The BEST Guide to POLAND
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Posts by kpc21  

Joined: 19 Aug 2012 / Male ♂
Last Post: 17 Oct 2016
Threads: 1
Posts: 763
From: Łódź
Speaks Polish?: yes

Displayed posts: 764 / page 7 of 26
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12 May 2016
Language / Short Polish<->English translations [1033]

far away

But it's a special word, it's rarely used in normal conversation (if so, then usually as "gdzieś hen daleko" - far away in an uknown place), more in literature.
11 May 2016
Travel / Upgrade of Warsaw - Zielonka - Bialystok train line (linia nr 6) [8]

I suppose they will still end in Wileńska. Looking at the location of railway lines, if a train from Zielonka to Warsaw was supposed to finish at Warszawa Centralna/Śródmieście, it would have to omit Ząbki. And there is a subway station at Warszawa Wileńska, so it's a place well connected with the rest of the city.

I have no idea what are the planned timings. You may create an account on that forum and ask in that thread in English, explaining you cannot find that information - I think you should get an answer.
9 May 2016
Travel / Muslim tourist visiting Poland - safety concerns [51]

Wearing black, brown beard, saying Allah hu Akbar, killing people in the name of Islam, doesn't bother me.

I believe you, and for sure many people also think so... But how to explain it to the whole society?

I think $$$ Games, thats it.

Definitely, it's always the case.

If someone likes to wear blankets, it's definitely nothing bad in that, as long as he accepts that other people in the country dress up in a different way. If someone forces his wife to hide the head - it will not be accepted in Europe, because it's just breaching the basic human rights. If the wife does it according to her free will, then it's ok. The problem is that sometimes it might be dificult to decide where is the border.
9 May 2016
Law / A Polish bank that doesn't rip u off..... [9]

WTF? This is definitely something wrong, it's impossible they charge you anything like that unless you have taken a loan, or you have a direct debit (polecenie zapłaty) and it's not the bank who charges that from you. You must explain that with the bank.
9 May 2016
Travel / Muslim tourist visiting Poland - safety concerns [51]

I would say it's a fault of all the extremist and terrorist organisations, who are mostly muslim, that muslims are here in Poland seen as they are. But it's even difficult to call it a fault - for me it looks deliberate.

The true is that humans and humans, and also muslims are normal people, they even believe in the same only God as christians. But explain it to simple people, who see on TV that muslims (not christians, not jews, not buddists - but muslims) are making terrorist attacks, that muslims rape women in big European cities on New Year's Eve (I am not saying whether it was true or not, I say what media were showing), that muslims break into trucks on French-British border to illegally cross the border, that muslims make turmoils in camps for refugees, that muslims massively move to European countries saying they are refugees even if they aren't. I don't say people of other religions don't do that. This is just what the mass media show - even not the TV (on the main news on the Polish public TV, in the time when the "refugees" topic was very popular, they were even showing, every day, the life of the real, not fake, refugees from Syria, coming to Europe as refugees fully legally - to show people that real refugees also exist), but mostly the Internet.

It's definitely not fair that because of a relatively small group of idiots who either don't know how to behave, or do it deliberately, the muslims who are just normal people and don't look for any conflict are discriminated. Or even not only muslims, but any foreign-looking people, especially those with a skin darker than typical for Poland. There is also a group of Polish people, originating mostly from the football (soccer) fans/hooligans society, who as well look for conflict with any foreigners, saying they are patriots and they want to protect Poland (as if the conflicts with the fans of the opposite football clubs weren't enough). But what can we do about that?

I would say, muslims have these dzhihadists, extremists and terrorists, as well as fake refugees and other "naughty guys", and first they have to do something with them.
9 May 2016
Law / A Polish bank that doesn't rip u off..... [9]

PKO BP is definitely Polish since it belongs to the state.

But does it matter, who owns the specific bank? I don't think so. What I would like first at a customer is the quality of service, not the country of the bank.

Also most of these banks used to be Polish, they were created either in the process of division of the NBP (Polish National Bank - currently responsible only for taking care of all the money on the market and supervision over all the banks) in 1989 - for example PKO BP, ING, BPH - most of the biggest banks, or were created from scratch as private businesses - like mBank. Only Pekao SA is a bank which existed before 1989 - and was also originally Polish.

