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My first impressions of Poland, long time ago


sobieski 107 | 2,131    
12 Aug 2010  #1
They always say that your first impressions of a country stay with you forever.
Some things I remember from my first few trips to Poland in 1989-1990: (to the Wałbrzych area)
- The peculiar smell of browncoals used for heating
- Had to change at the border per day in my visa 36 DM into (then) pretty worthless zlotys
- The currency - the banknotes of 1 million zloty printed on that cheap paper
- Had to exchange again DM for "diesel coupons" at Orbis - to fill up my tank. Later my enterprising (as all Poles that era) future father-in-law "arranged" me diesel from another source :)

- The bookshops where you were obliged to take a plastic basket even when you just wanted to browse. And browsing was in any case not possible because all books were kept under lock and you had to ask for them - from these formidable shop ladies :)

- The restaurants, where all items also mentioned their weight. Did they actually check this in the kitchen?
- And at wedding parties (including ours) that cheap sweet Russian bubbly wine - Ikryztoje or something like that?
- The CPN gas stations

Just a few impressions from a long time ago :)
opts 10 | 260    
12 Aug 2010  #2
Pan Sobieski mial trzy pieski: szary, bury i niebieski. :)
pgtx 30 | 3,165    
12 Aug 2010  #3
szary, bury i niebieski. :)

czerwony, zielony, niebieski! ;)
OP sobieski 107 | 2,131    
12 Aug 2010  #4
?????
We have a 15-year old cat called Nitek :)
Seanus 15 | 19,741    
  12 Aug 2010  #5
My first memory of Poland was in Pyrzowice and landing at the airport. I met my loopy boss there and I can remember going to the wrong side of the car (being British n'all). As in any initiation, I went for beer and enjoyed the way that the Poles interacted. I remember thinking that this was going to be quite an adventure. I also remember being impressed with the butchers here. In Britain, we tend to stick to Lincolnshire skinless sausages and don't have the variety that you have here. The wędliny (cold cuts), despite stories of it going downhill, also impressed me. Finally, the women jumped out at me for their beauty. However, like the Japanese experience, the novelty wore off and, although I see pretty girls on the go, I see them differently (not to mention that I'm married and tend not to look anymore anyway).

Overall, my first impressions of Poland were very good. It was the same as Japan in that there was so much to discover. A little less given the cultural similarities but eye opening nonetheless.
pgtx 30 | 3,165    
12 Aug 2010  #6
I can remember going to the wrong side of the car (being British n'all

rather ignorant... you didn't check it out before you came...

(not to mention that I'm married and tend not to look anymore anyway).

yes, thank you for pointing this out again and again and again...
Seanus 15 | 19,741    
12 Aug 2010  #7
I knew it, pgtx, but it became so instinctive and I was tired after the flight.

It's important as a behaviour-changing step, pgtx, wouldn't you say?

Anyway, my first impressions were positive :)
pgtx 30 | 3,165    
12 Aug 2010  #8
well, i'm glad that you don't get in to the car through its trunk...
skysoulmate 14 | 1,296    
  12 Aug 2010  #9
Pan Sobieski mial trzy pieski: szary, bury i niebieski. :)

I know you wrote it because of the first poster's screen name but what does this mean? I understand what it says but is this a kids' song or something else?

well, i'm glad that you don't get in to the car through its trunk...

Trunk? I think they call them boots in Queen's Country. :)
pgtx 30 | 3,165    
12 Aug 2010  #10
I understand what it says but is this a kids' song or something else?

Pan Sobieski miał trzy pieski,
czerwony, zielony, niebieski.
Raz, dwa, trzy,
po te pieski idziesz ty.

that's a rhyme for kids...
skysoulmate 14 | 1,296    
  12 Aug 2010  #11
Wow, I'll have to ask my mom why I've never heard it before? Feel cheated... :)
Wroclaw 44 | 5,401    
12 Aug 2010  #12
when i arrived here in 91 i was struck by a number of things.

the video exchange: outside, and all the latest movies... before they were released in the cinema.

audio cassettes sold on the streets, in kiosks and a couple of record shops... all fake. sometimes the music didn't match the label.

Sky tv: when the code changed you simply took the card to that 'special person' and an hour later you were watching tv again. we used to have channel 5 here when my mother couldn't get it in her hilly part of england.

i remember the first Levi store and mcdonalds opening in wroclaw. and the first guy to sell dr martens boots.

there was also the russian markets where you could by the strangest things.
zetigrek    
  23 Aug 2010  #13
Anyway, my first impressions were positive :)

and the next were less positive?

