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Posts by Nightglade  

Joined: 25 Sep 2010 / Male ♂
Last Post: 20 Jun 2014
Threads: 7
Posts: 97
From: Poznań, Poland
Speaks Polish?: Tak, ale niezbyt dobrze

Displayed posts: 104 / page 1 of 4
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Nightglade   
20 Jun 2014
Love / Polish friend cutting off contact indirectly - is this a cultural misunderstanding? [15]

Avoiding contact might be childish but calling it cultural?

Could it be a cultural difference that caused him to cut off contact indirectly instead of coming to me with what was on his mind?

Have a pint, gov'nor and chill out. A perfectly legitimate question for people without much cultural experience. You never know when you might offend someone's cultural sensitivities, but this person cares enough to try and find out if it is a cultural misunderstanding or not. In response to the OP, it sounds like an issue that's only going to be resolved through a more illuminating backstory or finding a way to get in contact with him.
Nightglade   
16 Dec 2013
Life / Cigarette prices in Poland [27]

I don't know about other airports in Poland as I've only flown from Poznań, but before the airport in Poznań was ...'rebuilt', there was an outdoor smoking area quite literally a 30 second walk from security. Given that it used to take about 5 minutes to get through security and another 10 to walk to the gate, you could have theoretically smoked 20 minutes before boarding. Since remodelling the airport and moving the security entrance to what seems like half a kilometer from the main entrance and then shoving most of the international flight boarding areas in a dodgy tent at the back of the airport, it's no longer possible.

That said, I remember Gatwick's hilarious little smoking "quarantine" zones in the middle of the main departure terminal, though I've not flown from there since 2005, so I don't know how it's changed. Egypt has very "lax" rules when it comes to smoking in the airport. Although I smoke, and in the larger airports it's a bit of an inconvenience, I'm glad that the airports are smoke free. The airport in Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh were utterly dreadful.
Nightglade   
8 Oct 2013
Law / Which is the best city in Poland to open a kebab shop? [35]

Slightly OT, but we had a kebab stall here in Poznań by the music theatre. They made the most amazing kebabs, they were very cheap and the guy inside was always good fun (he spoke English, too). Sadly they vanished some time ago :(
Nightglade   
26 Sep 2013
Study / My experience in Poland (Poznan) as a student who recently moved from Syria [122]

Get some manly stubble. I've never once been asked for ID for either tobacco or alcohol (though, admittedly, I rarely buy alcohol since I don't drink). I was with my lady once and she was doing the ordering, including my tobacco, and she was asked for ID (but didn't have any since we'd only left the house to go to the shops), but once she started speaking to me in English, they just said forget it and gave it to us anyway.
Nightglade   
17 Sep 2013
UK, Ireland / Learning Polish - Polish shops in England? [34]

Not in the US.It is VERY common here.

I guess it's changed a lot since I lived there, then :) Although, I lived in Arizona - two worlds from Chicago. In the UK, it's quite uncommon to hear on the streets. In fact, I'd go a step further and say it's often used in an unpleasant manner.

You were pretty mean dude.

Absolutely right. I've been buying coffee there almost every day for the last three years. It was empty inside - if I walk in, smile, say hello and place an order, I expect to hear "hello, sorry - what was that?" or some derivation. Not "what?" in a rude way.
Nightglade   
17 Sep 2013
UK, Ireland / Learning Polish - Polish shops in England? [34]

I don't feel like writing a lot,basically you would have spend some time among Poles to get a grasp on customs.

You're a little mistaken. I'm entering my fourth year of living in Poland - I'm quite well aware of the customs. The "rule" as it goes - informal/younger/same age: ty, formal/older: pan(i). My experience is quite contradictory, as the older people almost always address me as 'pan', despite being in my mid 20s. Conversely, the younger generation and, in particular, those who are clearly younger than I am, address me as 'ty' far more than they address me as 'pan'. Deduce from that observation what you will. Comparing it to English is erroneous because the style of addressing someone simply doesn't exist in a similar manner in English. Of course, we have polite and formal titles (Sir, Madam and so forth) but their use is entirely different. "Excuse me Sir, do you have the time?" sounds rather peculiar, does it not? It's odd because the lack of such a system in English means it shouldn't really phase me in Polish in terms of how people address me. That said, I still find it rather rude when people say "co?" instead of "słucham?" or address me as 'ty' when younger, unfamiliar, or asking me for assistance. I was buying a latte in McDonalds before work this morning; the conversation went something like: (me): Dzień dobry, poproszę kawa latte. (the guy): "co?" (me): "co? nie słyszałeś, czy nie rozumiesz? Powiedziałem kawa latte". Address as you are addressed :)
Nightglade   
11 Sep 2013
UK, Ireland / Learning Polish - Polish shops in England? [34]

