The BEST Guide to POLAND
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Posts by rich55  

Joined: 27 Jul 2009 / Male ♂
Last Post: 3 Aug 2011
Threads: Total: 3 / Live: 2 / Archived: 1
Posts: Total: 49 / Live: 37 / Archived: 12

Speaks Polish?: no
Interests: reading, history, exercise, travel,

Displayed posts: 39 / page 1 of 2
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3 Aug 2011
Real Estate / Purchasing an apartment in Tarnow and relocating [4]

My partner is from Tarnów but lives with me now in the UK. The employment situation, like many other parts of Poland, is not good but this, I figure, keeps the property market there affordable as does the fact it is not really a major spot on the tourist map. For a lot less than $120,000 you should be able to pick up something pretty good. Tarnow is known for being the warmest part of Poland and is well located for getting to Kraków, which is the nearest major airport for getting around Europe etc, or for visiting the Tatras and countries bordering Poland such as Czech Rep, Slovakia, Ukraine. Like another poster suggested it would be wise to spend some time there before diving in to buy something; rents are relatively cheap so why not spend some months getting a feel for it? With Kraków getting a bit overpriced I've read it could be an area on the up and when I was there a few months ago they are well on the way to building a major motorway from Kraków to Tarnów which could boost the economy there and push up property prices. There are some good reasons for considering it as a place to live.
19 Apr 2011
Life / Getting ripped off in Poland! Is it normal? or should it be tolerated? [97]

Very straight, loyal, no BS people

Mmmm, not many of the ones I've met in the Uk. Even my partner's own brother ripped off her and her other brother several times and I've heard plenty of tales from Poles of how they've been ripped off by their own country folk. Not saying most Poles are like this; but also wouldn't say that generally speaking you can describe them as ' Very straight, loyal, no BS people'.
11 Feb 2011
Life / Why Polish people should be proud of being Polish? [370]

-- Poland has lower crime, abortion, suicide and divorce rates than many other countries.

Without wishing to get into a moral debate, isn't the lower divorce rate largely due to social, peer and religious pressure put on (predominantly) women to remain in a bad relationship regardless of their own wishes? I know this partly from the experience of my Polish partner. What is there to be proud of in an aspect of society which pressures women to continue living in misery with a violent drunkard, using religion as a weak excuse for turning a blind eye to their predicament? And surely the statistics for abortion are again down more to similar pressures already mentioned as well as legal obstacles rather than Polish people being inherently more moral thus making Poland a country to be proud of. I think perhaps you might be surprised how many Polish women/girls travel abroad for abortions, numbers that won't appear in Polish statistics.

In the Battle of Britain Polish aviators had a better kill record than the Brits who were presumably defending their own homeland;

I think you'll find that it has since been shown that Polish claims were somewhat exaggerated. However we Brits are genuinely grateful for what the Poles, Czechs, Americans, free-French and numerous other nationalities contributed willingly to the war effort. And yes, we were defending our own homeland but Poles (and others) were fighting to regain the homelands they's lost to the Nazis so the motivation was fairly evenly spread I'd say.

Poles do have much to be proud of and many of them have admirable character traits. I'm not being anti-Polish but perhaps looking at your country through rose-tinted glasses doesn't allow you to make objective observations and comparisons.

By the way, I'm probably the first to admit to my own country's failings but I don't have enough time or space to go into that now........
12 Nov 2010
Life / What do you like about Poland? [100]

I like that Poles are direct, straight

Mmm, the first couple of Polish people I worked with in the UK turned out to be the most two-faced people I've ever met! 'Best friends' for as long as they could use you and then they moved on to using someone else. Other Poles I've met also seem to think ******** about people, making racist or bigoted comments about minorities is ok as long as you dress it up as straight talking.

