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Posts by Chipmunk  

Joined: 15 Aug 2009 / Female ♀
Last Post: 6 Jan 2011
Threads: Total: 12 / Live: 7 / Archived: 5
Posts: Total: 61 / Live: 38 / Archived: 23
From: Warsaw this fall
Speaks Polish?: No
Interests: Photography, running, my family

Displayed posts: 45 / page 1 of 2
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6 Jan 2011
USA, Canada / What should I bring back from the U.S. to Poland? [46]


pepperoni would be a great one to take back. pepperoni in poland simply isn't pepperoni, it's salami making a valiant effort to taste like pepperoni.

This!!!!! I came back with five bags of the sliced pepperoni for this purpose this past November. I also picked up a handful of the packages of Propel powder for mixing. Love these for during my runs.

Mac & Cheese is great with some ham cubes (or pepperoni) and some tomatoes thrown in.

I grabbed jelly beans and MilkyWays while I was there, oh and some handfuls of sauce packets from Taco Bell. Since I can't eat that crap while i'm here I at least have the sauce to go with my tacos!
23 Nov 2010
Life / Orphanages in Poland [82]

[Moved from]: Toys for Tots (US Marine program) - a Poland's orphanage / children's home that is need of TOYS

I'm running the Marine Corps Toys for Tots for the Marines here at the US Embassy in Warsaw.

I'm trying to identify a orphanage or children's home that is need of TOYS. While I truly believe everyone needs a little Christmas joy, the donations we receive and are expected to receive are going to be that of TOYS! So I need a younger crowd, as we won't get much if anything that is geared towards teenagers.

Can anyone point me in the right direction or provide contacts for someone who will be in need this Christmas?

Thank you
8 Sep 2010
Off-Topic / Pay as you go - for an iphone? [3]

My brother in law is sending me his old 3gs phone.

I'd like to use it here but prefer not to enroll in a contract or plan with a phone carrier as I only have 9 months left. Who would you recommend for pay as you go services? Any idea on general costs?

Thank you!
21 Aug 2010
Work / I know 4 languages and am moving to Warsaw by next year, jobs advice? [25]

I don't think it's any more difficult that it would be in any other land foreign to you. You have everything you could want plus some. The food is great, the entertainment is endless, and you can buy just about anything you could possibly need. Prices vary tremendously but if I've really wanted or needed it, I've been able to easily find it.

It's beautiful here, even in the city. Everything is so green, parks every where, babies and kids every where! Dogs galore and yummy desserts and hands down the best fresh bread!

Driving aside and the parking entitlement issues, I really do like it here. :0)
12 Jul 2010
Life / Daycare / After school care? Warsaw [3]

So earlier I was looking for a nanny for our son. I've had a few interviews and am leaning towards one particular nanny but I'm not 100%. I didn't consider this before but I don't really recall seeing anyone who does this anyway... but figured I'd ask.

What about daycares in Warsaw? Do those exist and what are they called here? It seems like family or in home care is much more popular. However, with the few hours we need it seems like this would be the better option, especially so my son could have some friends to play with.

Thank you!
7 Jul 2010
Work / Some opinions about current pay rates (normal pay per hour for housekeeping in Poland)... [19]

I keep hearing differences from one extreme to another on how much I should pay a pani.
Can you provide me with some feedback on how much you pay and what their responsibilities are if you utilize one or have worked as one yourself? (i.e. how many kids? Do they do any housekeeping etc)

Also, is it normal to pay per hour worked? Or do you set a certain amount for x amount of hours each week regardless if worked completely or not?

I have a 5 year old boy and I'd like some light housekeeping done. Is 22zl an hour too much? Long term it will only be 20 hours a week with some nights out but during school breaks it would be 40 hours. I do not want to pay rock bottom prices either as I believe moral is important when dealing with children, as you couldn't pay me enough to babysit a kid that wasn't mine. LOL
30 Jun 2010
Life / Cosmetic surgery in Poland... [40]

I tried to search and didn't have much luck, to be a bit more discreet. I've asked around a bit as well and no one really seems to have anything to say. So with google I've found that Damian and IQ Medical does cosmetic surgery here in Warsaw.

