The BEST Guide to POLAND
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Posts by Parastie  

Joined: 6 Aug 2011 / Male ♂
Last Post: 17 Aug 2011
Threads: -
Posts: 4
From: Lodz, Poland
Speaks Polish?: Not yet, studying daily
Interests: Medicine, and speaking polish

Displayed posts: 4
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17 Aug 2011
Life / Have many Poles had enough of one another? [198]

I live in Poland currently and come from working in the US, and in the service industry. I did computer technical support, working for Gateway was my first job. I know what customer service should be.

In Poland, I believe that service is hit or miss. You often find that people working in the industry are accustomed to rude clientele that rarely is polite to the server. I live in £odz and you can quickly see at restaurants how differently servers will act towards foreigners and locals. Foreigners will typically tip, and servers have learned to be extra nice (especially waitresses as apposed to waiters) and quick. If they hear you speaking English, they'll be right next to you asking what you'd like with a big smile. Speak Polish, and you could be waiting awhile. The restaurants around Manufaktura are where I get the best service.

I think it really comes down to a sense of worth. In the US, I was taught from a very early age to take a lot of pride in my work, regardless of what it was. Here, it does not appear to be the same. It seems that everyone hates their job and most educated people I know are always looking for ways out (especially the doctors I know). In Poland the pay scale is still very low, so it's hard to take pride in servicing others when you're barely paid enough to buy lunch, much less the expensive meal someone just ordered. I sympathize with people here, but really if you want a better life you have to start with yourself. Take some pride, what little is to be had, and try to enjoy life a little more.
13 Aug 2011
USA, Canada / Going back to the Old Country of Poland after more than 25 years! (from USA) [249]

When you land in Warsaw, there are lots of international car rental services, like Hertz. As far as I'm aware, it's the same here as in the US. Normally, I'd just tell you to use public transport, since the roads around Poland are pretty bad because of the heavy rain. Not all cities have been able to fill the newest holes. However, since you are here only a week and have large schedule then I think you'll need a car. Just be careful while driving. :)

Be careful where you park too, large cities have gotten car-boot crazy in recent years. When I first came to £odz, I remember cars just parking wherever they wanted. Not so now, they'll boot your car for parking in the wrong spot in minutes.
7 Aug 2011

The best way is immerse yourself in Polish. Stop speaking in English and just go for it. Try to memorize a few phrases from phrase books, and I recommend getting "Polish in 4 weeks". Although it's likely impossible to really learn Polish in four weeks, it's the best book I've found for explaining grammar of Polish. Use this book, plus some phrase books and try to only speak Polish. You'll find people in Poland are generally willing to help you learn, as long as you're not holding up the line somewhere. :)
6 Aug 2011
Work / Teaching jobs for Americans in Wroclaw? [54]

I have to agree and disagree with Dommie B. here. This is my 6th year in Poland, I live in Lodz and study at the university there. I recently got married to my Polish girlfriend and I'm working on how to work here.

1. Get married. You've got 90 days to figure this out, and it's not going to be easy. The instructions on the US Embassy webpage are correct! You'll need to start as soon as you get here (unless you marry in the before you get here). Once married, it's easier to stay. You'll get a 2 year temporary residency card that allows you to work. It's what I now have. After 2 years, you get a 5 year then a permanent.

2. Learn Polish. Rosetta stone is a joke, you'll need to start learn Polish immediately. Sadly, there are few schools to teach you and any of the good ones are horribly expensive. I highly recommend picking up the book, "Learn Polish in 4 weeks" (even though it's impossible) to get a good grip of how to the language works, even if you're not actually speaking it. Stop speaking English as soon as you can, and learn Polish. It'll be a huge huge help.

3. Pay. You're not going to really get much pay. You'll be lucky to make 1/10th of what you'll make in the US. If Wroclaw, that's not going to be enough to live on. If you were in a small town (or even a crappy city like Lodz) it might be enough, but not in Wroclaw. As Dommie B. says, going for the language route is probably not your best option. What other skills do you have?

I hope some of that helps you out. I really like Poland, and I'm guessing Dommie does as well or he wouldn't be here either. Technical and more scientifically orientated jobs are the best paying (sadly not medicine), but you'll need to know Polish very well. Good luck!