Therefore they employ really a lot people in Poland and also pay taxes here.

Charging for checking the balance in a cash machine is typical especially for the online-oriented banks. From what I know, for example Pekao SA doesn't charge for this.

Debit card without monthly fee - yes, there are such accounts, but then you usually have a given minimum amount of card transactions which you have to make not to pay. If you use a card, then you don't pay for it. If you almost don't use it (using means making transactions in shops, not withdrawals in ATM's), then you have to pay. Or it might be also so that the card is totally free, but you pay something just for having the account. Although it might be also so that if you have a regular income to your account, then you don't pay anything for both the account and the card.

There is only one bank where the account is totally free - Smart Bank - but it's online only and you may have problems if something doesn't work (you have to call their hot line, wait for getting a connection with a consultant, and waste money for that, the consultant will probably unable to do anything other than just accepting a complaint, then you wait until they decide about your complaint etc).

There are banks which have offers for free withdrawals from ATM's of other banks.

WBK seems to have quite a good offer, if you want free withdrawals from all the ATM's.

mBank might be also good in terms of the prices, or T-Mobile (it's actually an offer of Alior, just branded by T-Mobile), but they are online only (mBank have some brick-and-mortar points, but not many, only in bigger cities, and only few of them allow you to do something more than just signing a new account or credit contract; T-Mobile have such services in some of the T-Mobile shops, also only in bigger cities), which means you will probably have to use a Polish-only web interface and sometimes use a Polish-only hotline.

mBank has "eKonto z darmowymi bankomatami", where if you make transactions by card for minimum 200 zł for a month, you don't pay absolutely anything. And you have free withdrawals, as the name says, from all the cash machines in Poland. In T-Mobile it works in actually the same way, but the monthly fee for a card if you don't do these transactions for 200 zł is 6 zł, not 7 zł like in mBank.

In PKO BP you have "Konto za zero", it's free if you make card transactions for at least 300 zł in a month. Withdrawals are free only from PKP BP ATM's, but they have probably most widespread ATM network.

But mBank has "eKonto standard", where it's enough to make 5 card transactions in a month (so just whenever you do shopping, pay by card) to make the account totally free, and they have free withdrawals from the ATM's of: mBank, BZ WBK, Planet Cash and Euronet. Those together are definitely a wider network than ATM's of PKO BP.

PKO BP is, though, definitely a brick-and-mortar style bank, you don't have to do everything on a phone. You just come to the bank in a street and do everything there. But still you need to find such a point of this bank in which the employees speak English.

What is weird in Poland is that most of the banks don't offer any online interface in English.
8 May 2016
Language / Slavic languages words similarities with Polish [238]

there's Polish "pożar" (fire) vs. Czech "pozor" (danger).

It has already been explained on the forum that these words don't seem to be connected, Czech "pozor" is rather connected with Polish adjective "pozorny" (apparent), from which you can create a noun "pozor", used mostly in the expression "pozory mylą" (if you assume that something is really such as it seems to be, you may be mistaken).

I think "pozor" in Czech may mean something like "warning" or "attention", because it's always a headline on different safety labels, like "danger! high voltage inside" (in Polish: uwaga! wysokie napięcie wewnątrz) on electrical appliances.
7 May 2016
Travel / Upgrade of Warsaw - Zielonka - Bialystok train line (linia nr 6) [8]

Here is a version from February 2014: - I have no idea if it has changed or not.

Seems that the official deadline is (or was) June 2016. As you can see in the posts below, even in that time people didn't believe that they will do it until 2016.

someone says that theoretically the end of the Tłuszcz-Zielonka section upgrade is with the end of 2016, so probably they extended the deadline. Others say that they will probably end the four-track section (Wołomin-Zielonka) in 2017.

I have asked the people there and that's what they answered:

Termin oddania odcinka Wołomin Słoneczna - Zielonka (LK21) to 1 lipca. Moim zdaniem powinni zdążyć.

The deadline for the section Wołomin Słoneczna - Zielonka (railway line No. 21) is July, 1st. In my opinion they should manage to do it on time.