Does anyone by chance have any personal insight of their own that they could share through PM with me? Or in general what is the word about such procedures here in Warsaw?

It appears to be nearly half what I'd pay for it in the States. However, I also know that the particular surgeon I'd use is one of the best in Southern California. So I'm leaning towards waiting just for that reason alone. Is it really that common for tourists to come here for their plastic surgery?

Thanks! :0)
11 Jun 2010
Food / Stuffed Polish peppers & stuffed mushrooms - recipes [16]

I make mine with a Mexican flare! I use mince meat (ground beef) with a packet of taco season. I make the rice with tomatoes, chilis, and minced red and green peppers, and corn and then I had some taco season and a dash or two of chili powder (like beef chili powder not the pepper kind). I layer it in the pepper meat, rice, cheese until the top and then I sprinkle some black olives and cheese and bake.

My mom use to make it with more of an italian base, tomato sauce and onions but I like spicy and mexican more :0)
2 Jun 2010
Food / Coffee Syrup - like 1883 and Torani? [11]

You're not making any sense.

I make my espresso's at home. I'd like to flavor my espresso's with a syrup. It has nothing to do with access else where. I simply want it for my personal consumption at home.
29 May 2010
Life / Infant Formula - Baby food - Warsaw [10]

unny thing is that many American mums don't want to breast feed, because of lazyness, they think they get fat (actually breast feeding helps women lose after baby weight), or they can't drink alcohol...
so use your boobs new mums! :)

Sure, some mothers are afraid they'll get fat and others are afraid their boobs will flop to their knees. This isn't the REAL reason that American mother's are quick to reach for a can of formula and bottle. It's because the medical community and their research started pushing formula as "best" for baby. In fact unlike today, you didn't receive the passive aggressive attitude about breast feeding you were told to formula feed. Babies were kept away from their mothers post birth for periods of time as the "norm". There have been huge pushes in the breast is best campaign in America. Sure there are many women who can not breast feed and others who are only able to do it for a certain amount of time. Any breast is better than nothing at all IMO, but when that is no longer an option formula is meant to replace. Providing the HIGH Caloric diet that infants and small children do require for their brains and eyes to develop correctly.

Babies up to 2 need a HIGH fat content milk based. Yes, you can switch to whole milk at 1 years old as is the norm in the States, but many mothers TODAY are choosing to nurse longer or provide stage 2 formula as a supplement to an infants dietary needs. A infants/small body metabolism is super fast so even though they're consuming full fat products (as they should be) they're body is growing so quickly they need it.

As for the OP I'm sorry you're going through this. Unfortunately you should have probably mixed the emergency formula with a newer product to gradually wean the baby onto the new product. Most grocery stores I've been too have a large selection of formulas but I've never given much attention to what is what as our son was four when we arrived.
25 May 2010
Travel / Indian or Mexican food in Warsaw. [60]

I can definitely tell you were to stay away from for Mexican. We were down in Old Town and thought that the decor and atmosphere for "The Mexican" looked great and relaxing. Such a bummer that their food was actually probably the worst we've had dining out! We ordered the "nacho's with salsa" expecting you know the typical basket, heck even a bowl, of chips and some salsa. Typical for even other Mexican restaurants around here. Hahaha They brought out a bowl the size you'd use for an extra side of dressing and one equal for tomato paste to dip about 10 chips into. My Chicken Taco's had about a pound of beans in each taco and then 1 tiny curled up piece of "poultry tender".

Oh well it was a nice break from walking around :0)
25 May 2010
Food / Coffee Syrup - like 1883 and Torani? [11]

What is the point of having coffeee syrup? Anyone who doesn't want to brew ground coffee the normal way can use instant.

Syrup as in flavored syrup like carmel, honey, vanilla and so forth that you can mix in with an espresso to make things like a iced carmel machciatto (sp) etc.
20 May 2010
Travel / Indian or Mexican food in Warsaw. [60]

Buddha Bar on Nowy Swiat looks interesting - has anyone been there?

We went a few weeks ago. It was alright but definitely on the mild side, even after I specifically asked for spicy. Some reason it just tasted bland but the service was great and that is always a perk in my opinion for Warsaw! Beautiful restaurant and if you're homesick for a Starbucks there is one right now the road. But Coffee Heaven is better (a once Starbuck addict too!)