Wow, I'll have to ask my mom why I've never heard it before? Feel cheated... :)

Me neither heard that.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595    
24 Aug 2010  #14
The restaurants, where all items also mentioned their weight. Did they actually check this in the kitchen?

In many places they still have it like this.
Seanus 15 | 19,741    
24 Aug 2010  #15
Some were less positive, yes, but any sane person would say the same. Some Poles are masters of delusion. They trick or are conditioned into believing absolute drivel about their country. Still, let them be! I prefer to see the good sides of things and there are many.

My first impressions were positive in the main but time changes things. I'm still fairly positive but some here could make watching potatoes grow appear exciting.
zetigrek    
24 Aug 2010  #16
I'm still fairly positive but some here could make watching potatoes grow appear exciting.

So what thinks bother you? and how to change it, to make Poland less boring place? ;)
Seanus 15 | 19,741    
  24 Aug 2010  #17
What you must bear in mind, Zeti, and I've stressed it several times is that I live in Gliwice. Gliwice is not Kraków, Wrocław or any other big city over 400,000 people. I'm not saying it is Poland that is boring. Gliwice sorts are overly conservative and that must be borne in mind.
NorthMancPolak 4 | 649    
24 Aug 2010  #18
pmsl

This sounds just like a Polish version of Hong Kong's Chungking Mansion LOL :)

Did they offer you "copy Rolex" or "copy Armani bag" as well? :)
zetigrek    
  24 Aug 2010  #19
I'm not saying it is Poland that is boring. Gliwice sorts are overly conservative and that must be borne in mind.

ok but in Scotland you also have small towns and still ppl can bear living in such places... In other words what entertaiment Gliwice is lacking of? More pubs? more dicos? more cinemas? maybe some active way of spending time? (quads? go-cards? horse riding? ;) I live in Lodz a more than 700 000 citizen place and I also find it quite boring place.
Seanus 15 | 19,741    
24 Aug 2010  #20
It's just the aura of the place, Zeti. It does have entertainment options but who has time for those? ;) It needs some bite :)
zetigrek    
24 Aug 2010  #21
you? ;D Well if you give up PF then you will have plenty of time :)
Amathyst 19 | 2,704    
24 Aug 2010  #22
ok but in Scotland you also have small towns and still ppl can bear living in such places...

Most people who live in small places tend to either commute to larger cities so get the best of both worlds or they are happy to stay in their little bubbles and know no different.

My experience as a tourist (3 visits to Poland) was very positive, nice clean place and in general the people were polite..Most of all, as a female I felt safer there than I do in England (I mean in city centres in the UK, where I live I have no issues about walking home from a friends late at night)...
Seanus 15 | 19,741    
  24 Aug 2010  #23
I prefer other forms of entertainment ;)

... I prefer to watch this lovely Polish-German woman, Natalia Avelon. From Wrocław, my fave place in Poland :)
zetigrek    
  24 Aug 2010  #24
Most people who live in small places tend to either commute to larger cities so get the best of both worlds or they are happy to stay in their little bubbles and know no different.

but his Gliwice is nearby Katowice which is not such a hole. He also have realtively short drive to Kraków.

My experience as a tourist (3 visits to Poland) was very positive, nice clean place and in general the people were polite..Most of all, as a female I felt safer there than I do in England (I mean in city centres in the UK, where I live I have no issues about walking home from a friends late at night)...

Yes its funny quite that in Poland women are safer than men.
Seanus 15 | 19,741    
24 Aug 2010  #25
Gliwice is not a hole, no. Just a bit lacking in pep :(
zetigrek    
24 Aug 2010  #26
I prefer other forms of entertainment ;)

Have I already told you that you are a mystery for me? :)

. Just a bit lacking in pep :(

what's pep?
scottie1113 7 | 900    
24 Aug 2010  #27
pep-energy, excitement, wigor, werwa
Seanus 15 | 19,741    
24 Aug 2010  #28
Nothing quite like being enigmatic ;)

Pep is like with bursts of energy :)
Bolle 1 | 147    
24 Aug 2010  #29
wedding parties (including ours)

Sounds like you rescued a polish woman from poverty.
plk123 8 | 4,160    
26 Aug 2010  #30
Katowice which is not such a hole.

since when is Katowice not a dump? lol


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