Jeden tor może zdążą oddać, ale nie cały odcinek z pełną infrastrukturą. Dopiero jak przełożą ruch na tor lokalny (jeden tor, a nie oba) za kilka tygodni (a raczej już miesięcy), to zaczną rozbierać ostatni stary tor i budować tunele pod tą częścią torowiska.

Maybe they will manage to finish one track on time, but not the full section with full infrastructure. Only when they switch the traffic to the track for local trains (one track, not both), they will start to disassemble the old track and to build tunnels under this part.

Więc nie wiem, co miało być zakończone za trzy miesiące, ale na pewno nie będzie to odcinek Słoneczna - Zielonka.

So, I don't know, what is going to be finished in three months, but definitely not the Słoneczna - Zielonka section.
7 May 2016
Language / Slavic languages words similarities with Polish [238]

There are differences, but the complexity is similar.

Polish - 7 cases, last one used not so frequently and often replaced by the nominative.
Russian - 6 cases, if you mention someone's name talking to him, you just always use nominative.

The construction of each case and its application may differ, I am not sure how it is (I have studied Russian only for 2 years in primary school), but it doesn't change that.
6 May 2016
Language / Slavic languages words similarities with Polish [238]

Many words came to Polish from German already in the Middle Ages, in the times of grounding the first towns. WW2 has nothing to do with it.

And I didn't say that Russian is similar to Polish. I have said the grammar of both languages is not much different.

The mentioned German words in Polish are not obsolete. Maybe "kumpel" is not so popular these times.

I got shocked to see people standing on their knees and praying to God.

Well, it's basically what people usually do in a church. In each church.

Sometimes they move on their knees towards the Church.

This is more unusual. But possible.
6 May 2016
Language / Slavic languages words similarities with Polish [238]

No, in English, the verb position is also always the second one. English is even more strict, because you have to have a subject before it. German is in these terms more similar to Polish, except for this verb-on-the-second-position rule (and subject either just before, or just after that) you can do whatever you want.
6 May 2016
Life / Is living cost in Poland lower than Germany ? [32]

Things might look different in Poland in the countryside, outside the big cities though.

The countryside looks even better in terms of rapid development than the cities!

Costs of living are IMO lower in Germany if you takes the earnings in Germany and not those in Poland into account. You earn much more while grocery is not much more expensive, maybe with the exception of fruit and vegetables - those are cheaper and of better quality in Poland.

I believe it is the 2nd difficult language of the world. 1st Chinese and 3rd German.

3rd German? Nope. In some aspects it's even easier than English. And languages like Finnish or Hungarian are also not easy.

And why is everyone considering Polish so diffucult and Russian at the same time not? Grammar is quite similar. The only difficult thing in Polish I may think of is that we have quite a wide variety of different sounds - from nasal, French-sounding vowels such as ą and ę to hard "humming" cosonants like sz, cz or dz. But it's not something that is not present in other European languages, in Polish it's just everything mixed together.
4 May 2016
Language / Polish sayings [236]

It is still normally used.
3 May 2016
USA, Canada / Has anyone with a US or CDN passport recently been subjected to the "Passport Trap" in Poland? [29]

Polish passports are very expensive (more than from a lot of western countries) and also long to wait

140 zł (with 50% discount for children and students) is not so much taking into account that you have to pay it only once for 10 years (for children, if I remember well, up to 12 years - once for 5 years). And I managed to get my passport in something like a week - but that time I needed it quite urgently and I had luck that they managed to do it in a short time.

I have checked the price of the German passport - 59 euro for adults. Almost twice more. USA - 140 US dollars. A few times more. UK - 72.5 pound. Twice more than in Poland.

I wouldn't say Polish passport is expensive. And the ID card is even free of charge.

when in Poland you cannot possess dual nationality at all

You can, it's not forbidden, but when you are in Poland, you are not allowed to make use of any other nationality than the Polish one.

I wonder if similar regulations exist in other countries, especially in the EU.
3 May 2016
USA, Canada / Has anyone with a US or CDN passport recently been subjected to the "Passport Trap" in Poland? [29]

I understand that this is the prime strategy to keep people in the country (Poland) whether they want to be there or not.

It's more about paying to your country at least the passport issuing fee, instead of just having the citizenship and doing absolutely nothing for the country. Those who live in Poland pay taxes here, so it makes sense that the country wants something from you when you come to Poland. But anyway in my opinion it should be so, that if you don't want to use your Polish citizenship, you shouldn't be forced to use it. You come to Poland as a Canadian citizen and you should be treated so.