I think that's a bit dramatic :P Maybe it's just my experience, but there's been quite a few times I've accidentally addressed people as 'ty' and conjugated verbs as such. e.g. when asking strangers for directions, I've said "przepraszam, czy wiesz ...". In fact, the majority of people, when stopping me on the street, address me as 'ty' and they are not necessarily older (though I've been called Pan by many old folks, which sounds odd)
Nightglade   
9 Sep 2013
UK, Ireland / Learning Polish - Polish shops in England? [34]

I have to agree with one of the above sentiments, that it's almost a little silly. Chances are they'll be busy and won't have time to chit chat (nor would the people behind you be happy about it). If the store was empty, then sure, but you might just find yourself awkwardly standing in the store waiting for people to go. Wouldn't it also be kind of awkward if it turned out that the seller wasn't Polish? I don't really chat with my shopkeepers here in Poland. The most dialogue I ever get is "Hello. Would you like a bag? That's XX zł. Do you have X change? Here you go. Thanks and good day". When I first moved here, we had a store below us that had some very nice and friendly clerks, who we used to talk about the weather or goings-on while waiting for card payments, etc. It's since been taken over by a Żabka and the staff are a bunch of tosspots. Most of the time, they never respond to hello, rarely say thanks, and never say goodbye.
Nightglade   
16 Nov 2012
Work / Looking for job - English teaching positions available in Poland? [18]


With an advertisement like that, it's not surprising that he has stooped to 20zł an hour. Maybe you should contact him under guise and find out what 'qualification' he has.

"Qualified - Professional - Amazing". Anybody who describes themselves as 'amazing' is probably worth staying away from :) That said, he does state "lessons from 20zł" which could mean that's the lowest price for students who "block book".

Also, don't presume that because somebody advertises themselves at such a low price, that the local market is struggling. We've had people doing the same here in Poznań for years - usually as an 'attractive' means to get quick and easy beer money. However, there are still private students willing to pay 50zł an hour for a good tutor, although it seems that 40 is increasingly the going rate.
Nightglade   
6 Nov 2012
Work / Looking To Move To Poland Within The Near Future. Teaching English or IT? [18]

I don't seem to meet the entry requirements for CELTA as they seem to want a degree

Nonsense. As far as I know - and it could be different, depending on the institution offering the course - there are no formal academic prerequisites. That said, you'll find that many of those who take the CELTA have completed studies at least at an undergrad level, as many of those on the course are already teachers and just want the piece of paper to buff up their CV. You could always take an adult's evening class at a sixth-form college in, for example, English. At the very least you'd need only qualifications that would enable you to enter higher education (typically 3 A-levels, but in some subjects exceptions are made).

My advice is: ask yourself what you 'really' want to do with your future career, is it really teaching? Many have said so, only for it to turn out to be the sole (read: easiest) option for an Englishman without a solid foundation in the Polish language. Spare yourself that packet of stale crisps.
Nightglade   
2 Nov 2012
Life / I hate Warsaw. The worst part about living here is the people who move here from small towns, villages.. [116]

It's interesting that you said Poznań was your favourite city and yet many of the things you listed are quite prevalent here, too. Staring, certainly, is high on my list of things that irritate me here, but I've learned that if you stare back for long enough, they'll break the contact. Continue to stare and you'll make them uncomfortable :) I have found that actually most people seem to be very 'accepting' of trying to speak Polish to them (although, in very 'busy' places, I tend to avoid it). That said, I've had terrible experiences with PKS drivers, apparently being unable to understand simple phrases (when I know for an absolute fact that what I say is understandable).

Dodging drunks is an all too familiar thing here also. Though I don't live in the best neighborhood, I experience it a lot in more affluent areas too. Ye olde drunken chavs with their hoods up in the doorway whether it's +30 or -30. Case in point: I was taking the trash out this morning. It was 4c and raining, yet four of them were blocking the entrance to my apartment building. So what did I do? I pushed the door open, pushed right through them with two ponging bags and laughed as they muttered a few comments. On the way back I smiled at them as I pushed through them again to get into the building. Most here tend to be all bark and no bite, show them you're not intimidated and they'll typically ignore you.

