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Posts by Switezianka  

Joined: 17 Jun 2008 / Female ♀
Last Post: 15 Jul 2009
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Posts: Total: 463 / Live: 60 / Archived: 403

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22 Jun 2008
Genealogy / Are all Poles blue eyed and blonde? [428]

Dark blonde/light brown hair (dyed black), hazel eyes, fair skin.
100 % Polish (as far as I know)
22 Jun 2008
Language / Polish slang phrases - most popular. [606]

If you want to sound more natural Polish you can say: Obyś się smażył w piekle! (May you get burn in hell!). It's a fixed phrase.
20 Jul 2008
Genealogy / The typical Polish look, or all Eastern Europeans [634]

Typical Polish look? Don't look at models and actors because they usually have a lot of make up on and their hair dyed. That doesn't make sense. S

So, this is what I've observed, living in Poland:

hair: most from medium blonde to dark brown. ginger, very fair blonde, very dark brown black are rare.
You can see a lot of black, platinum blonde and bright red in the street, but these are usually dyed.

eyes: hazel, grey, blue, green, often strange mix-ups of colours in one eye. Very dark eyes are rare. Usually almond-shaped

skin: rather fair. If you see darker shades, it is usually tan or too dark foundation, not complexion. A lot of people get tanned in Poland. Most naturally dark-skinned people I know are of Jewish descent

figure: average Polish person is thinner than average American or English person. But I guess it's the diet: most Poles' diet is still based on stuff cooked at home from scratch, which is the healthiest; and fast food or ready-made dishes are only occasional.

facial features: I think it's the only distinct thing about Slavic people, but I can't tell what it is: something about cheekbones, superciliary archs and eyes. I can tell a Slav from non-Slav by facial features only. But I can't tell a Pole from a Czech by face.

OK, examples:
me: dark blonde hair, hazel eyes, pale skin. 158 cm (which is very short), always underweight
my mother: dark brown hair, dark complexion (but still not like a Mediterranean type), over 160cm, at my age also very skinny
my father: greyish blonde hair (linen shade), pale skin, hazel eyes, short, slim

And something about dress I observed, comparing people in UK to Polish standards:
Polish people wear more subdued colours, less patterned fabrics. Men usually don't wear bright colours, maybe apart from red in informal clothes. If you ever see a guy wearing pink, it is a shirt covered by a dark suit jacket. Polish women wear heavy make-up in the evening, but rarely during the day. The same with clothes displaying a lot - better for the evening. Obese Poles don't wear clothes that display and emphasize their rolls of fat - unlike people I saw in UK. Muffin tops in Poland are rare. Men wear shorts very rarely and only as something extremely informal. And Poles dress warmer than the British. In the weather, in which a Pole wears a jacket or a light coat, a Brit walks around in shorts and a T-shirt.

And to take all this stuff about bright colours, heavy make-up and displaying much: most of the girls I saw in the UK walking in the streets, shopping etc. looked like Polish girls going to a village disco. I had to fly to Brum to appreciate the Polish mainstream sense of fashion... and to appreciate how great is the mission Trinny and Susannah ;)
15 Aug 2008
News / What is wrong with Poland that Poles emigrate? [167]

I'll try to answer the topic question on my personal example.
I'm Polish, going to graduate at a state university in 2 years (in Poland state Universities mean higher level that private schools). Supposing I don't get the job at the university, I can either choose to stay in Poland or to go to UK.

If I stay:
-I'll probably get a crappy job far below my qualifications. I'll try to make it up by taking some odd translation jobs and giving private English lessons but anyway, I won't be able to afford moving out from my grandma's and renting a flat. But if I am, then I won't have enough money for anything more than food & accommodation. On the other hand, if I get a job for a person with my qualification, I will not be in a better financial situation. A plumber earns more money in Poland, than, e.g. a teacher or a doctor.

If I go:
-I'll probably get a crappy job far below my qualifications. But I'll be able to pay for food (even eating out often), accommodation and still, I'll be able to afford going out, buying books and CDs, clothes and I will not fear if I have enough money to survive till the next month. But if I get a job that suits my qualification - I actually know a well-educated young Pole who has one - I'll get much more money and I'll be able to afford such luxuries as a nice-looking flat, a reflex camera with good lenses, cool clothes, trips abroad, a professional synthesizer on hire purchase and other stuff.

What's more, I won't be scared to admit shameful things like 'I don't go to church' or 'I actually don't think abortion is a crime' and I'll be able to wear clothes I like to wear more than once a year because there are less intolerant bastards in the UK than in Poland and they feel less secure (please, don't name the Sophie Lancaster case as a counter-argument because we had similar things in Poland, too)

My dad works in the UK, so I've got an insight about what an immigrant life is like there. And, to be honest, Poles I met there didn't get worse jobs in England than they would get in Poland with the same qualifications. Right, a lot of Poles have no choice than washing the dishes but they are either uneducated, so they can't get better job anyway, or they are students who take holiday jobs. If you look for employment for more than 2 months, speak English well and have a university degree, you really can find something better than washing the dishes. Maybe not a dream job, but you won't get a dream job in Poland either.

