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Posts by ChrisPoland  

Joined: 15 Oct 2009 / Female ♀
Last Post: 3 Oct 2011
Threads: 2
Posts: Total: 123 / Live: 88 / Archived: 35

Displayed posts: 90 / page 1 of 3
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ChrisPoland   
17 Oct 2009
Law / Shipping a car from USA to Poland [85]

I shipped a car from the US to Poland from NJ using DOMA. It was my car before I became a Polish resident so I had the right to bring it to Poland for my own use. I got all the information I needed from the Polish Embassy in the US and also from DOMA. The people at DOMA double checked that I had the correct information and paperwork before I brought my car there. I paid $800 from NJ to Warsaw (I had the choice of pick-up in Warsaw or Gdansk for the same price) plus I insured the car/container for $10,000 which cost $100- so $900 all in all. After I arrived at DOMA they told me that I could also transport some belongings in the car but I didn't know that before so it was too late. Also bigger cars require bigger containers which cost more.

The car has to be insured to drive on Polish roads from the moment you leave the import/export grounds so I got a one-month policy in Poland under the American registration (before I picked up the car) and then after getting Polish registration I got a normal policy for a year. I had to change the lights a little (change the red turn signal to yellow) but it wasn't costly. The reason I brought the car was because it was brand new and the resale price in the US wasn't in my favor. It was actually more cost-effective to bring it to Poland than to sell it in the US and buy something in Poland.

Good luck.
ChrisPoland   
17 Oct 2009
USA, Canada / Use of Polish language at work in the US [11]

To the Polonia community-
Do you work in jobs that you need to use your Polish language skills in addition to English? Did you find that your foreign language skills (in this case Polish) helped you find employment or had no effect?

Thanks for the info. We're in Poland now but weighing our options.
Chris
ChrisPoland   
26 Oct 2009
USA, Canada / Use of Polish language at work in the US [11]

You all have pretty much confirmed for me what I suspected - that knowing Polish is not particularly useful when looking for a job in the US for a couple of reasons. One reason being that Polish people in the US can speak English too. Another that US companies which need a person who speaks Polish have a lot of people to choose from (Polish-speaking folks in the US). Also those companies which need a person who speaks Polish are quite few.

I am American and I live in Poland. I can speak Polish moderately well and my husband is Polish so he can obviously speak well ;) My husband was offered 2 jobs in the US where he could use his Polish. One job required 2 languages besides English on an intermediate level and another job didn't require Polish but they did find it useful as the company has a major client in Poland. What's the problem? Health insurance :(
ChrisPoland   
26 Oct 2009
USA, Canada / Use of Polish language at work in the US [11]

You are right Sledz that Spanish would be more useful when looking for a job. It's a pity I didn't realize during my 4 years of Spanish classes in high school.

My husband speaks English very well so that's not an issue for us.

Thanks again everyone for your input.

[if you want signature, you need to become a Gold member]
ChrisPoland   
2 Nov 2009
Life / Wszystkich Świętych (All Saints Day) // Dzien Zaduszny (All Souls day) [77]

I went to Catholic school as a child (I'm American) and we celebrated Halloween in school and the next day we went to a special All Saint's Day mass. We didn't have any problems mixing up the fun day for kids with the solemn day of remembrance.

We had a Halloween party for our kids here in Poland and visited a few neighbors for trick or treating. Our neighbors were kind and gracious and pretended to be scared of our little guys. We also had a few older kids at our door and even the hike to the top floor of our apartment building didn't discourage them.

I agree with the other posters that the atmosphere at the cemetery on Nov 1st cannot be beaten. I think it can be a moving experience even for those people who are not esp religious.
ChrisPoland   
12 Nov 2009
USA, Canada / Hopeless case for a US tourist visa or fiancee visa? [6]

If you are planning to get married in the US, I would just apply for the fiance visa. It is true that they are meticulous but it is worth a try. After receiving the fiance visa there is a time limit to get married in though and then after that you have to apply for a residence visa and so on and so on. I don't remember the fees for the visas but I don't recall that they were financially burdensome. The burdensome part may be in collecting all the paperwork that you need esp proving that your finances are sufficient to support your spouse.