But hey, what can I say. We are the outsiders here, so we accept it or bugger off (that isn't to say we can't disagree or even hate some aspects, though).
Nightglade   
26 Oct 2012
Food / Polish roast pigeon anyone? [17]

As a type of bush-meat, pigeon with nettle is very delicious. I'm not sure about Polish hunting laws, but in the UK pigeons (as well as any other non-protected game) can only be hunted on private land with the owner's permission and may only be done so with certain methods. As far as I remember, snares are illegal, as are catapults and bows. On another note, I wouldn't touch a city pigeon with a barge pole, only wood pigeons.
Nightglade   
24 Oct 2012
Language / Lubicie, pamiętacie, mówicie [5]

Yeah I originally wrote 'Pływać' and decided to change it to one of the first verbs you learn, but forgot to change the description to read :P
Nightglade   
24 Oct 2012
Language / Lubicie, pamiętacie, mówicie [5]

You answered your own question it seems. I don't know a lot of Polish, but the -cie conjugation is used for, as you said, addressing groups of people. At least that's how I'd use it

"Lubię czytać" - I like to swim
"Czy lubisz czytać?" - Do you like to swim? (one person, direct, informal)
"Czy pani lubi czytać?" - Do you like to swim? (one person, female, direct and formal)
"Czy lubicie czytać?" - "Do you like to swim? (addressed to a group of people)

Maybe someone will correct me though :)
Nightglade   
2 Oct 2012
Work / Teaching English in Wrocław - TEFL, fair pay? [40]

Wow, you got me - I'm such an egomaniac. Thank you for pointing out that using a fact to illustrate a point constitutes bragging, you really showed me. I do love how people like to twist facts into an ad hominem attack - "I offered to refer some students to you for skype lessons but you did not take me up on the offer." Can't argue against it, BOASTING! Explaining why I was unable to do something in response to a personal attack against me - BOASTING!

In response to your first question: including teaching time and all work-related projects, roughly 40 hours. As for your second question: those particular hours? A month. However, I've been teaching here since 2010 and I'm no stranger to very early rises (read: 4-5am) and late sleeps (or none at all). Don't pull the "overworked, underpaid" bollocks on me, this isn't a sob story. Teaching isn't just my profession, I love it in its entirety and that includes the stress and fatigue. That said, I offer you my thanks for caring about my well-being, you are truly a gentleman.

As for you, Lee, you have an attitude incompatible with attempting to break into a competitive market in a foreign nation. You want everything to be served to you on a silver platter and throw a wobbly when you don't get it. I offered you free advice and referrals - something that doesn't come often in Poland. You were no worse off by my own lack of time and in some regards were perhaps better off. But, instead of capitalising on what I shared with you, or just - you know - sending me a message asking for me to send you this portfolio idea instead of expecting me to read your mind, you started throwing insults at me like a spoiled kid - in complete contradiction to this "common courtesy" rhetoric you keep spouting about. At the rate you must be burning through your savings while waiting for your knight in shining armour to ride in with a work contract and a year's supply of lesson plans, I'd suggest worrying about the warmth of your own apartment. Witaj w swojej pierwszej zimy
Nightglade   
1 Oct 2012
Work / Teaching English in Wrocław - TEFL, fair pay? [40]

. What is it now, about 6 weeks later,

Four actually. And you perhaps may have noticed that I have not been on the forums in that time (and if you haven't, feel free to check my profile) - coincidentally since I took my new position. My humble apologies - some of us do work and have very little time for ourselves, let alone strangers on a forum. Perhaps when you wake up at 3:45 in the morning, get home at 18:00 and see your fiancee for 45 minutes before you go to sleep while cleaning the flat for the morrows classes (if you're lucky), you may feel the same. I did offer you a great deal of advice prior to that in my own time and of my own will, did I not? Bit harsh to be such a twat towards me for something so minor.

And what have you done in the past month to celebrate the start of the academic year? Found yourself a job yet?
Nightglade   
29 Sep 2012
Work / Teaching English in Wrocław - TEFL, fair pay? [40]

unless you're one of those people who can charm the birds from the trees and get customers in 6 weeks as someone who PMd me claims to have done sans CELTA in another town.

