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Polish culture do's and dont's?

szkotja2007 27 | 1,499
10 Feb 2008 #31
never say sorry, say przepraszam

Thats easy for you to say ;-)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
10 Feb 2008 #32
A few whiskies Szkotja2007 and u open many doors, u start sounding like Sean Connery. He'd be a legend here. Better than his English, don't **** on the sheet
OP justynabristol 4 | 10
11 Feb 2008 #33
don't give even number of flowers, only odd one - did you know about that one?
11 Feb 2008 #34
is that cause odd numbers are cheaper ?
Filios1 8 | 1,336
11 Feb 2008 #35
But you are quite a twat, ain't ya laddy?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
11 Feb 2008 #36
Another do is to drink a shot of vodka in one gulp, do dna (to the bottom). It can be a good thing or a bad thing.
plk123 8 | 4,150
11 Feb 2008 #37
do not pour milk in tea :)))

how else are you going to make bawarka?
Filios1 8 | 1,336
11 Feb 2008 #38
It can be a good thing or a bad thing.

How can it possibly be a bad thing!? :)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
11 Feb 2008 #39
Oh, too many complicates things
Jabwaw 8 | 48
17 Apr 2008 #40
Thread attached on merging:
Do's and dont do's for foreigners in Poland :)

Hej Everyone!

What do you suggest to foreigners about do and dont do's according to the typical polish culture, while there stay in Poland ?

any comments ?
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
17 Apr 2008 #41
Dont whatever you do express an opinion if you are not Polish.
17 Apr 2008 #42
Do behave properly on the streets of Krakow, especially when you are drunk.
Jova - | 172
17 Apr 2008 #43
Seanus wrote:
Charge onto trams as quickly as possible

Not true. Most Poles have gentlemanly instincts, and let old people, women, or disabled on first. If it is younger people, yes, you may see a bit of pushing.

Haha... I absolutely agree. I've got one curious little observation of mine to add, though. You may see a bit of pushing on the side of young people, but they won't win with all those stooped half-dead grey-haired grannies who miraculously shake off their lethargy upon the arrival of the bus/tram/whatever. I've had several near-death experiences with such grannies! They can be a real pain for us, young well-behaved commuters. They will stop at nothing in their struggle to be the first to get on the bus.

A short film, just to give you a clue (starts somewhere after the 40th second...)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
17 Apr 2008 #44
I think isthatu2 has a point. When I do culture classes, I always steer clear of criticism as it's never taken constructively. I throw it in a joking away if anything, like the state of the roads here. It's not my position to come here and criticise anyway.
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544
18 Apr 2008 #45
Actually it's not about criticism but about how you are going to voice it. Lets take those two comments for example:

"I must say, the state of the roads here in Poland are far from being good."

"Dear God, the roads here are as much filthy and crooked as you polish bastards!"

Basically those two statements carry the same message but since they are conveyed in a tottaly different manner they will cause a totally different response.
finT 12 | 167
18 Apr 2008 #46
While in company, never ever laugh at anything on TV (even if it's a comedy show) or mutter the word "Jeeezzzuuusssss!" under your breath while watching the Polish news! Never, ever comment on ANYTHING after having more than four large beers (IN TYSKIE VERITAS!)

Best to keep all thoughts, comments to yourself and then mull them over in your own head in the middle of the night when you are wriggling about, sweating and can't sleep!
Franek 8 | 271
18 Apr 2008 #48
Dont take any wooden nickles. ( An American thingy)
southern 75 | 7,096
18 Apr 2008 #49
Don't speak Polish with a Czech accent.
Polen Forum - | 1
26 Apr 2008 #50
Big DO:
Screaming kurva in every supermarket when you're abroad.
It's daily business in my town.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
22 May 2008 #51
Again, 2 pages maybe isn't enough. More discussion and stories could be put here.
KatieKasia 3 | 39
25 May 2008 #52
I'v discovered (in Gdynia anyway)
Dont walk on the bits of the path that are painted pinkish by the boulevard, that is technicaly a cycle lane, albeit it looks just like a pink path, and you will get mowed down by an angry pole.

make sure your driving on the wrong side. or you die.
thank eveyone, and apologise to everyone, i am afteral, the imposter in there company.
Dont be rude to policemen, expecialy if you are in the wrong, bribe them at all costs even if it requires you to hand over your walet and pin code.

Do become friendly with loacal gangsters, they will help you as long as you dont **** them off.
tap the bar with your money when your giving a tip, before you hand over you cash. apparently it means 'keep the change'
If your being fed by a family you dont know very well, keep eating untill you feel you might bust, its rude otherwise. (this aplies to drinking too)

thats all for now.

dnz 17 | 710
25 May 2008 #53
DO, When driving in Ploand treat red lights as advisory stop signals,
DO, Always try to at least double the speed limit wherever possible
DO, Try to drive as erraticly as possible at all times.