Fortunately I've met plenty of Poles subsequently who aren't like this at all but I think there are plenty of the former to make the idea that Poles are any more straight or honest in their dealings with people than any other nationality untrue. Good and bad in every nation so it just isn't possible to generalise one way or the other.
2 Nov 2010
Life / Legal Graffiti Walls in Poland? [45]

Banksy's stuff is clever and artistic

At best it can be slightly amusing; at worst it is no better than you'd expect from a 16 year-old school child. It is to art what McDonald's is to cooking.
13 Sep 2010
Love / What do I do? Children of my Polish lady are depending on me for money. [13]

Something that you might think about too is that you are listed at the same address as the people in debt which might do your own credit rating some damage. Banks and credit reference agencies have huge computer databases which link people and addresses to each other.
26 Jul 2010
Love / Need Advice: I have fallen in love with a Polish woman... [65]

Trevness, stick with it if you believe she is the one for you. I am now living with a Polish woman whom I met while she was still married and living with her violent drunken husband. She had tried for years to find the strength to leave him but had always given in to her family, his family and the local priest who told her it was wrong for a woman to leave her husband regardless of how he behaved. He always promised that he would change; this change only lasted until the next time he got drunk and became violent again.

The thing is, it's easy for people to stand back and take the moral high ground and tell someone to live a life of fear and misery because it is the morally or religiously correct way to behave but they don't have to live that life themselves. For me, to insist that a person should stay in a violent and miserable situation is simply punishing the victim further and to claim that escaping this situation is against God's will is just lazy pre-conditioned thinking.

Forget the ******** about heaven and hell etc; if you love her and she loves you then neither of you will care where you spend eternity as long as it's together.

I helped my partner to escape from her miserable life and she came with her 16 year-old to live here in the UK and they both believe it is the best thing they've ever done. Once her husband realised that she was serious about divorcing him and she told him she'd bring evidence to court of the times she and her daughter had called the police to the house and the times she'd been to the doctor and taken time off work because he'd hit her he didn't contest the divorce.

My partner still believes in God and goes to the Catholic church when she wants to and just accepts that she will not be able to remarry in a Catholic church and that the church doesn't recognise her divorced status is a very, very small price to pay for happiness and freedom.

Follow your heart Trevness; you're the only one who can take responsibility for your life and the decisions you make.

(p.s I'll let you into a little secret: there is no heaven or hell....but don't tell anyone I told you.)
16 Jul 2010
Travel / My friends advise me not to go to Warsaw because people are horrible there? [30]

I'd say go to Warsaw and make your own mind up.

Personally I found it has some capital/big city disadvantages; for example people might seem a bit more brusque than in some other Polish cities I've visited. Don't forget it's a 'new' city, having been rebuilt after the war so the architecture can be a bit grim though they've made a good job of rebuilding the 'old' town even if it doesn't feel quite a genuine living/working place as does somewhere like Krakow's city centre. Although the Palace of Culture is, subjectively speaking, an ugly building it has a great view from the top. Traffic can be a pain when you're trying to get somewhere at the peak periods so take a good book to read while you're stuck on the bus for an hour; take a tram if possible!

All bad? Not at all. if you're with good friends anywhere is good. I just think that perhaps you have to look a bit harder in Warsaw to find the pearls. One of my most memorable days anywhere in Poland was sitting in beautiful Lazienki Park on a warm Sunday afternoon listening to a music student playing Chopin. Also, I remember visiting a modern library (part of university?) that had an amazing rooftop garden open to the public; does anyone know where that would be?

If you know someone who lives in Warsaw maybe they'll tell you where the pearls are hidden. Any takers here on PF?

p.s leave your friend at home or get him to leave his prejudices at home!
4 Jul 2010
Life / Talking over people in conversations; is it a Polish trait? [41]

Wouldn't you agree it might be best for him to speak to the mother first, its always difficult when one is not the paternal parent, it might be taken out of context.

Tell the youngster she's being impolite. She needs to demonstrate both manners and respect.

Thanks for the feedback all ;-)....You're right Amathyst and Becksi, I had that chat with her mum this afternoon and she said her daughter's like that with everyone and always has been and that she probably doesn't even realise she does it. She also said it wouldn't be a problem for me to mention it to her daughter when she does it again, just to point out what she's doing and how some people would see this as rude until she gets the message. Must be tactful though!