I suspect you're referring to me. Six weeks to find a student isn't exactly "charming the birds from the trees", especially when that first student was only one class. What I tried to explain to you was that the paramount factor in regards to your success is not the paperwork. You focus too much on the 'should I / shouldn't I' of the CELTA. It's also a matter of luck and connections, but moreover it's the aforementioned determination and attitude. I know of excellent tutors with no qualifications becoming extremely successful in very short periods of time. Contrary to this, I know of two people who left Poznań and one in Kraków after failing to find work despite being highly qualified and coming prepared.

I offered to refer some students to you for skype lessons but you did not take me up on the offer.
Nightglade   
12 Sep 2012
Travel / How quickly does the sun set in Poland? [12]

Can't really comment on the length, it's never something that I've noticed - though it does tend to get dark slowly. However, maybe I've just lost the plot since moving here, but the Sun and the Moon appear much larger to me here than they did in Brighton. I took a (shaky) video of a sunrise over the river a few days ago, maybe I'll upload it. I also got a great view of a sunrise last week. A large field stretching for miles, at the end were some trees and the mist was just pouring out of them and filling the field. Couple that with a gigantic orange sun just peeking over the horizon and it was a brilliant start to the day :)
Nightglade   
12 Sep 2012
History / The Bar Mleczny / Milk Bar (memories) [12]

We have an Asian milk bar in Poznań called Ojisan's. Brilliant food, brilliant service and brilliant prices.

I've also been to a more 'traditional' milk bar, but the amount of tattooed, drunken chavs, homeless and virulently sick, put me off a bit.
Nightglade   
7 Sep 2012
Language / What do you say in a doctors surgery to ask "Who is next in line?" [19]

It seems to me that mostly I just hear "Kto ostatni?"

Where do you live? There are no formalities or politeness here. People will just barge right on up to the front of the queue without any shame whatsoever. If you confront them, they just spout some bollocks. Usually, it's something like "But I didn't see the queue!" or "But there's more than one cash place. It doesn't matter that everybody else is in one queue."

What frustrates me here, is that cashiers (the ones who should really be responsible for maintaining some order and respecting their customer's rights) don't interfere. Many a time, I have stepped in and said something directly to the person when they've skipped straight to the front, the cashier just looks at me like "It's not your business". It is when I've been waiting in the queue for 10 minutes and some self-entitled bat just casually waltzes over. In England, if you skip to the front, it's sacrilege. Everyone will put you in your place and the cashier will tell you to go to the back of the queue.
Nightglade   
30 Aug 2012
Food / The best MILK BRAND in Poland? [5]

Actually, I don't really like the taste of Polish milk that much, so I tend not to drink it by itself unless I'm dehydrated and there's no bottled water.

But for adding to coffee / tea / (and in rare cases) cereal, I would say łaciate. I think it's about 3-4zł for 1 litre. Biedronka's brand is also quite ok and roughly the same price.
Nightglade   
24 Aug 2012
Work / English qualifications to start Teaching English In Poland. Is degree of some sort needed? [123]

Hello Logan,

This question has been answered quite a few times in many similar threads. There are a few ways at the entry-level.

Without any experience or qualifications, and given your age, you can try Callan / Direct method schools. The pay is awful and these types of schools are closing all over the country. The work is easy and requires little to no preparation on your part, but it'll suck the very life out of you.

Schools -- at least the reputable ones -- will demand a teaching qualification (CELTA is the only respectable one) and a degree. You could also get work without them, but any school willing to take you on without them will also be willing to stab you in the back, take advantage of you and mess you around.

Privates won't demand anything from you, but your inexperience will shine through and they will have no hesitations in letting you know this.

Do yourself a favour and get qualified, mature a little bit and really give it some thought. There are too many unqualified and inexperienced 'teachers' - with little passion for the work - flooding the market, making it harder for those with experience, qualifications and passion.
Nightglade   
24 Aug 2012
Law / HELP - Polish Tax on undeclared money from family [18]

Nightglade... if you would prefer to discuss this on $kype I am online and if you are helpfull you will be conpensated for your time.

I'll be on from 12:00 today if you still need me. It'll probably be better than writing on here.

Wrong! Bank can ask where the money came from as they sometimes suspect it can be from illegal resources,before they finance you something.