Do Not under any circumstances use your indicators ever
Do Not let people out of junctions

Remember the horn is there for a reason try to take every possibility to use it preferably for a minimum 30 second blast.

Always overtake when you can see another vehicle coming your way, This indicates to following vehicles you are a hero.

When starting at traffic lights you MUST screech your tyres as this indicates skill and talent.

Try to keep your vehicle in as lower gear as possible when driving through residential areas as the more noise the better (apparently)

Also If driving a BMW in Poland you must shave off all of your hair and drive around as though you really do own the road whilst pretending to hold your door/roof on and listening to gabba music.

I think thats just about covered the motoring side of things....
mafketis 23 | 8,099
25 May 2008 #54
Bunch of random observations:

As a foreigner, you will hear Polish people say the most negative things possible about their country and fellow citizens .... do not join in (with even the mildest agreement or criticism) it's a game that only the home team is allowed to play.

For Americans: Don't call people that you know only slightly 'friends', the word(s) in Polish traditionally have _much_ stronger connotations than in English. Americans have a reputation for being shallow and 'insincere' (very negative here) because they call everybody they know 'friends'. Reserve the word 'friend' for extremely close friendships and otherwise use the word 'acquaintance'. Yes, it sounds old fashioned but it will be understood. Similarly, don't say hello or nod to people you don't know but pass on the street (in cities, it may work differently in the countryside).

Don't leave money on the table in restaurants as a tip. Tipping is not strictly necessary, if you want to tip, round up the bill (around 10 per cent). It's completely okay to give them a larger bill and tell them how much change you want back. If you're bill is 63 zl you can give the waitperson a 100 and say you want 30 back (or say "let's say 70). The same goes for taxis.

Do not thank the waitperson as you hand them money or they'll assume you don't want any change back.

When you eat with someone you say 'thank you' at the end of the meal. You can also say while still seated to indicate you don't want to eat anymore.

If someone insists on drinking with you when you've had enough, you can beg off by drinking with them 'symbolically' (drinking something with minimal or no alcohol while they continue to chug it down).

For new arrivals. Pay no attention AT ALL to the intonation people use in English for at least six months, only pay attention to the words and pretend the intonation is neutral, no matter what it sounds like to you. Polish intonation is different from any kind of English and they never have intonation as part of English class. After six months or so you'll start to pick up local versions.

Conversational topics are a lot freer and less restricted than what you may be used to and you find yourself being asked questions that you think are too personal. Think of this as good practice in using your evasive language skills.

Poland is a wonderful place for wimpy anglophones to gain some assertiveness. When you're really upset don't hide it, throw a tantrum. Nobody will hold it against you and it might get you more consideration in the future.

This doesn't apply with people that clearly outrank you. There's generally more overt deference given to people on the basis of status/age/higher position. Be careful around people who outrank you until you learn the rules of engagement.

Men, don't worry too much about when to make your move. If a Polish woman is interested in you, believe me, you'll know. Most Polish women are not shy and retiring and they won't wait forever, they'll give you a chance to make the first move and if you don't then they will.

Women, same thing in reverse. Polish men (at least the more worthwhile ones) are often kind of ... prudish. The lechers are creepy and you'll want to give them a wide bearth but if you are interested in a guy, then be prepared to show (just a little) initiative.
25 May 2008 #55
Bunch of random observations:

yeah... lol, that's how it is...
Sadek 4 | 136
25 May 2008 #56
mafets do you consider this place worth enougt posting such complicated posts :)

I don't agree with last part
25 May 2008 #57
lol...why not?
mafketis 23 | 8,099
25 May 2008 #58
Assuming the 'last part' refers to male-female interactions, bear in mind that I was only writing about Polish non-Polish interactions (which I could have made clearer).

Polish-Polish interactions are definitely different from Polish-foreigner ones.
KatieKasia 3 | 39
26 May 2008 #59
* always turn your lights on as soon as you start your car. i dont know why, but everyone drives around with here lights on full even in broad daylight and sun...bizzare!

* Drink the local bear, it makes you think your polish is conciderably better than it is ;0)

* Prepare to gain a good stone when arriving here, especialy if your staying with a family or some loved ones. You will be fed, and no, its not an option.

* Try a specialty 'street' food. Its a long baguette, tomato sauce and melted cheese (i contest its like pizza bit no one aggrees) especialy good when drunk.

* Dont listen to any pole that sais they have bad english, literaly everyone i know here sais there english is no good, yet i understand every word, most people did it at school, but dont be complaisant.

* Go where the loacals do. I would never have been to the places i have if not for my Polish mates. Down dark alleys and behind restaurants is where the good bars and clubs are.

* Swim in the Baltic, freeze your nipps off. Apparently its health giving.

Over and Out

z_darius 14 | 3,968
26 May 2008 #60
* always turn your lights on as soon as you start your car. i dont know why, but everyone drives around with here lights on full even in broad daylight and sun...bizzare!

As far as I know it's a law in Poland. Same in Canada, some US states and a bunch of other countries.

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