I know it's for my immediate benefit but I also think it'll make getting on with people she meets in life a whole lot easier if she gives them a chance to have their say; she might even learn a thing or two from them!
4 Jul 2010
Life / Talking over people in conversations; is it a Polish trait? [41]

I live with my partner and her 17 year-old daughter and we get along pretty well except for one thing that drives me crazy but I've yet to mention it to them: when I'm having a conversation with the daughter I will wait for her to finish what she is saying before replying but she will just start talking over what I'm saying when I'm in the first sentence; almost as if I'm not speaking. At first I would just be quiet and let her carry on but this continued each time I started to speak; so then I tried carrying on myself which results in the bizarre situation of us having simultaneous conversations with each of us talking louder and louder; almost shouting! So in the end I let her carry on and often just let the conversation end as it just winds me up so much to put up with these constant interruptions.

My partner does it also but to a much lesser extent and she is usually aware enough to realise when I'm still speaking and will stop talking and wait until I've finished. I don't think it is just a family thing as I have Polish work colleagues and friends and most seem to do it to a greater or lesser extent: they either just continue with a parallel conversation or they just say 'yeah, yeah, I know' without actually hearing what I've got to say and then just carry on with what they want to say.

I notice that my partner and her daughter often seem to talk over each other all of the time without pausing for breath; is this normal!
12 May 2010
Work / Quiet Place to teach English in Krakow ? [24]

I don't want to appear too negative but in what way are you qualified to teach the language? 'english' should have a capital E; did you mean quiet? helping friends and family to learn a bit of a language is fine, but when you start taking money for it you need to have a pretty good understanding of it to justify it.
17 Apr 2010
Food / Does beer have any "real" expire date? [39]

I've just drunk some Czech Budweiser which was 14 months old and it tasted fine. There's no such thing as bad beer.......
12 Mar 2010
UK, Ireland / The Daily Mail - coverage of the Polish people [161]

I now only ever glance at the headlines of the DM without venturing further as past experience has shown it is a paper which simply focuses on negative portrayals of people: politicians who don't toe the Tory line; workers who have the temerity to stand up for their rights by, for example, taking industrial action; ethnic minorities, which they portray as a threat to 'the British way of life'; sections of society such as single mothers and gays which are easy targets; but there are many more who suffer the wrath of this feeble-minded paper which does nothing to open people's minds but does everything to hang onto a readership which simply looks to have its own existing fears and prejudices confirmed.

To be honest, even if the DM toned down its coverage of Polish people in Britain it would make little difference as the same one-view attitude would still prevail amongst its readers. It's a paper best treated as the joke it is; it has no influence and worse still it has lousy sports coverage. I'd say if the DM is anti something dear to you then it should probably be taken as a compliment.
25 Feb 2010
Life / What can citizens do to make Poland a better place to live? [125]

Pavements are meant for parking cars and not for pedestriants this is the idea i get when moving around the city ,it is irritating when you have a stroller ,I always wondered what are the cops for and the Parking attendents ,it is just so very f *** ing normal ,probably 4 flat tyres could do the job ,wonder if it would help.

'..a delivery van was parked outside yesterday and my wife couldn't get past it as it was blocking her access to the road.'

Ha ha, my Polish g/f is amazed that cars park on the road here in the UK. She wonders why they don't park on the pavement to leave the roads clear so cars don't have to drive around these obstructions. A certain logic to both arguments; maybe just a cultural thing.
24 Feb 2010
UK, Ireland / "Strange " English language.. [206]

"You might not actually know this but very few Brits actually know how to speak their own language. You would have (taught) thought that with time the regional differences would disappear, but partly as a result of poor education policy this hasn't happened."

...or write it? Sorry, couldn't resist it. ;-)
23 Feb 2010
Travel / Best way to get from Krakow to Katowice for 10.40 am flight.... [9]

Thanks for the advice guys. I've just found out that I can book a Wizzair bus from Krakow on the Wizzair site at the same time as I book my flight. It picks up from a few locations in Krakow and costs less than £15 one-way. Not the cheapest way I suppose but it gets me to the airport for 09.00.
22 Feb 2010
UK, Ireland / "Strange " English language.. [206]

you can have a competent none English speaker, speak the language better than some of the locals. That is not exactly something to be proud of.