Although when you come to Poland, you also automatically gets some laws resulting from your citizenship, like they cannot throw you out from Poland even if you stay here for a period longer than it is allowed for Canadians, or when you come to Poland, they cannot deny you entry to the Polish territory, even if you don't have all the proper documents (not expired ID or passport). You get some laws automatically, so it makes sense that you get also some obligations.

In that case, you'll be fine

Theoretically if you want to do anything in Poland for which you need an identity document, they can demand the Polish passport or ID card from you, not recognizing the Canadian one, but anyone other than the public institutions is not even able to know that you have also Polish citizenship.
3 May 2016
Study / Any Erasmus students in Poland? [16]

Anyway, if you know Croatian already, and it's your native language, it will be much easier to you to learn Polish. I would say the difference between Polish and Croatian is definitely smaller than between English and German. I was recently in Croatia, didn't speak any Croatian, and while maybe spoken Croatian was difficult to understand, the written text on information signs etc. wasn't so difficult, I could understand many things (although as I speak English as well, the English version was easier for me).
2 May 2016
USA, Canada / Has anyone with a US or CDN passport recently been subjected to the "Passport Trap" in Poland? [29]

It seems that according to the Polish law, if you have Polish citizenship, you are treated in Poland as a Polish, and not Canadian citizen, and therefore to leave Poland you need a Polish passport. As long as you are a Polish citizen, any passport other than Polish is not recognized in Poland.

I have no idea, what it has to do with the international law, it's really crazy, stupid and looks like the Polish country actually just wants money from you for issuing the passport.

So it seems that you must either get Polish passport in Canada, or after coming to Poland, but in Poland it make take some time. From what I read, to get a passport you must have an ID card first, so you must apply for it and wait a few weeks until they print it, then again apply for the passport and wait a few weeks. The procedures while issuing a Polish passport in Canada do not seem to be different, but the price is much higher, and probably waiting time longer.

Or if you have a Canadian passport only, something which may work is coming back to Canada from another Schengen zone country than Poland. Nobody will stop you at the border within the Schengen zone since the borders are open, and for example in Germany it won't rather make any difference to them which citizenship you use.
2 May 2016
Language / Polish sayings [236]

Jak cię widzą, tak cię piszą. Literally "how they see you, so they write you". Should be "o tobie piszą" instead of "cię piszą", then it would literally mean "so they write about you", but then it would lose the rhyme, and rhyme is important in such sayings. Or, more likely, maybe in the past the meaning of the word "pisać" was different than today, and maybe it meant also "think about someone in a specific way" in addition to "write". I have no idea, but it's possible.

And the meaning is almost such as it sounds. People judge you by your appearance. A saying that says something opposite to this one is "nie ocenia się książki po okładce" - literally "you don't judge a book by its cover". You shouldn't judge people by how they look like, or by first impression after a single meeting.
1 May 2016
Love / Do women in Poland change their surnames to a feminine form of their husbands' surnames? [40]

In some countries, Germany for example, the husband may choose to take his wife's family name IN ADDITION to his own surname

In Poland it's also possible and maybe not very popular but some people do so. Then it looks like: Anna Kowalska-Nowak.
It's also possible that the husband takes wife's surname, although I haven't heard about such cases.
29 Apr 2016
Study / Vistula University in Poland. Any experience? Any student? [57]

Never heard of.

"Higher school" is nothing bad. But a degree of a public higher school is worth more than one of a private one (the opinion is that in the private schools they don't want the students to study, but just to pay money), maybe with a few exceptions in the whole country.

Public "higher schools" (also "academies" and "polytechnics"), unless they are "higher vocational schools" from smaller towns, are equally good as universities (polytechnics have even full university rights and call themselves in English "Technical Universities" or "Universities of Technology"), they are just specialised in something. For example "Main School of Farming" in Warsaw (probably the name they use in English internationally is different, I translate the Polish name literally) is a very good higher school, just specialised in fields connected with agriculture and food production.