Good luck and keep us posted!
ChrisPoland   
20 Nov 2009
Food / Pierogi Dough [30]

In my experience freezing raw pierogi dough does not give good results. Anyhow, the dough is not so difficult to make that it warrants preparation ahead of time. I know that you have a lot of dough to make but we just quadruple our recipe and get the person with the strongest hands to mix it up. I often freeze pierogi after they are cooked and cooled and they are still pretty good after thawing.

One tip from my mother-in-law: She (and now I can say we 'cause I have successfully learned how to make pierogi) always uses freshly boiled water in her dough and then mixes it with a wooden spoon until it is cool enough to use your hands. It reduces stickiness. I have experimented with the hot water and regular water and it really does make a difference esp. when you are just learning how to make them and stickiness can be a big problem.

Another tip about the blueberry pierogi- When I made them from my google recipe, I had a problem with excess juice from the blueberries and also bursting and squirting blueberries when eating. My m-i-l suggested not adding sugar to the filling but instead adding sugar and cream or sweet cream to the top when serving. It really reduced the mess and my white tablecloth is very grateful.

Now if I could only get my gołąbki rolling technique down. They come undone every time!

Good luck with your pierogi!

kielbasastories.blogspot.com
ChrisPoland   
24 Nov 2009
Love / I'm getting married to a Polish guy and need advice before visit his family; gifts, topics, customs [82]

It should be noted that in Poland direct eye contact with strangers can be held for a longer time than is acceptable or comfortable for some visitors. I also get the sense that some people expect you to give them a stare and that it would be rude not to- I'm thinking about a woman dressed for an evening out- so I always oblige. (I heard that women dress to impress other women anyhow)

We have a house in the village too and we get our fair share of staring (I call it gap-ing). At the same time we bought our house, a German/Polish lady bought an old mill to turn it into a restaurant. The local gossip was that I was that lady (not true) and that I planned to make a brothel (not true). When confronted by one very brave neighbor, I cleared up the confusion and joked that if a brothel was moving in at least there'd be jobs in the area. My joke didn't go over too well.

kielbasastories.blogspot.com
ChrisPoland   
26 Nov 2009
News / Crucifixes to stay in Polish schools [364]

I can give you the perspective of a parent with a child in school in Poland.

First, I feel that church and state should be separate. My parents wanted me to receive a Catholic education so they sent me to private Catholic school and to catechism at church. I think those were the proper places for my religious instruction.

My daughter has just started "school". It is pre-school which starts from age 3. At the 1st parents/teachers meeting, we were informed that if we wanted our kids to attend Religia that we would have to sign them up. We didn't. Later on, we were asked by the Dyrektorka to write a declaration that we DO NOT want our child to attend. We did it. This week, we were told that the classroom teacher also needs an original declaration that we do not want our child to attend Religia. I think that they are trying to pressure us into allowing our child to attend because they have to do something with her during that lesson...or maybe they want to save her soul ;)

For those readers who may still be unaware, Religia in Polish schools is Catechism not Religions (of the world). Even though the teachers insist the lessons are very fun and general, it is still Catechism. At the first lesson they were taught the sign of the cross (the father, son, holy spirit, amen) and that good little boys and girls go to church.

It is true that Religia is optional. She does not have to go and she is not the only one who does not attend. In fact, a lot of kids do not attend. But someone said this is a majority/minority issue - I don't agree. This is a separation of church and state issue and even further a separate but equal issue. My daughter and the other children are given care during the Religia equal to the kids who attend Religia, but already the opt-outs are showing signs of feeling worse than the other kids. Some readers may not care, saying kids have to toughen up and learn about real life, but when it is your kid and it is about such a personal issue as religion, you may understand me a little better.

As a note, many parents who want their children to have religious instruction at school have decided not to send their children as the school could not provide any information about the person providing the instruction nor could they provide a program of instruction for the year.

There are not any crucifixes in the pre-school.

kielbasastories.blogspot.com
ChrisPoland   
29 Nov 2009
Love / Do Polish Women age well? [153]

When I compare my mother (American) and my mother-in-law (Polish), I always estimate my m-i-l as older although they are the same age. Part of it is (as someone mentioned before) the fact that my m-i-l got married and started her family as a teen. By the time she was 34 (my age group) she was a grandmother. Now she is a great-grandmother and has grandchildren and a great-grandchild the same age. She looks and behaves older than she is. She also doesn't take care of herself, seems unaware of what a healthy diet is, never goes to the doctor and she smokes.