Perhaps, but you're not legally obliged to answer them any more than I am legally obliged to say what colour my underwear is if you were to ask (black, if you're curious). They just have the ability to refuse you credit if you don't comply with their wishes.
Nightglade   
23 Aug 2012
Law / HELP - Polish Tax on undeclared money from family [18]

By "recently transferred" do you mean less than six months? If so, no problem - just declare it as current from when it was transferred. If you declare it, there is nothing to pay. If you miss the deadline for declaration then you pay 10% 'legally', but as with most things here, it seems to be a bit negotiable as we got ours down from paying 2k to probably around 600-800 min/max.

The bank has no right to ask about that, and the tax office cannot look at your bank details without a legal notice (and, if as you say, they don't know about it, then they won't be looking).

That said, I don't know why the punishment is so high. Isn't the fine for missing the deadline of your normal tax declaration only about 50-100zł?
Nightglade   
23 Aug 2012
Law / HELP - Polish Tax on undeclared money from family [18]

Qwerty, we are going through the exact same issue at the moment.

My fiancee's aunt gave her around 20,000zł to help pay our mortgage and it wasn't declared. We were told about it very close to the cut-off point and actually delivered it 1 working-day late (due-date was a Friday). We went back and forth from the tax office, filling out papers and sending them to here there and everywhere. We are still waiting for the 'punishment' that we have to pay - but no, it's certainly not 70%. Your wife's father is very misinformed. It's around 10% maximum. We are expecting to pay around 700zł on it. Lesson learned: in future, make sure you declare it within the six month time frame or you'll get the old beaurocrats whipping you (and believe me, there are very few people who can match the emotional detachment of a Polish beaurocrat - especially those in tax or immigration offices.)

Good luck, hope you don't get stung too much.
Nightglade   
19 Aug 2012
Work / Profi-Lingua - Still dodgy/shady? [13]

Tefl, most owners think the sun shines out of their posterior. Giving them suggestions - no matter how much it increases efficiency, productivity or authenticity, they will still see it as a personal attack.

There was one school here I had an epic-scale argument with over the design of a lesson record sheet. I changed the width of the table because it was out of my printer's printing range... I then had to argue through e-mail for about a week, listening to how they have designed these sheets based on years of professional experience and it will remain as it is. It's 'unprofessional' for one teacher to use a different style of sheet.
Nightglade   
19 Aug 2012
Work / Profi-Lingua - Still dodgy/shady? [13]

Now you understand why I like my job ;)

Also, let's not forget that there is no screwing around. Most language schools are really reluctant to amend contracts with a little protection. Only two schools I've worked with have allowed a clause in the contract whereby, if my students were to cancel a lesson within 24 hours or (as has happened) they just don't show up, then I would still get paid. Frankly, getting a text message on the same day as your class, after you've prepared, saying "Sorry, I can't come today." and knowing you've lost time and money on it, is a **** take. I'm looking forward to knowing that my livelihood is at least a little bit secure and not at the mercy of whether somebody can be arsed to come for classes.
Nightglade   
19 Aug 2012
Work / Profi-Lingua - Still dodgy/shady? [13]

Did the students rank them poorly because of bad teaching, bad coursework, both, or something else?

One student, over the course of six months, had three different tutors from them. Two of them returned to the UK and the third (at which point, my student left) kept using google on his laptop during lessons to answer basic grammatical questions. True, the fault is with the tutors, but the school should also stop hiring lemons. I also heard horror stories about another school in Poznań. Payment was in the form of a contract over one or two years (two years being the better deal, of course). Payments would be made monthly, but it turns out that the school would take credit from a bank for the full amount under their name using the contract and invoice the credit to the students.

It seems it's actually quite a challenge to find an honest, respectable school :) Language school owners seem to be quite ... specific characters.
Nightglade   
17 Aug 2012
Work / Profi-Lingua - Still dodgy/shady? [13]

I do not have direct experience with the school myself, although some of my students who do have, have given them less-than-stellar reviews.

I noticed they have really taken to advertisement lately. Here in Poznań, on at least three different streets in the center of town, you can find people wearing Profi-Lingua shirts and handing out leaflets in an in-your-face way.
Nightglade   
16 Aug 2012
Work / Teaching English in Poland without TESL certificate? [17]

No, it doesn't. In a group environment it's different, but in a 1-to-1 setting, it's counter productive to leave them struggling. 60 minutes a day, once or twice a week - spending 5 minutes trying to find a singular word in their memory (which they may not have) for something simple, when you can provide that word for them and allow them to reinforce it is far more effective. That said, if you're in a situation where your students are constantly struggling to find words, then you've chosen a topic that's too difficult :)