a car the odd weekend for excursions? £omża seems to be a hub for sightseeing into the wilderness, so there must be a couple of car rental agencies there...
andysterdam   
16 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

here you have pizza menu in £omża. Life is cheaper than in other EU countries.

Wow, is all I can say! Even the most expensive pizza on the menu only comes to CAD$10. You can't buy more than a personal pizza at the local Pizza Hut here for that, never mind in France or Germany.

It will be neat to go there and already know what we want to order!
andysterdam   
16 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

And the money... 5000zl gross will give you 3500zl on your hand... And who's paying so well if I may ask? ;) It's hard to get that amount of money in this town, really. Living here is not as cheap as some may think, but renting some place to live is not expensive, so you will have some money to spend ;)
If you want to know something else I will try to help you.

Thanks for all your help, Bla. It's great to meet someone from £omża! Though I'm cautious about disclosing my prospective employer, I'd be very keen to get your perspective on the place. It's the State College of Computer Science and Business Administration (Panstwowa Wyzsza Szkola Informatyki i Przedsiebiorczosci w Lomzy). Would you be able to shed some light into the reputation of the College? Do you know anyone who's gone there? All I know is what I've been able to ascertain through the web and the very courteous letters I've received from the Director. Anyone else reading this who may also know something about the College please feel free to share your thoughts.

It seems like the salary would allow us to enjoy what the town has to offer (though getting "beaten and robbed" will hopefully not be in the menu). We're both into the "cultural immersion" experience, and that's why £omża seems more attractive than, say, Warsaw as a stepping stone into Poland.
andysterdam   
15 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

My best advice is to bring a whole bunch of optimism and lots of smiles with you, cos they are worth their weight in gold over here, and will smooth your reception among the locals, who are quite unused to such things as cheerfulness and good humour, and will love you for bringing a little light into their generally dull, uneventfull lives.

Thanks for the advice; that's so true about the smiles & such. It was the same way when I taught English in Ecuador. Huge difference in how my non-smiling German colleague was treated there. The thing about the winter is that I can't see it being any worse (or even close) to what we endure where I live in the snow belt of Ontario, Canada. The local highways shut down all the time because of the blizzards and icy conditions...

You will see plenty of people in the forests, picking blueberries, and especially mushrooms - hugely popular Fall activity.

That looks like a lot of fun! I wonder if the local shroomheads find any magic mushrooms too.
andysterdam   
14 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

The water is about the same temp as Lake Huron - it's not daytona beach but it is ok for swimming.

That's a pretty good point of reference, since I live on Lake Huron (Goderich, Ontario)! Drinking & swimming (as well as drinkin' & snowmobiling/hunting/fishing/barbecuing, etc.) is a given around here too, lol...
andysterdam   
14 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

I know £omża very well- it's nothing special ... but -:-) - but there are many cities/villages close to £omża (about 100 km) - Ełk, Augustów, Olecko worth to visit especially in the summer:-)
Mazurian Lakes:-)

We're very outdoorsy people, so it's good to know there are other cool & wild places within range for weekend escapades!

Do the lakes get warm enough to swim in summer? I saw a picture somewhere of people swimming in the Narew River in £omża.
andysterdam   
14 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

Will you be teaching english in £omża?

Yes, exactly, though more at the literature-college level than ESL proper. I recently corresponded with an American guy who taught English in £omża and he said that he often hung out with his students, mostly at the pubs. As you know, that's frowned upon here in Canada, but hey, if it means having a social life I'm all for it. And, as you suggest, there are always the co-workers.
andysterdam   
14 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

£omża and the surrounding area seems to have been stripped of it's young people by higher salaries/jobs in the UK. Maybe you don't care too much about this though.

Actually, that is important to me, as my wife and I are still young (29 & 33, respectively). While I don't think it would be much of a big deal at first as we adjust to our new environment, work, etc., it may become an issue down the road. Then again, I expect we would make at least a couple of good friends in town. Maybe join a club or something? Are Poles into things like "poker night" or darts at the pub? And, most important, would foreigners be easily accepted as peers in such tight-knit communities?
andysterdam   
14 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

If you want to go out and enjoy yourself, you don't have to go to the next big city, but then it all depends on your idea of fun. I've been to a handful of pubs there, all quite nice, especially the open air one in the main square.

That's great news, as I'm a pub fan myself (St. Patty's Day coming up soon; already made my reservation at the local Irish watering hole). The more I hear about £omża the less provincial and isolated it's beginning to seem from my first expectations. Do you think it would be fine living there without a car? I imagine the price of a used car would still be beyond my budget, but that's another thread. It's a shame there are no trains, though I hear the bus service is quite good.
andysterdam   
14 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

Yes reasonably well but you need to pin them down on exactly how much you will be getting net.

That's a good strategy! It's crazy how much gets taken out in taxes; the dreaded ZUS. If the ZUS over 5.000pln is really around 15%, as I've heard someone in another thread say, then I guess I'd be left with about 4250 net.

Here's the real bottom line for me: I'd still be paying student loans in Canadian dollars at home, which would eat up around 1/4 of the net pay. I don't mention this to whine about the offered wage, since it's above average for Poland--just expressing my anxiety over this very drastic new beginning... :)
andysterdam   
14 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

is that zloty? or what currency?

Sorry, forgot to clarify: yes, zloty.

Very comfortable. It isn't rich town. I don't think somebody pays that much there.

Thanks, Wojak. My potential employer has just emailed me to say that a two-bedroom apt. in town goes for about 700zl/mth., which seems like a pretty good deal to me, considering the salary they're offering.
andysterdam   
13 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

I'd rather use the term nouveau riche for this particular populace.

I take it you don't mean that in a complimentary way?

Would I be able to live reasonably well on a 5.000 (gross) salary per month?
andysterdam   
12 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

Thanks for the feedback, z_darius. it sounds like Lomza is fairly cosmopolitan for its size. I wish I could afford to travel there first to scope out the place before I consider the offer.
andysterdam   
12 Mar 2008
Life / What would it be like to live in Lomza? [60]

I'm a Canadian who's received a job offer in Lomza. Would anyone be able to give me a sense of what the town is like? Would I find entertainment in town or would I have to hop on a bus to Warsaw every time? I don't expect the same level of amenities that I enjoy at home, but would I be able to at least have access to cinema, good restaurants, fitness clubs, live music, etc.? Any help would be much appreciated.