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Are foreigners welcome in Poland?


Aliya    
22 Dec 2014  #211
Hi Monica,
It sounds like you are the girl who was with my current partner Maciej. Very strange! Maybe not though.
Levi_BR 6 | 220    
22 Dec 2014  #212
I was very welcome in Poland.

Polish people was one of the most welcoming that i met in all countries that i visited in almost every continent of the world.

I Think that most of foreigners will be also welcome.

Except if you are someone trying to change their culture, disrespect the woman and impose Sharia Law there like they are doing in France or England. Than you will not be respected. And you dont even DESERVE to.
R1268    
17 Jan 2015  #213
I was in Krakow, Poland for a while last year and I was made very welcome by all the Polish people I met there. Most of them also spoke English and that made life a lot easier for me and my wife.

I felt like an honoured guest and not like a foreigner. The Polish people were lovely and very helpful. I will go back there many times and feel like I am at home. What more can I say?
tictactoe    
17 Jan 2015  #214
What is your nationality ?
R1268    
17 Jan 2015  #215
I am British
tictactoe    
18 Jan 2015  #216
English, Scottish or Welsh ?. I am English. British is very vague and can unfortunately mean anything.
jon357 66 | 13,338    
18 Jan 2015  #217
can unfortunately mean anything.

Or fortunately. We're a very inclusive country and not ethnocentric. Your identity is what you make it.
R1268    
18 Jan 2015  #218
Sorry tictactoe,

I am English by birth, British by nationality, Geordie by locality!
Webkot    
18 Jan 2015  #219
We live in a very small village in the country, my hubby speaks Polish but mine is very basic. Our experience has been far from unwelcoming. When we went to the town hall to set up paying bills the staff helped us fill out the forms and told us where we needed to go. Everyone in our road says hello and waves especially the children. One neighbour in particular has been incredibly helpful and everyone who comes in to contact with us wants to know if I like living here. I love living here, I feel much safer here than I did in the UK, I see little children walking to school on their own. My hubby had a long conversation with a passing elderly neighbour who thanked him for sparing the time to talk with her. We have the odd local who, how can I put it, are worse for wear with Piwo and knock on the door asking for a cigarette, they swear a bit but are totally harmless and non-aggressive. It was a bit of a shock at first but I am used to it now and send them on their way. My lack of Polish is not a problem when I go shopping, a combination of sign language, the little Polish I know and pointing usually works. If they can speak English they always try. I find people are more curious than offensive. Yes, they will turn around and look when they hear us speak but nothing more. So far my experience of Poland has been a very positive one.
Yason - | 6    
18 Jan 2015  #220
I've never had a problem with drunk Polish people ... you just have to be able to keep up a little :)
R.U.R.    
28 Apr 2015  #221
We're a very inclusive country and not ethnocentric. Your identity is what you make it.

So you are a country then ? I thought as much.... And your your identity is Jewish by your own admission as far as I remember. So speak for yourself, please.
Kurzer555 - | 12    
28 Apr 2015  #222
I personally find Polish people incredibly friendly and welcoming and I always enjoy travelling to Poland. It is an amazing country. I am currently based in London which means I am near Poland and travel is easier. I do have Polish Jewish heritage. I am Jewish and my grandparents were from kresy wschodnie. Speaking a little Polish goes a long way and is very appreciated. When people hear I am Jewish they do often act a little strange. Many people over 65 have hugged me or stroked my arm or even kissed me. I have had comments like 'where is your hat and beard?' I have been asked angrily if I am a communist or if I am in Poland to get my family property back to which I respond that my family lived in a wooden shack in a village which is now in Belorussia and I shall claim this shack once Poles get their Property Back In Lwów! Basically once the initial shock passes for many Poles on first meeting a real live Jew they are in fact extremely friendly and absolutely amazing people. No one has ever been rude to me or ever said an anti Semitic comment. Without a doubt the women are the most beautiful I have ever seen. breathtaking!
jon357 66 | 13,338    
29 Apr 2015  #223
I have been asked angrily if I am a communist or if I am in Polandto get my family property back

That's quite a broad description of:

incredibly friendly andwelcoming

and

No one has ever been rude to me

Most people are friendly, however of course there are awkward people in most parts of Eastern andCentral Europe. Other places too, however in PL there is very little stigma further down in society about being argumentative. The best thing to do is to remember you have a right to be there (as they do in the UK) andanything like the angry questions you got are a reflection on somebody else's bad manners rather than on you.
Gosc123456    
29 Apr 2015  #224
If foreigners are white and westerners (I know quite a few Russians in Poland, married to Poles and all say they don't feel "welcome"), no problems in Poland. If foreigners are "different", it is not so easy and sometimes very difficult. As people don't know where I am from, often they believe I'm from Russia or from Romania and in such cases they are not too friendly...
Polonius3 1,008 | 12,508    
29 Apr 2015  #225
At first glance I don't believe one can usually distinguish a Russian from a Pole on the basis of physiognomy and attire unless he starts speaking Russian and unless he has a sizable amount of Asiatic DNA. Romanians may be a bit on the swarthy side and remind some of Gypsies.
Gosc123456    
29 Apr 2015  #226
The (quite a few) Russians I know in Poland of course speak with Russian accents and mention they're from Russia and especially for the past few years, they have not felt comfortable at work and in their daily life in Poland It is a mystery to me but often when I start speaking Polish (which I speak very poorly), it is not rare that I am mistaken for a Russian or for a Romanian and in such situations, people are at best very cold to me (when not frankly unpleasant). Not long ago, I was in a bakery and the salesgirl was convinced that I had a Ukrainian accent.
Wulkan - | 3,289    
29 Apr 2015  #227
So what is your accent, Italian, Greek?
Gosc123456    
29 Apr 2015  #228
As I have lived around the world for ages, I don't have a particular accent but rather a mixture of several accents ;) but to hear a Russian, or a Ukrainian or a Romanian accent when I open the mouth show big ignorance. What bothers me is when people think I am Russian or Romanian, they are not very pleasant with me and that's the point: Poles are not open and don't accept many nationalities.

