I liked it before, how it was.
Well, I am Polish, and I lived through the eighties in Poland (as a teenager and young adult), and believe me, I did not like it. Not everything is wonderful in Poland today, but please - don't start telling me how things were great earlier. I was constantly hungry and in the winter, I was constantly cold and ill. Some things were of course "better" than now - but these nice things were being subsidised by the State with money it didn't really have. Nevertheless, growing up in that time was a rather cheerless affair - we felt we had no control over our future, that both our working and personal lives were pretty much preordained by what the State had in store for us (i.e., not much).
So those who had them in 91 were people who had waited literally years, and probably had 'connections'.
Wrong - there was a thriving second-hand car market which included old beat-up cars brought in from abroad, esp. Germany and the States.
Often illegal, which didn't stop anybody.
Capitalism arrived, and overnight her pension dropped so much in value that it practically disappeared.
I'm sorry, but I was in Poland during the redenomination (1995) and money did not drop in value - four zeroes got cut off, true, but 20 000 złoty and 2 złoty had the exact same value and were used interchangeably for several years, with the old złoty gradually phased out.
The lady you talk about would not have lost a single grosz due to this process. The problem is that many people, seeing those zeroes disappear, automatically assumed that they were getting less money. The lady's pension - about 1000 złoty - is not exceedingly low, though on the lower side of the scale. BTW pensions in communist Poland were not terribly exciting either.
I'm not British, so I'll shut up now. But please check your facts before you post.