We've tried Tandoor Palace and Maharaja. Both a few times and we never had good luck. The last time Tandoor was the best we've had, but holy spicy and once again I love the spicy part but this was overkill. I was only able to eat a few bites before I gave up, even after it was mixed with some yogurt and rice. I wanted to like it because it's close to the embassy and the walk back is nice after Indian! I'd probably give Tandoor Palace another try on a whim before Maharaja's though.

I'm going to have to try Arti, La Bono and Namaste. Because honestly I have just about given up on Indian food here and it has definitely become one of my favorites!!!!

Now.. mexican... I'm a snob when it comes to Mexican food as it's my absolute favorite cuisine and I was spoiled for three years living in San Diego with the best mexican food EVER! Anyway...Tortilla factory IMO and I see it is of the minority, but it is crap. Blue Cactus is definitely the closest I've found to what I consider Mexican flavors. (I'm basing this off San Diego Mexican style/flavors though) It is pricey though and the service is hit or miss. I know it's the American in me but I almost rather pay for the over priced food at Hard Rock for the service than to deal with the lack of service we get at a lot of other places.

Now don't bash me on the service comment. I see that Americans definitely have a different spin on their food service for sit down restaurants and that's okay. I'm getting better and more accustomed but it's taking time.

Now.. I'll go try and google for the above mentioned Indian restaurants but addresses would be great! Thank you!
18 May 2010
Food / Coffee Syrup - like 1883 and Torani? [11]

I'm hoping to find coffee syrup for my coffee making at home. I've tried Coffee Heavens selection that they offer for sale and it's not that great. I'm hoping to find 1883 or Torani or any other suggestions you may have?

Or perhaps know where I can start looking for it? Thank you!!
22 Apr 2010
Life / Any place like a "Goodwill" in Warsaw? [10]

In the States you can take your boxes of used items to places like Goodwill to donate. Is there a similar places like this here? I have a box of clothes and then another box of odds and ends with some toys etc.
21 Apr 2010
Life / Is it hard for a foreigner to give birth in Poland? [15]

You'll be fine, probably better off here in Poland than the US.

In the US they'll let you labor for 45 minutes before they start telling you it's time to think about a cesarean section. Kidding... but personally I'd much rather have my kid here at a private hospital or with a midwife, than back in the States and plan on it. :)
6 Mar 2010
Life / BEFORE Poland.. what did you do then and what are your plans now? [25]

If you studied, where and what?

BS in Accountancy now finishing my MBA this spring!!!

Where did you live?

Washington State (born and bred...)
After I married the hub,
29 Palms, California
Jacksonville, Florida
San Diego California
Lusaka, Zambia (Africa)...

Going back to San Diego after Warsaw!

What job(s) did you have?

Bean counter

Why did you choose Poland and not somewhere else?

My husband is one of Uncle Sammy's Misguided Children... :0)

Do you plan to stay forever?

Tempting, seriously..... but San Diego is far more fun.

Could you speak any Polish before you came?

1 Mar 2010
Law / Scrapping a vehicle in Poland? [21]

Dnz: I'll definitely send you the information. The sparks definitely need to be changed. I have the wires in the mail and shop was going to get the sparks as I didn't know what sparks exactly to get and they were going to cost the same per spark as I could get online.

Other than the noise, I felt it ran great. The noise just got considerably louder so I figured we'd get it looked at. We had some issues starting it in the real cold weather but as soon as we started parking it in the garage it started right up no problem. There were a few times when we'd put it into reverse after starting it up that it'd die don't know what that could mean.

The general consensus seems to be that we are getting taken. At least on the labor part. Since we already told them we'd get the parts ourselves. So I'll definitely take recommendations for mechanics!

Thanks again!
1 Mar 2010
Law / Scrapping a vehicle in Poland? [21]

It's about $20 give or take on the exchange for the entire service. Like a fee on top of the charges the mechanic would also charge us.

Out of curiosity how much is a tow truck typically? We were told about 250zl
1 Mar 2010
Law / Scrapping a vehicle in Poland? [21]

I really appreciate all your help and advice. This whole mess has had me so upset and frustrated.