Once when I couldn't find her at home, I began searching for her at the neighbor's (morning coffee). I found her at one neighbor's place. My m-i-l and the neighbor for me were identical in style and age. The same "shades of autumn" hair color cut in a short and practical style. The same blouse and skirt with fartuch regardless of activity or weather. Total lack of grooming except for the hair coloring. The same obligatory killer cup of coffee and cigarette in hand. I was shocked to later find out that the neighbor was my age - in her 30's not in her 60's. Maybe it is a village thing too. I think income can be part of it as well.

About some of the young, attractive women of today -Let's just wait 30 years to see the effects of all the solarium use of today.

kielbasastories.blogspot.com
ChrisPoland   
30 Nov 2009
Real Estate / Foreigners can now buy houses in Poland [55]

My company offers about the same service but in a different region and we also provide language lessons. We don't have office space anymore as it hardly ever got used. Everybody wanted us to come to them. I think these are reasonable combinations of business activities and they do not detract from each other as some here have suggested.

I am also not Polish (but my Polish is on a good enough level to, for ex, take my client to the bank and open an account, arrange to lease a vehicle, those types of things) and I don't find that it is a problem in this business. Many of my clients feel good knowing that I have been through the same process that they have and can live here happily and that Poland is a "normal" country. Some of my clients feel that it is a green light to bad mouth Polish people which is not cool, but I try to nip that in the bud.

I've rented a flat, bought a flat, bought a house, got married, leased a car, sold a car, bought a car, taken a mortgage, been to court, been to hospital, been attacked on the street, and much, much more here in Poland and for those reasons I feel that I can offer valuable advice to my clients. It was said that the gentleman above has not lived in Poland long enough to give such advice, but he can always hire someone who can assist in areas he is lacking.

I do not have a mini-skirt, however ;)

Good luck!

kielbasastories.blogspot.com
ChrisPoland   
7 Dec 2009
Real Estate / Building a house in Poland need advice from anyone that has built [100]

davidpeake: Try es polska. It is a Czech company and they build a house for you on your land (your project or theirs). I think that they have some price info on their webpage and even if you are not interested ultimately in their service, you can still get an offer from them and get the info you need out of them. I am sure that they have an office in Wroclaw.

About the concrete second floor. I have a normal "upstairs" and a loft. We exposed the wooden beams everywhere and replaced the wooden floor upstairs with....another wooden floor of wide planks. Yes, you can hear everything but it is not just because of the wood. It is because the wooden planks were installed directly on the beams. There is insulation but the planks are directly on the beams with no cork or anything to absorb sound.

Good luck
ChrisPoland   
7 Dec 2009
Real Estate / Septic systems in Poland [11]

We have a so-called ecological septic system. I was freaked out when the seller/installer asked us if we wanted a tank with a bottom or without. Yes, please, without so all the sewage can seep into my basement. That is illegal by the way. We have a very large piece of land so our system takes up a lot of space (underground) and required a lot of digging and installing. It cost 3000 PLN and we have never needed to empty yet.

And about mistakes made as in the posts above-Our installer connected tank 3 to the system and connected tank 2 to tank 3. He also connected tank 1 to the house but he didn't connect tank 1 to tank 2. Unfortunately for him, he had to return to do it after we had started to use the system.

kielbasastories.blogspot.com
ChrisPoland   
9 Dec 2009
News / Crucifixes to stay in Polish schools [364]

Correction to my post: There are crucifixes in our Pre-school. The shipment of crosses just arrived and they are now hanging on the wall along with the crowned eagle and the children's art projects.
ChrisPoland   
29 Dec 2009
Law / How to register a foreign Non-EU car in Poland? [25]

HI-

I brought my American car to Poland and registered it successfully. First I needed some kind of permission to bring my car to Poland exempt from tax (the duties and whatever else). I got this from the Polish embassy in the US. The nearest embassy was pretty far away so I sent my application and my American passport by courier and I sent a pre-paid envelope to get it back which I did after 3 days. No red tape involved. I had to prove that I was a resident of Poland and that the car was purchased before receiving residence. Why? Because you have the right to bring your possessions without paying taxes but you have to own them first I suppose.

