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Polish people and Politeness


Seanus 15 | 19,706
16 Aug 2010 #61
Oh yeah, you'll find them sneaking up on you and they are RIGHT there when you turn round. No concept of respect for the space of others. Then they start ordering when you are halfway through your order.
noreenb 7 | 557
16 Aug 2010 #62
An example of Polish good manners:
A family meal:
I was invited on a dinner to meet my friend's parents.
--------
There was a lot of food on a table + ... mushrooms.
I had already had potatoes and a meatball on my plate + some vegetables.
- You are so thin - I heard at first.
I wanted to take a few of those mushrooms from the table to taste them.
I heard from my friend's mother.
"Ohhh, these are mushrooms just for Piotr." She was berserk, almost furious.
- Oh..? - I asked. I felt like an idiot who didn't deserve for mushrooms.
I said I just wanted to taste them.
But I felt I had to give those three small pieces of mushrooms back.
My friend's mother was angry. Piotr even hasn't noticed that mushrooms went to the bowl again from my plate.
At second time at my friend's place I heard from his mother:
- Oh, if you lived here I would give you more food to make you fatter.
Piotr in the meantime has eaten a soup, a dinner, took a carrot salad that was put in a small bowl in front of my plate.

- You eat like a bird. You have to eat more - said his mother to me.
Piotr looked at me.
Then he burped.
It was my last visit there.
I do like Poles.
Some of them.
:)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
16 Aug 2010 #63
Sorry but that just looks like you have spun a yarn. You need a publisher ;)

I like the fact that Polish people can be straight up about things. The British government tried to impose sloganistic notions like 'the feelgood factor' when many Brits were living in depression and suffering other illnesses. The Poles don't have that kind of pretentious nonsense on ready display.
convex 20 | 3,978
16 Aug 2010 #64
At second time at my friend's place I heard from his mother:

Quite the trooper. Are you into whips and ballgags too?
noreenb 7 | 557
16 Aug 2010 #65
Yeah, one day in the future.
:)
what are ballgags?
Oh, I forgot I am not good at slang.
convex 20 | 3,978
16 Aug 2010 #66
Yeah, one day in the future.

I may have just fallen in love.
king polkakamon - | 544
16 Aug 2010 #67
king polkakamon:
Although Russians are a bit more aggressive.

Level of their aggressiveness for me was just fine ;)

Yes,because you are a Serb.My brother for example who was used to northern italian level of politeness described the Russians as bears totally lacking manners and any civilization after his visit to Moscow.I tried to change his opinion but he is not a slavophile.
tow_stalin - | 57
16 Aug 2010 #68
As for the seats on trams

you have to live in warszawa :) warszawa is quite strange city - please don't judge whole poland only on warszawa example.

you have right in some points - poles are cold in public area, and very warm in their family or friends area.

conclusion: poles aren't so easy to categorise - warm or cold :)
king polkakamon - | 544
16 Aug 2010 #69
Yes,in personal level Poles are very generous like us orthodox folks.They give you plenty to eat to drink etc.Once I made the mistake to introduce a Polka to my mother(the Polka insisted for that) and my mother to my surprise filled her with cosmetics some silver ones of high value.After that the nose of the Polka was turned up a few mm and she refused the former level of service leading me to the conclusion that mothers are a disaster in sentimental affairs.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
16 Aug 2010 #70
Northern Italian level of politeness, kp? They have a reputation for being loud-mouthed, finger-clicking gits in places like Milan. I prefer the Poles passivity to Italians outward bellicosity. My Sicilian friend really doesn't like their arrogance.
king polkakamon - | 544
16 Aug 2010 #71
My Sicilian friend really doesn't like their arrogance.

Yes,sometimes you see in restaurants or hotels ''the entrance is forbidden to dogs and Sicelians.''However they stroke me as charming and very tactfull.

I prefer the Poles passivity

Yes,I also like that.Slavs are regarded here as passive,constantly sad and whining folks who believe in destiny and superstitions.But I think this passivity arises from tact they just don't want to annoy you opposite to Germans who want to make their presence felt and be in the foreground.

to Italians outward bellicosity.

For sure they make a lot of noise.They describe Balkan folks as quite.Probably they want to show that they enjoy life while Americans are loud to show that they live.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
16 Aug 2010 #72
They stroke you like a dog or they struck you as.....? ;)

Many Polish people just drift along without harming anyone. Off in their own worlds a lot of the time.
southern 75 | 7,096
16 Aug 2010 #73
Yes,they don't harm you even if drunk opposite to several other nations.
Alltimegreat1 16 | 67
25 Jul 2016 #74
Merged: Politeness/Rudeness in Poland

I must say I'm getting quite sick of living in Germany. Most people I meet here have an incredibly arrogant and rude attitude and consider themselves absolute experts on all affairs foreign and domestic. I don't want my son to turn out to be this way. I'd love to move somewhere else to escape this, even if it meant getting the same salary as I do here. Now I may have an opportunity to do exactly this in Poland.