the point is: why being prejudiced? When (Polish) people mistake me for a Russian or a Romanian and I tell them I am neither, they start acting different and "normally". Prejudices only show stupidity.
Wulkan - | 3,289    
29 Apr 2015  #229
As I have lived around the world for ages, I don't have a particular accent but rather a mixture of several accents

Ok, what is your mother language?
Gosc123456    
29 Apr 2015  #230
My mother tongue is Bulgarian.
Gosc123456    
29 Apr 2015  #231
@Other Gosc123456: if you claim to speak Bulgarian, other slavic languages should be easy for you and you said you don't speak Polish properly...My mother tongue is Romanche (=4th official language of Switzerland, after German, French and Italian).
Vox - | 177    
29 Apr 2015  #232
accent when I open the mouth show big ignorance

It could be more about your attitude than about your accent.

all say they don't feel

Ah they "feel" and that gives you right to rant. If you don't like it ......!
Gosc123456    
29 Apr 2015  #233
@Vox: absolutely wrong! When I tell them I'm neither Russian nor Romanian and tell them where I'm from, they change their attitudes and become very friendly. I know quite a few Russians and they all complain of attitude of most Poles towards them. Believe me, Poland is not a fairy tale, most people are prejudiced not to say xenophobic...
majkel    
30 Apr 2015  #234
How about understanding that right now Poland has reasons to feel uneasy about Russia (Smolensk Wreck, Ukraine, Gas issues, food embargo, Internet propaganda among others)? Can't you recognize that as an issue? Surely Russian people can see that their government is at least a little responsible for the situation. Of couse hostility towards people that have nothing to do with those things is not very smart, however certain "uneasyness" remains.

Polish - Russian history is not an easy one, and from my personal experience Russian people tend to come as a little arrogant and have unwaranted sense of superiority which can easily be offputing at first sight.
Wulkan - | 3,289    
30 Apr 2015  #235
Russian people tend to come as a little arrogant and have unwaranted sense of superiority which can easily be offputing at first sight.

It can't be noticed if you approach them in the same manner before they do it.
majkel    
30 Apr 2015  #236
Wulkan

Don't wanna play devil's advocate here. Also I'm not gonna act as if Poland is paradise and Polish people are angels, however after being in Moscow 3 times I can say that I've never been in more unfriendly place in the world.
Wulkan - | 3,289    
30 Apr 2015  #237
That's why I wouldn't travel to Russia.
Roger5 2 | 1,475    
30 Apr 2015  #238
I've never been in more unfriendly place in the world.

My biggest fear when living in Russia was that I would slip on ice and knock myself out. People assume (rightly in most cases) that unconscious people are drunks, and walk on by. Russians have two sides: public and private. If they are your friends, they'll be fiercely loyal. If you're a stranger, they'll let you die on the street.

ok, back to the topic please
jon357 66 | 13,338    
30 Apr 2015  #239
Russians have two sides: public and private. If they are your friends, they'll be fiercely loyal. If you're a stranger, they'll let you die on the street.

One reason that Poland can sometimes seem unfriendly to some newcomers or visitors is that this is the same in Poland, especially in the bigger cities and in the east. Warsaw very much so. It's perhaps less extreme than in Moscow, however in Poland the public/private dichotomy very much exists. Forget easy-going bonhomie in shops, restaurants etc. You even sometimes get waiters who answer back defensively to a customer, shop assistants who don't care if they make a sale or not and of course one can forget about them apologising if something is out of stock or for bad service.

All this can seem very unwelcoming to visitors from elsewhere. Best not to worry - they aren't being unwelcoming to you; they behave exactly the same way with other Poles.

You just have to deal with it as the Poles do - don't take bad service or rudeness in public too personally - just ignore public rudeness and make private friends.

In shops etc, starting off with a warm smile from yourself and laughing at them if they start to be rude makes things better.
Roger5 2 | 1,475    
30 Apr 2015  #240
in the bigger cities and in the east

How about this. A pal recently went to the restaurant attached to Hotel Esperanto in Białystok. His medium-rare steak was served cold so he sent it back. He asked the waitress to get the kitchen to give it another minute in the pan, and that he didn't mind that it would then be medium. The waitress came back from the kitchen and said that the chef would cook him another steak, medium-rare, and threw in two free desserts along with his apologies. My friend, who once worked in a classy restaurant in Miami, nearly fell off his chair. So, things are, sloooowly, changing.




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