So "should I stay or should I go?"
15 Aug 2008
News / What is wrong with Poland that Poles emigrate? [167]

Really, hard to say what M.A. in English Philology qualifies for formally. I can be a professional translator -unlike those who usually translate books, films or TV shows and make ridiculous errors. I can write book reviews but I'm afraid I'd be too professional for it - literary criticism in scholarly journals would be more appropriate. I can practically be a language teacher. But I'm rather thinking about one of those jobs to which the requirement is non-specified 'higher education' (I've seen a lot of job advertisements like that).

So, anything to do with language, literature and culture. Maybe something in press or publishing?

But I'd get most satisfaction from conducting English Literature classes in England ;-)
15 Aug 2008
News / What is wrong with Poland that Poles emigrate? [167]

In fact I hope I'll be able to get the job at the university and grow old as a crazy professor. But if I don't, I'll fly to my dad's and try to start a new life with some silly job, move out, look for something better... I'm sure it will be easier in the UK than in Poland.
21 Aug 2008
Life / Why there is always around a horrible smell of sweat in Poland [181]

Have you seen the price of deodrant in Poland? For most relatively ok brands it costs the equivalent of three hours pay.

You can get a good antiperspirant for about 12-15 zł. That's an equivalent of about 4 bottles of beer, 2-3 packs of cigarettes, 8 - 10 loaves of bread. And, mind you, you don't use all at once. Most people can afford spending 12 zł per month for an antiperspirant.

It's the custom in some countries to have a Saturday night bath and that's it for the week.

Unfortunately, some groups of Polish people have the same custom (mainly old, uneducated and poor). I've even heard that a real man bathes only once a week.

OK, I will try to answer the question. I use public transport almost every day and very often I have to stand next to someone who stinks like hell. And sometimes I'm really frustrated. It's true, that a lot of people in Poland stink.

People in Poland have very different hygienic habits. Apart from people who wash at least every day, change their clothes frequently enough and use antiperspirants, there are those who treat hygiene like peasants did in 19th century. E.g. for many people a deodorant is not something to keep you from sweating, but a thingy that women use to smell nice when they can't afford perfume. There's a lot of men in Poland who never use deodorant and don't even think it's something to do with hygiene. They also wash too rarely and wear one shirt for a week. Women are usually more careful about their hygiene even

the ones from the same social backgrounds. The biggest problem is with old people - their natural B.O. is worse than young people's, so they should be even more careful about hygiene. But, very often, they aren't careful about hygiene at all. Their senses are numbed, they can't feel they stink, so they think everything is OK and they don't wash themselves. No, they don't think one should wash BEFORE one starts to stink. I used to have a neighbour - an old lady - who smelt really bad. Her flat smelt, too. When she opened her door, the whole staircase stank unbearably. I could smell it long after she shut her door.

When you get on a bus, it's very probable, that you'll come across one of the stinking ones.

So the answer is: it's not about hard work, poverty genetics or anything. It's about bad habits still cultivated in some social backgrounds.

And to non-Polish people surprised reading this: I know you might been to Poland and have met only nice, civilized Poles who have nothing to do with such barbarians. But remember - when you go to Poland you only talk to people from certain social backgrounds. You usually meet those nice, civilized, tolerant, European, polite Poles. But you can't judge the whole society basing on them. You usually only get to know people who speak some English - i.e. the better-educated part of the society. But those people who carry that Saturday night bath custom usually don't speak any foreign languages or even proper Polish.
21 Aug 2008
News / What is wrong with Poland that Poles emigrate? [167]

Advice for anyone looking for a job. Agency should be the VERY last resort.

Thank you. I'll think about it looking for a job.

Migrant workers can take all the agency jobs if they like. I wouldn't envy them.

Hmmm... I think I'll find some better way to steal jobs from poor discriminated native Brits.
21 Aug 2008
Life / Why there is always around a horrible smell of sweat in Poland [181]

Thank you for agreeing because certain foods, such as onions, garlic, exotic spices cause us to smell.

Onions, garlic and exotic spices indeed makes you smell. Especially while cooking - cutting onions makes your hands stink. But it's enough to wash them thoroughly. Garlic also cause bad breath, but brushing your teeth helps.

I repeat: it's about water, soap, clean clothes and deodorant, NOT anything else.
22 Aug 2008
Life / Why there is always around a horrible smell of sweat in Poland [181]

Maybe it's because Polish people work their arses off?

Those smelly pigs on the buses usually look like unemployed ones. Many of them are also too old to work. And, believe me: someone just got sweaty stinks different than someone who hasn't washed for a week.
25 Aug 2008
News / What is wrong with Poland that Poles emigrate? [167] rubbish according to the 10 or so doctors i've met. (but perhaps the plumbers own the clinics). Perhaps you meant if doctors only work in a hospital? Doctors make pretty good money when they work privately compared to plumbers working privately.