Are Poles rude like this too? Everyone I've ever met from Poland has been friendly and down to earth and has not attempted to instigate a political argument, but I don't know too many Poles.
mafketis 32 | 10,552
25 Jul 2016 #75
Everyone I've ever met from Poland has been friendly and down to earth and has not attempted to instigate a political argument

That means they don't take you seriously. Political (and every other possible type of) arguments are the national sport of Poland.

Where are you from originally? Living in Poland (really living, not doing the isolated expat ghetto thing) is a real life course in assertiveness training. Don't fear or avoid political arguments, tell you interlocutor how stupid and misguided they are for thinking such stupid things that any idiot knows are wrong.

Short story : If you're shy or have delicate feelings - stay away from Poland (and stay in the expat womb) if you're not afraid to mix it up verbally then you'll love it.
Lyzko 32 | 7,873
25 Jul 2016 #76
Alltimegreat1, reading your post, I'm curious (as your profile says you speak no Polish) whether you don't speak German either:-) Although I've stayed away from Frankfurt for I'd assume the same reasons many others have too, I found most Germans I met when living outside Hannover years back to be charming, hospitable and lovely across the board!

Then again, I speak the language and they never needed to feel put out or the like.

Poles whom I met in Szczecin are much like Europeans elsewhere on the Continent; you meet 'em halfway, you're home free. You get unduly sarky or willful, WATCH OUT!!!
Alltimegreat1 16 | 67
25 Jul 2016 #77
I speak fluent German. Once they realize they can speak German to me, they are able to express their ignorant opinions more easily.

I'm not shy about getting into an lively discussion, but I don't see the point in arguing about politics or current events with every person I meet. I'm from the US. Germans could not be any more ignorant about life in America, yet they see it as their duty to constantly state their opinion about it. Most of these people have never even visited. What's more, Germans are incredibly sensitive and defensive about any perceived criticism of their own culture or system. They also have their backward views about air conditioning or moving air making people sick. As a result, indoor temperatures in Germany are usually about 25+ degrees C, even in the winter (with no ventilation). Could this really be any worse in Poland? Do Poles always insist that Poland is better than the country of the person they're talking to?
Lyzko 32 | 7,873
25 Jul 2016 #78
Impressive, sir! My hat's off:-) A mighty interesting take on the subject of self-expression being uninhibited by the empowerment of being able to say what one thinks in their native tongue:-)

Aller Achtung!
Lyzko 32 | 7,873
25 Jul 2016 #80
A pleasure, sir! Hope to continue the exchange:-)
Chemikiem
26 Jul 2016 #81
I'm trying not to pre-judge you, but you write

they are able to express their ignorant opinions more easily.

And then follow with

their backward views about air conditioning

It makes me wonder exactly the type of conversations you have been having with Germans for you to say

Germans are incredibly sensitive and defensive about any perceived criticism of their own culture or system

Perhaps without realising you are being overly critical of them? You are not in your home country and people always tend to compare how things are at home, sometimes negatively, with how things are in the host country.

Could this really be any worse in Poland?

I would say that the times I have spent with friends in Poland in winter, and in Poles' houses here in the UK, temperatures are bordering on tropical. They like it warm!

Do Poles always insist that Poland is better than the country of the person they're talking to?

I haven't come across many that do, but I've had plenty of discussions with them about differences between the UK and Poland. There are many things they miss about their own country, but by and large most of them seem to prefer how things are in the UK.
Lyzko 32 | 7,873
26 Jul 2016 #82
Kind of have to agree with Chemikiem on this point, Alltimegreat1:-) Sorry, but generalizations cut both ways. While as I say, I lived in Germany for a bit myself, accomodations are mostly uniform throughout much of Northern Europe, I found!

Cultural stereotypes are a tough nut to crack.
Atch 16 | 3,474
26 Jul 2016 #83
temperatures are bordering on tropical. They like it warm!

This is absolutely true. In one office where my husband was working, he was horrified to see that the temperature was 28 degrees during the winter months and the other guys were wearing jumpers - that's sweaters for our American friends :) I told him to find the thermostat for the heating and turn it down one degree per day, nobody will notice, and sure enough it worked! He got it down to 22, still a bit too warm but much better. Going to the supermarket in winter in Poland is torture, it's simply stifling in there, I have to remove my coat and put it in the trolley but you see the customers walking around in their heavy winter jackets and still wrapped up in their scarves, even wearing their hats, while they do their shopping. No wonder they all have colds all the time.
mafketis 32 | 10,552
26 Jul 2016 #84
Germans could not be any more ignorant about life in America, yet they see it as their duty to constantly state their opinion about it.

Poles or more reflexively pro-US than Germans (who have a complicated worship-despise relationship with the US and complicated superiority-inferiority complex vis a vis the US as well).

Also, generally Polish people dont know much of how things actually work in the US but they're more likely to realize this and accept information that conflicts with what they thought.

They also have their backward views about air conditioning or moving air making people sick.

Poland has that too, open a window on a hot day and people are scrambling to close it on the grounds that you're creating a "draft". I KNOW! That's the whole point!

but I don't see the point in arguing about politics or current events with every person I meet

Not every person, but be prepared to take sides (vocally) in any disagreement going on around you. Actually that's not as common as it used to be but I always enjoyed some old lady getting in an argument with the cashier in a grocery store and everyone else taking some side or other....


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