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Poland - abandon all logic


JonnyM 11 | 2,620
21 Jan 2012 #1
This was found on facebook and translated into English by the New Warsaw Express. One of the best descriptions of modern Poland I've read for years - do you agree?

“Here we are in an absurd world. A country which has twice as many students as France, and where a qualified engineer earns less than an average worker. Where people spend twice what they earn, and average earnings are less than the price of three pairs of good shoes. A country where a car costs three years’ wages, but despite that, you can’t find anywhere to park. A foreigner needs to abandon all logic if he doesn’t want to be overwhelmed. It’s a strange country where you can talk to the waiter in English, the cook in French, the shop assistant in German but government ministers or state officials only through an interpreter.”

Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
21 Jan 2012 #2
Only the first and last sentence are correct... the rest is slightly incorrect and rather childish... however I agree with a general sentiment.
OP JonnyM 11 | 2,620
21 Jan 2012 #3
That's pretty well what I feel - somebody Polish had written it as a joke and it shouldn't be taken too seriously - but somehow there's a lot of truth there.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
21 Jan 2012 #4
do you agree?

Not exactly so - but here are my comments.

A country which has twice as many students as France

True, and absurd. The current situation where public universities are opening more and more "directions" without any logic, just to provide more jobs and power for their own is absolutely ridiculous. Much of the blame has to lie with the employers demanding papers for everything, however. Polish people seem to be shocked that you do things "without education" - for instance, working in a kitchen. Yet - most of the top chefs in the world are completely unqualified.

and where a qualified engineer earns less than an average worker.

That's not true, is it?

Where people spend twice what they earn

Doesn't seem to be true. Poland doesn't have much of an issue with personal debt.

and average earnings are less than the price of three pairs of good shoes.

And yet this is far more than most of the world earns.

A country where a car costs three years’ wages, but despite that, you can’t find anywhere to park.

Not true. Average wage is now what, around 45k a year. As for parking - I can't talk about Warsaw, but I've never had any problems finding places in Polish cities.

A foreigner needs to abandon all logic if he doesn’t want to be overwhelmed.

Applies to every country. You'd go insane if you tried to understand the German way of life.

It’s a strange country where you can talk to the waiter in English, the cook in French, the shop assistant in German but government ministers or state officials only through an interpreter.”

This is changing rapidly - at least in Poznan, language skills are obligatory if you want to be hired to work in public administration.
Harry
21 Jan 2012 #5
I like the way that at Warsaw station there are tramps who can beg in five languages but none of the ticket Sellers speak anything other than Polish.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
21 Jan 2012 #6
There's a great chap who works in Poznan Glowny that speaks English - gave me a hell of a shock. What's more, he also recommended better routes/ways to save money - I actually wrote them a letter of praise for the service, because it was so utterly unexpected.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
21 Jan 2012 #7
That's pretty well what I feel

Hmm aren't you the one to scream It's not true when I'm saying Poland is the 2nd world country with huge corruption, very ineffective public sector etc. ?
antheads 13 | 368
21 Jan 2012 #8
but none of the ticket Sellers speak anything other than Polish.

That must be dificult for you., Imagine the audacity, speaking to you in the countries native tongue, I hope you got the cane out and gave the native a good beating!
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
21 Jan 2012 #9
It's quite shameful when it's the main train station in the capital city of a large European country, actually.
Stu 12 | 522
21 Jan 2012 #10
That must be dificult for you., Imagine the audacity, speaking to you in the countries native tongue, I hope you got the cane out and gave the native a good beating!

Simplistic thing to say, Anthead. Go to a railway station in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, and maybe even more countries and you will most certainly find people behind the counter who at least speak English, if not also German and French.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
21 Jan 2012 #11
in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg,

Yes, but in Germany It's not always like that, in France, Spain or Italy It's usually not like that...
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
21 Jan 2012 #12
Simplistic thing to say, Anthead.

I got served in English by an elderly chap in Daventer at 6am in the morning - which blew my mind away.

Yes, but in Germany It's not always like that, in France, Spain or Italy It's usually not like that...

In Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Paris Gare du Nord, Madrid Atocha and Rome Termini - they're going to speak English.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
21 Jan 2012 #13
In...Paris Gare du Nord...they're going to speak English.

if you press a firearm into their side.
Stu 12 | 522
21 Jan 2012 #14
Or where the government actually gives information to foreigners in different languages.

It's really not that difficult, you know?

Site of the city of Den Haag, in several languages amongst which Russian

If a small country like the Netherlands can do it, then maybe other countries (not only Poland), can follow the example
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
21 Jan 2012 #15
if you press a firearm into their side.

lols yes, using France in the examples was a bit of an own goal....France, the country where they speak perfect English right up to the point you complain about the soiled sheets and electric wires hanging loose in your room....

Deventer! TBH You were lucky there, that neck of the netherlands is a bit of a backwoods as far as multi lingual skills go, though,the Dutch will always go out of their way to find someone who does speak your language,even if you are a poor looking student back packer type at the time.

Thing is though,using a countries rail network is not really a trail ...any half decent phrase book and a bit of pointing stops you looking like an Imperialist tw@t who expects everyone to speak the Queens English :)
pawian 173 | 12,733
21 Jan 2012 #16
Here we are in an absurd world.

That was first written by Norman Davies in his book Poland- God`s Playground in late 1970s.

For any retards who have problems with doing their sums, let me explain it is over 30 years old now.

A bit outdated as a quote about Poland of 21 century.

Come on....
OP JonnyM 11 | 2,620
21 Jan 2012 #17
A bit outdated as a quote about Poland of 21 century.

There's still the shadow of truth there. How would you re-write it for 2012?
BBman - | 344
21 Jan 2012 #18
In regards to the spending habits of Poles, i dont think they spend twice what they make but i what i can say for sure is that i could never understand how they were able to buy what they did with how little they earned. I guess this is where the "polak potrafi" saying comes in;)

That's not true, is it?

salaries vary for engineers. For the most part they are not paid very well, especially in polish companies. I've worked with some guys who made as little as $1800zl.
THE HITMAN - | 236
21 Jan 2012 #19
Here,s a nice equation .........

Ever heard of " secondary income ", " black economy ", and " tax evasion " ? ........... and of course " polak potrafi ".
antheads 13 | 368
22 Jan 2012 #20
does anyone have the original in polish?
Bzibzioh
22 Jan 2012 #21
That was first written by Norman Davies in his book Poland- God`s Playground in late 1970s.

Good catch, pawian. This quote looked familiar.
OP JonnyM 11 | 2,620
22 Jan 2012 #22
This quote looked familiar.

I thought so too and was scratching my head as to why. How would you re-write it for today?
Marynka11 4 | 675
22 Jan 2012 #23
I like the way that at Warsaw station there are tramps who can beg in five languages but none of the ticket Sellers speak anything other than Polish.

Going with the flow requires certain amount of stupidity. For the ones with "Weltschmerz" life can be only bearable on the outskirts of the society.
PennBoy 76 | 2,437
22 Jan 2012 #24
"Here we are in an absurd world."

Yea very true.. I don't know how people in Poland do it.
pawian 173 | 12,733
12 Sep 2020 #25
There's still the shadow of truth there. How would you re-write it for 2012?

Yes, today, in 2020, I have to retract my opinion uttered in 2012. Poland under rightard rulers from PiS perfectly reminds the one descirbed by Davies in 1970s.


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