Perhaps 'better' in a BBC-newsreader or schoolroom English kind of way; but a language is a working tool which has evolved over perhaps thousands of years and can contain elements of other languages (Celtic, Latin, Germanic, Scandinavian in the case of Britain) which have left their mark to varying effect and impact in different areas. Why set out to systematically erase the resulting variations of language which exist within a country? To me, it would make Britain a poorer place to live. Would the British want to follow the example of the French where a committee decides which words are acceptable to include in the 'official' language; or perhaps imitate the Fascist model whereby people who do not speak BBC English are persecuted and forbidden to use it?

I accept that crude or lazy speech or speech which is the result of a lack of education are undesirable; but speech which is the result of the evolution of elements of a language within a regional area is a legitimate form of the language and the acceptance of such shows a tolerance and appreciation of history and human development which I for one would miss greatly.
22 Feb 2010
UK, Ireland / "Strange " English language.. [206]

Wroclaw Boy:

It's impossible to argue against using the metric system: more logical and easier to use in every way; however, it's this identity thing again. The younger Brits have grown up with the metric system and consequently, with the pressure of the EU for us to conform, the days of pints, miles, stones etc are numbered but I feel that just because something is easier and more logical it shouldn't necessarily be replaced as once again it is losing a little bit of history and identity from our everyday lives. If the UK is to fall in line with the Eurozone system of measurement (and I can see why it makes sound commercial and economic sense) why not apply this to other areas such as language? English is the world's lingua franca, so why not insist that it becomes the official language of Europe (and the world, perhaps) and systematically replace all other languages? Okay, I'm saying this a bit tongue in cheek, but why have languages with masculine/feminine/neuter and all of the subsequently crazy and seemingly unnecessary declensions when you can use a language which does pretty well without these things?

Also, I know it is logical to have a monetary system which is common throughout Europe but, economic and financial arguments aside, I miss going to other countries and using coins and notes that are different to the ones I use at home; it's part of the fun of being 'abroad'. It's a reason why I like going to Poland: it's own currency gives it a sense of identity lacking in other countries within the Eurozone; and it's part of the British identity too even though we have lost the shillings etc. and use a metric system, but at least the coins and notes are identifiably British.

Don't worry, all of us dinosaurs will soon be extinct!
22 Feb 2010
UK, Ireland / "Strange " English language.. [206]

I never said that we Brits can understand each other any better than the foreigners can! Plenty of times I've been completely lost by something someone from my own country has said! But I wouldn't want it any other way. When I was 16 I moved about 30 miles (less than 50km) to the next county and had the **** taken out of me for my funny accent by my new schoolmates! By the way, don't get me started on whether we Brits should do away with miles and adopt kilometres...ha ha...never!
22 Feb 2010
Travel / Best way to get from Krakow to Katowice for 10.40 am flight.... [9]

easyJet have just cancelled my flight returning from Krakow to Luton and I need to get from Krakow to Katowice for a Wizz flight leaving at 10.40am. What is the best, cheapest, quickest, most reliable (and safe!) way of getting there? Advice would be most appreciated.
22 Feb 2010
UK, Ireland / "Strange " English language.. [206]

you would have taught that with time the regional differences would disappear, but partly as a result of poor education policy this hasn't happened.

such huge diffrerences in a realtivley small geographical area are not good. The education system should be capable of eliminating these differences however,

It is one of the things that I love about being English and British that there is such a diversity of accents and dialects in these isles. I have spoken to people from numerous countries, including some Polish friends, who say that regional accents are less identifiable where they come from which I find both strange and a little sad. You shouldn't view a regional accent as a negative thing or as being the result of a poor education. You will find that the vast majority of people are hugely proud of their regional accent and see it as part of their personal identity. I don't even think it is any longer much of a handicap in career terms as it once might have been as I believe that people are now judged on merit when it comes to recruitment. Even Oxbridge is full of regional accents as a result of positive recruitment of students from comprehensive schools who have achieved the required academic standards rather than having simply attended the right 'Public' (actually meaning private) school.

Most British people are fiercely proud of their cities and counties and a regional accent gives people a feeling of belonging and identity and the idea they could lose their accent as a result of some government-led homogenising of speech taught in schools is utterly laughable.