Next I went to an import/export company in the US (I was there for Christmas) and sent the car. The car arrived about a month later and I picked it up. I had all the documents so I insured it (for a period of one month) before I picked it up. One month of insuring a foreign registered car costs about the same as one year of insuring the same car registered in Poland. In that one month I made all the changes needed, translated all the documents, got my inspection papers, registered the car and insured it.

I was stopped by the police often but not for the foreign plates but because my state in the US doesn't have plates on the front so the police who saw me from the front always directed me to pull over....ok, and once for speeding.

My biggest problem in registering the car was that I did not have a PESEL number at the time and without filling in that field in the computer, you cannot really register your car. There is a PESEL on my car documents but it is made up. Don't tell anyone.

I also had a problem because the production year and the model year were different and my engine did not have a serial number but we sorted it out somehow.

Good luck!
ChrisPoland   
3 Jan 2010
Law / Shipping a car from USA to Poland [85]

I brought my car to Poland a few years ago. I went through the company DOMA located in the Newark area. I didn't have to pay any customs/duties because the car was mine before I got residence in Poland and you have the right to bring a certain amount of your belongings to your new country of residence. If that is the case for you, then you need to arrange it through the Polish Embassy in the US. I arranged everything by post. Are you planning to live here long term? If not, I wouldn't do it. On a short-term basis, I would lease a car here.

Good luck!
ChrisPoland   
4 Jan 2010
Work / Education in Poland - system and structure [118]

I have lived in Poland for quite some time and I can assure you that the opinion of Karolina that Poles are better educated than the British or Americans is quite a common opinion here. I have encountered countless times the opinion that Americans are uneducated excluding those who attend the best internationally known universities.

I am American, educated in America so I do not want to agree with that opinion but I sat next to a classmate at university who asked me where Mexico was on the map and another classmate who spelled "education", "ejucation". In addition, I was a teacher in the US and had to teach my high school students the CONTINENTS and BODIES OF WATER!!! I also had a student who couldn't read and I had to fail him. His failure was overruled by my supervisor. I think a lot of kids fall through the cracks in America and many people are under-educated for whatever reasons.

I have noticed that students in Poland have a lot more material to learn by heart than in the US. Has anyone else noticed that?

kielbasastories.blogspot.com
ChrisPoland   
5 Jan 2010
USA, Canada / Differences in How Polish People Raise a Child and How Americans Raise a Child [149]

I agree that most of what you describe can be attributed to your wife's own personality but I think the dressing the child too warmly is a Polish thing. I am American with 2 small kids in Poland and often have complete strangers (esp older women) inquire if my children are cold. Inquiring is too polite to describe it. In fact they are usually insisting that my children must be cold to which I ask "Czy my sie znamy?". Sorry but for me 50 F is not cold enough for a snow suit.

You might also begin to notice that (in my opinion) many Polish moms and grandmas are obsessed with their kids food consumption. On one hand it is good, they make a lot of homemade things which I as a "Polish" mom do too but many moms/grandmas cannot tolerate it when a child skips a meal because they simply are not hungry. It's a big issue between my mother-in-law and I.
ChrisPoland   
5 Jan 2010
USA, Canada / Differences in How Polish People Raise a Child and How Americans Raise a Child [149]

Sokrates-You made me laugh :)

I am one of those backwards American mothers but the difference is I am raising my child in Poland. Yes, it is no big deal if a kid has a pacifier or a bottle when they are 4 or 5 but what for? Neither of my children ever used a pacifier and could drink from a cup at one. Why? Because they wanted to learn. They still had a bottle and later a no-spill cup.

I am sad for the 4-year-old girl from my daughter's pre-school who still drinks from a bottle and eats jarred baby food and baby teething biscuits while my daughter is "King of Breakfast" awarded not for cleaning her plate but for feeding herself. Even my 1 1/2 year old is proficient enough with a spoon to feed herself a lot of things and she does it because she wants to. She screams, "Me do" or "Ja sama" and I oblige. Maybe that's backwards to some people but I think it is natural independence.
ChrisPoland   
7 Jan 2010
USA, Canada / Differences in How Polish People Raise a Child and How Americans Raise a Child [149]

I also cannot stand those herbatki monsters who insist that I am harming my child because I have never given them herbatka. I even found research done that those dill (koperek) herbatki CAUSE gas not alleviate it, but Babcia knows better. BTW some people give their infants glucose from the pharmacy.