Actually, they also have university rights and the name they use in English contains the word "university". The Polish name is kept due to the tradition.
25 Apr 2016
Love / Do women in Poland change their surnames to a feminine form of their husbands' surnames? [40]

Yes. Nowakowa is somwthing with which you can informally call a woman in a talk, especially if you tell some bad things about her. "Ta Nowakowa, to zawsze chodzi w tym ochydnym zielonym swetrze". "That Nowak woman, she always wears this hideous green sweater". Or even neutrally, while you are talking about her and you don't want to be overcultural saying "pani Nowak" - but not if she is listening (and not if some her good friends are). It's not nice with respect to her to call her so. Generally, there are three possibilities:

- pani Nowak - which my sound too cultural in a talk with friends or relatives
- Nowakowa - which is a bit pejorative about her, although in an informal talk where she doesn't listen and she isn't exceptionally important for anyone participating in the conversation, it will be ok

- use her first name - but it doesn't sound good if you don't know her so well to call her with her name

Sometimes none of this possibilities fits well in the situation. And you cannot do much with it, sorry for that - you must choose one of these options or try to avoid telling her name.

The official surname of the woman is, of course, still Nowak. Nowakowa is only an informal way of expressing that you mean a Nowak woman, not a Nowak man.
25 Apr 2016
Work / No ZUS paid (no national insurance) means no NFZ healthcare and (for EU citizens) no EKUZ card in Poland [7]

THE UK card is not for 'normal health care' in another country. It is for 'emergencies only' in another country.

It's not really for emergencies only. It's for any treatment you may need from the medical point of view - but not planned treatment. If you, for example, need some kind of an operation, but it's nothing urgent and you can wait with that, you should return to your home country to have it.

The limitation is that this card (EHIC in English, EKUZ in Polish) works only if you are abroad for touristic purposes (and then it's validity is limited to a few months), or you are on an exchange as a student. Probably also if you are employed in your home country and going abroad is a part of your job - I am not sure about that, but it seems logic. It does not work, however, if you are employed in a different country. Then you are subject to the healthcare system of this country and you cannot use EHIC. Or, at least, you shouldn't and it's illegal to do it - in reality it might be possible.

If you are in Poland, you don't have any job (or you work on basis of some types of civil law contracts instead of a normal job contract), you are not a child, not a student, not retired and you are not registered as an unemployed person, then you are right, you don't have any insurance, unless you pay for it voluntarily. If you go to any doctor - you have to pay, and in case of an accident, the emergency and the hospital will issue you a bill.

It applies to the Polish nationals as well, not only to the foreigners.

But in such a situation - from the moment when you become not employed any more - you may be able to get EHIC from the UK, as a tourist. I am not sure about that, though. Maybe there are some restrictions on that and after beying employed in a foreign country, you cannot be treated as travelling touristically to this country in the UK.

BTW car accident is a special case, because then if you have to pay for all the medical treatment, the payment will be anyway covered from the civil liability insurance of the car with which the accident was caused. Unless no such person was determined - then you have a problem.

But in such a situation - from the moment when you become not employed any more - you may be able to get EHIC from the UK, as a tourist.

Maybe there are some restrictions on that and after beying employed in a foreign country, you cannot be treated as travelling touristically to this country in the UK.

After a while of rethinking - no, you cannot since you are not insured in the UK. Unless the British regulations give each citizen right to free medical treatment regardless of whether they work or not. Theoretically it might be so, and I have no idea how it is in the UK.
24 Apr 2016
Life / Activation of purchased Poland Orange/T-mobile/Play mobile data / SIM card? [19]

In any kiosk with newspapers and similar stuff. Might be at the airport, it doesn't matter, the pre-paid SIM card prices are fixed by the operators, so wherever you buy it, the price is the same. It will be already active, you don't have to activate it (although the government wants now to change it, and in some time it will be probably necessary to register the SIM card giving the address of residence first, before being able to use it).

Orange may not be the cheapest option (I am not sure about the current price levels), but the differences between operators aren't so big. Play is generally a little bit cheaper than the others, but some people claim that it has worse coverage (for Internet - but for the calls it's the best one in Poland).

Or if you have any problems, something doesn't work and you don't know how to make it working, go to a shop of the given operator in any big shopping mall. They should help you, and probably each big shopping mall has shops of all the main mobile operators: Orange, Plus, T-Mobile and Play.