I know it can make understanding English more difficult for visitors/workers from abroad but you need to realise that what is an inconvenience for you is part of the British self. I hope it never changes.
23 Jan 2010
USA, Canada / What do the Poles hate and love about the U.S.? [170]

I love the fact that the US is 3,000 miles from Europe which means the majority of Americans who have made the effort to come here to study or work tend to be the more open-minded and intelligent ones (I'm not including the loud 'see-Europe-in-a-week' American tourists). I can pretend that the idiotic politicians, movie stars, rappers, religious nuts, rednecks et al exist only in a little world inside that TV sitting in the corner of my room....

Oops, just realised that this thread is aimed at Poles, which I'm not (English, actually) but maybe Polish people have a similar view as mine...? I'll post it anyway... ;)
23 Jan 2010
Love / Polish Girls vs Russian Girls [813]

Russian girls are like fire and polish girls like ice...

A threesome with a Polish girl and a Russian girl would be pretty steamy then.....
18 Jan 2010
Life / Do you think that Polish people are rude? [951]

Why do people call polish people rude?I'm from poland and i'm verry kind.And no i'm not rude

It is very rude to disagree with people who make sweeping generalisations about a nation or a race. Please be more polite in future Charlie99.
12 Jan 2010
UK, Ireland / Proof of Address (my Polish gf moving to the UK) [14]

When my g/f moved here from Poland we were living with my parents and all that was needed for her NI number was her passport or ID card and a letter from my father confirming she lived at the address and, if I remember rightly, some proof that the address was my father's e.g utility bills, bank statements etc.

As far as the bank goes, she went to HSBC and opened a 'passport account' (an account with a card for withdrawing cash from HSBC atm's only with no overdraft facility; also I think there is a monthly charge on it of about £6; after 12 months you can then apply for a normal current account) which required the same evidence of identity and address. Also, she was able to get work immediately with an employment agency even before she'd got her NI number through. She had to go for an interview with the NI office and I think the first thing you should do is phone them and get the correct information.
8 Jan 2010
USA, Canada / Differences in How Polish People Raise a Child and How Americans Raise a Child [149]

The husband will try to save his wife first, than the child.

It's an easier decision for a woman in that case. What would a husband do?...what should a husband do? What would I do? Wife or child......tough decision. Mind you, if I knew what a b***h my wife would turn into it would be the kid every time ha ha.

p.s she's my ex-wife now; and she was a truly s**t driver. Just for the record......
7 Jan 2010
USA, Canada / Differences in How Polish People Raise a Child and How Americans Raise a Child [149]

I live in the uk with my Polish g/friend and I've noticed how quick Polish parents here are to take their kids to the doctor for the slightest cough or sneeze; even to A&E for an upset tummy or such things! Still, after a few four-hour waits they usually get the message. I'm sure there's some truth in the belief that such over-protective parents prevent the child developing a strong immune system as some of the kids seem to suffer constantly from minor illnesses. A Polish guy I work with can practically tell you every variation in his kids' temperatures for the previous 24 hours and rushes home during working hours for seemingly harmless ailments they have! But to be honest, without wishing to be provocative, even many of the Polish adults I know seem to be a little obsessive with the state of their health: it's never a cold or a sniffle but always a fever or 'flu and any enquiry into how they are feeling results in a ten-minute detailed analysis of their physical wellbeing! Of course my g/friend is strong as an ox, never sick, and treats illnesses, including those of her children, with a complete lack of sympathy. Is she unique?!
23 Dec 2009

Polish car dealers in Chicago will paint up the car and do whatever to make it look good and lie about it. It is illegal to do that. But they still do it because that's how it's done in Poland

I think you'll find this is done by car dealers all over the world; certainly here in the UK. It isn't just a Polish thing.

From a personal viewpoint, I think that Poles have got themselves a bad reputation for overstaying their visas which spoils things for the genuine applicants. One of my girlfriend's brothers has been living in the US illegally with his family for years and her other brother outstayed his visa by a couple of years, which means if we want to visit the US to see my sister who lives there (or her brother) my girlfriend would possibly be denied a visa on account of her brothers' behaviour if US immigration keeps such records, which I suspect they do.