When you have a baby in Poland, a midwife comes for a home visit at least once. The midwife who came for a visit with our second child wrote us a long list of things our 2-week old baby needed including herbatka and medicine for loose stool. Any experienced mother should know that infants have loose stool for some time and that it is normal but if a so-called medical professional advises Polish moms to do it, those moms can be confused. Add that to the pressure coming from Babcia and well, your head can spin.

And about the antibiotics, it depends on the doctor really. Our family dr is quite conservative about prescribing them but when I visit another dr at the practice I am sure to get antibiotics for our kids no matter the illness. At our last visit (for a hacking cough) she declared the kids healthy and acted like I was wasting her valuable time and then prescribed my kids 7 medications one of which was an antibiotic. I politely asked for an explanation and then demanded an explanation when none was given. I was asked to leave the examination room and to take my kids with me. I made an appointment immediately for "our" doctor who told us antibiotics were not needed and with some syrup our kids were fine in a couple of days. Hacking coughs often come at the tail end of colds for smaller kids and while they sound awful are often not serious.

kielbasastories.blogspot.com
ChrisPoland   
9 Jan 2010
USA, Canada / Differences in How Polish People Raise a Child and How Americans Raise a Child [149]

C'mon, be creative! Do you really need a bedroom and bed for sex with your spouse? Assuming that you have more than one room in your home, what's the problem?

Both my kids are asleep now, so I'm sure you'll all understand why I must excuse myself from the conversation ;)
ChrisPoland   
10 Jan 2010
Work / Golf jobs in Poland [3]

My brother-in-law who is German plays golf at a local club and uses the services of the pros. Many of the pros are not Polish. As far as I can tell they are not employed on a full-time basis but rather get paid by the hour for the hours they have clients.

Good luck!
ChrisPoland   
15 Jan 2010
Genealogy / Polish soil - who wants to buy? Does it have any sentimental value? [11]

Me too!

This idea reminds me a little bit of the piece of the Berlin Wall that my father bought (Although he was right at the wall when it came down, he still paid somebody for a piece of it along with a t-shirt that reads "I was there" in German.) It is a really cool piece of rock, chipped out of the wall. Interestingly enough it has graffiti on all sides, hee, hee.

kielbasastories.blogspot.com
ChrisPoland   
16 Jan 2010
Food / WHAT DID YOU EAT FOR POLISH EASTER TODAY? [45]

Do you take a symbolic amount of food in your basket or everything? The first (and last) time I took my basket to church with my mother-in-law (packed with just a small amount of food), we stood in church next to a lady who had everything, whole links of sausages, a whole loaf of bread, a whole root of horseradish, etc. Does anybody do that anymore? BTW, my basket was horribly underdressed ;)

kielbasastories.blogspot.com
ChrisPoland   
16 Jan 2010
Life / Having a baby in Poland as a US citizen [9]

Hi-
I'm American and I have given birth to 2 children here in Poland. The difference is that my husband is Polish and I know a little Polish. I didn't have the health issues that you have so I didn't need to know much more in Polish than "push". I think that if you cannot find a doctor who can speak English then you could hire someone as a translator/liaison (or maybe 2 people, one as a spare) to accompany you to all your appointments and ultimately to the birth as well.

On a side note, if your doctor promises to be at your birth and this is your only English-speaking contact, it would still be a good idea to have another person to help you with all the paperwork and be there just in case your doctor is late or isn't able to arrive in time. The translator can also explain some "Polish" things to you that are not language related but culture related.

I wish you all the best!
ChrisPoland   
17 Jan 2010
Life / Having a baby in Poland as a US citizen [9]

My American friends were all amazed at how I came home from the hospital with only 4 pounds of baby weight left to lose. Maybe it was the suppers of chicken hearts that did it?

Smacznego!

kielbasastories.blogspot.com