Yes, you're right. Doctors in practice earn much more because they work in several places. But I don't think a doctor should work that much - it's hard to concentrate when one's so tired.
3 Sep 2008
Life / IS CHEATING ON EXAMS OK? (younger Poles don't think so) [26]

Cheating in exams that check practical application of knowledge and understanding is stupid. It can help a student pass one or two exams, but if student doesn't know anything or use their brain, sooner or later it will come out. At some stage arrears make it impossible to understand the further material and make a student unable to perform any task that demands thinking. And cheating is also very stressful - a cheater is afraid that someone may discover his or her tricks and he or she will fail. Taking an exam well prepared is the least stressful option.

But when the exam is about memorizing a lot of useless data that nobody knows by heart in real life but people look it up in some reference - then it's better to cheat than load your memory with rubbish that will be forgotten in a week.

I never knew why I had to know formulae by heart for physics. I don't think having them written down on a sheet of paper would make me understand physics less or it would be any helpful to someone who doesn't understand it.
23 Sep 2008
Life / School system in Poland? [59]

I can tell you what they are like in liceum:
Foreign languages (usually English + one other language)
Information Technology
WOS (Knowledge about Society) - sounds like Sociology, but it's more about the political and legal system in Poland
Przysposobienie Obronne - (military training?), you learn how to put your gas mask on, some stuff about military service, and later, you learn some first aid

Przedsiębiorczość (Enterprise) - how to set up a business + basics of economy
Physical Education
Religion (i.e. Roman catholic) - a student may not attend if the parents consent

In Gimnazjum it's quite similar, but you don't have Enterprise and PO
24 Sep 2008

It should be. But the practise is different.

It is an inanimate noun ('cause it is, right?) and it doesn't end with 'a' or 'o' or 'e' or 'ę', so it's masculine.

People use this word not as an acronym but as if it was a 'normal' noun 'esemes'. If it was 'esemes' it would be inanimate masculine. And 'normal' words are more natural in use that acronyms, so in colloquial language people treat it as a 'normal' word.
26 Sep 2008
Life / Famous / Iconic Polish Women [43]

From 19th century:

Military leader:

A great actress:

And a Norwegian woman, iconic for Polish Modernism:
6 Oct 2008
Life / Disco Polo - No No No No No! [95]

When it was in and a lot of people listened to it, I hated it. But now I have a lot of laugh over it! It's so horrible that it's hard to take it seriously. I like it at parties: this 'music' is perfect for taking the p*ss out of it and having good time.
26 Oct 2008
Life / POLISH YOUTH compared to the youth in other Western countries? [57]

Typical Polak attitude. Who pissed in your cornflakes?

Can't you really see the stupidity of your question? Let me enlighten you: the only thing that all Polish youth have in common are nationality and young age. In all other respects they present various features, they come from differents backgrounds, have different attitudes and lifestyles. Some are begging for money for drugs on train stations, others have never seen drugs in their lives. Some find a new partner in a disco and have sex with them in the loo every Saturday, and some stay virgins until marriage. In some backgrounds some of these behaviours are considered normal, in some - unacceptable. So asking about Polish youth as a whole is stupid.
2 Nov 2008
UK, Ireland / Hand washing at public toilets in the UK [75]

Gosh I wouldnt wash my hands in a public toilet anywhere if you paid me to, its very dangerous,

Yeah, it can kill you. Ever heard about this?
14 Nov 2008
Study / American Muslim girl thinking to go to Medical school in Poland... [87]

I don't think you're going to have to deal with skinhead idiots while going to med school.

But if you happen to dress too different from the crowd, people are going to accost you or shout out stupid comments about you in the streets. The best thing to do is to ignore them.

Do you wear a kerchief or any traditional clothes?
14 Nov 2008
Study / American Muslim girl thinking to go to Medical school in Poland... [87]

AFRICAN American

Yes, I wear traditional Islamic clothing (headscarf, skirts, and or long dress shirts and pants).

There might be a problem. Not at Medical Uni, where idiots have no access, but in the streets, shops etc. - it can be irritating. There aren't too many non-white people in Poland, so you're going to attract attention, anyway; and people can be very rude to people who wear clothes that are different from average. So you must be prepared to be stared at, called names etc.

I live in £ódź, so if you've got any specific questions, PM me.
15 Nov 2008
Study / American Muslim girl thinking to go to Medical school in Poland... [87]

Natural? I can't see any justification for verbal abuse or taunts just because someone looks different. It's natural to pay attention or to peep at somebody who looks interesting, but people don't limit themselves to staring.

I'd like to see more 'martians' in Polish streets. What I love about UK cities was the fact that people wear whatever they want in the streets - alternative fashion, ethnic clothing; Pakistani women with their beautiful colourful gowns, traditional African clothes, anything, Muslim women in burkahs - and nobody pays attention. In Poland it's enough to wear a hat to provoke taunts.