Harry: As far as the mechanic goes, supposedly this is the mechanic that the embassy has used for the past 15 years. There is a third party service we utilized through the embassy, where we pay a fee, and the embassy employes a Polish man who takes care of the appointment, escorting the vehicle and all that. Mainly for the translation issues and I guess for the more routine things like a oil change all you have to do is come into work and it's done when you get off. So on one had I want to believe the mechanic is reliable and trustworthy but after having someone from within our own diplomatic community rip us off why wouldn't anyone else? For what it's worth we're using Overland Motors. I don't have any reason to think they're being shady but...

Dnz : Thank you, I have pm'd and appreciate the pointing in the right direction. Symptoms were a small idle ticking noise in the engine that progressed into a larger ticking noise. I've included to video clips I happen to take for my dad prior to having it serviced.

I don't know if we could swap. Although interested personally, the issue still lies with the stupid tax free/duty fees that need to be paid. Tomorrow my husband is going to find out those figures.

Dasla : I will send you a PM. Interested in your friend. Perhaps I could hire him to come out to the shop and take a look at it before we decide to tow it or something. By chance does he speak Polish and English?

Once again, I really do appreciate the help. I still feel incredible stupid for being in this situation. My husband is just like let it go it's not worth the time. But to me it is a lot of money to just kiss away and I don't feel quite right just letting it be. Hence trying to not walk away empty handed from the mess if I don't have too.
1 Mar 2010
Law / Scrapping a vehicle in Poland? [21]

Oops, sorry, but yes you're accurate it is the shop/mechanic place telling us it won't start.
1 Mar 2010
Law / Scrapping a vehicle in Poland? [21]

Hah, I'd like to see Ukraine before we leave Europe but not with trying to sell a truck. Thank you for the idea though! :0)

No, it is on CD plates.

We were told today that we can't even scrap it. That because it's still on it's duty free status our only option is to crush it or sell it. If a nondip purchases it there is duty. However she said that is based on blue book. I'm assuming that would be the value of the vehicle now... of course I'm sure they'll say it's on the value of when it entered the country.

I'll send him a wildrover a message and Forfour44 I am emailing you. :)

Thank you!

The parts can be found probably on ebay or somewhere else..

We can get all the parts from the states (we already have $300 of parts coming any day now from the original diagnosis. Basically it needed a tune up etc and it was much easier to get the parts ourselves from the states than to buy them locally.

As it sits they're saying it won't even start now. Although we drove it fine prior and it was running last week when they replaced the two timing tensioners. They said this morning it turned on, and ran for 30 seconds before dying and now it won't turn on (Battery, starter all that is fine supposedly). So now to add to the headache we'll have to tow it out of there or anywhere for a second opinion.

Doesn't 3000zl seem steep for a timing replacement!? Max would be 4 or 5 hours to replace and generally so far in my opinion the cost of labor has been much cheaper here than the States.
1 Mar 2010
Law / Scrapping a vehicle in Poland? [21]

So we purchased a used vehicle here. I won't go into the back story but in short it's a lemon. It's an import so it doesn't become clear until July 2011.

I know that we need to have it crushed if we don't sell it to another diplomat. I just wanted to see if there is any option to scrap it to salvage any money out of the loss.

It's a 97 Ford Explorer. Supposedly the timing system is bad and the shop wants 3000zl for the labor and I don't want to put that sort of money into it.

9 Feb 2010
Life / Bilingual kids in Polish schools [30]

My son was a late talker. He's now a little over 4 and attends an English speaking school and we speak English at home. However he knows so much Polish! His school is 25% international students and the rest are Polish so his friends all speak to him in Polish during play etc. The instruction is in English, but even during Christmas plays and so forth they do both English and Polish songs/skits. So while he is not bilingual, he's definitely capable of conversing and interacting with his friends. We've only been here a tad bit over three months and I am just amazed at how quickly he picked it up.

Personally, kids don't need to hold conversations to get their point across. Especially at your son's age. When we first arrived at Poland we would take him to the indoor play areas at some of the malls. He never had a problem playing.

I'd see if he's having more issues with being in school(preschool) and not at home than I would be about his language barriers right now. Maybe try some one on one play dates for him. My son is an only child and he benefits heavily from play dates. Especially before he started school.