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In Poland on holiday - need help with bad case of homesickness


Lenka 5 | 3,518
8 Aug 2023 #1
I'm in Poland on holiday and I'm suffering the worst case of homesicness since I moved.

Everything seems better. It's cleaner, pavementa are wider, I can see new investments everywhere, kids still go on their own around streets without being in danger or being a threat themselves. Guys are capable of wearing jeans to the store instead of jogging bottoms etc.

I know not everything is so sweet but I'm having a bad case of 'what have I done, I should have never left.
If I don't fix it I will be one unhappy bunny in two weeks.
Novichok 4 | 8,069
8 Aug 2023 #2
I'm in Poland on holiday and I'm suffering the worst case of homesickness since I moved.

When I am away from home for a couple of weeks, the sense of aloneness is always getting to me after the first three days. I can easily imagine that it's a lot harder on women as their desire to approach perfect strangers is just not there for a number of very good reasons.
Atch 20 | 4,149
8 Aug 2023 #3
Well Lenka, you could start making plans to return permanently. Why not?

Guys are capable of wearing jeans to the store instead of jogging bottoms etc.

Oh come on now Lenka. Plenty of 'buraks' wandering around the place in Poland and at this time of year most men go the shops in shorts. Plenty of tats on view too :)
jon357 74 | 22,287
8 Aug 2023 #4
Everything seems better. It's cleaner, pavementa are wider, I can see new investments everywhere, kids still go on their own

I feel the same when I'm back in the UK (which is cleaner, has nicer and older streets and you can cross a road without risking your life). It hits when I go into a shop and the person behind the counter smiles rather than scowls and when a stranger on the train or buys smile and talks to you.

It passes after a while.

Home is where your cat is.
OP Lenka 5 | 3,518
8 Aug 2023 #5
sense of aloneness is always getting to me after the first three days

I'm not alone neither in UK nor in Poland.

Why not?

Because it's not only about me. Plus as I'm not as wealthy as some of PFers so getting a place, work etc would be a big risk.

this time of year most men go the shops in shorts

I do not share your bare legs aversion so I don't mind. I do mind jogging bottoms for every occasion including job interview.

when I'm back in the UK

I can agree only about the street crossing and shop assistants.

And no, I'm not like that every time I visit. This is first time.

Please cut down on your quotes
Novichok 4 | 8,069
8 Aug 2023 #6
Home is where your cat is.

In my case, it's my family.
Novichok 4 | 8,069
8 Aug 2023 #7
I'm not alone neither in UK nor in Poland.

Then it must be your room and the things you miss.
The number one reason I don't travel to foreign countries is English. And it better be American English. Trips are stressful enough and I don't need another aggravation. No, I am not curious what an Italian taxi driver has to say about Nero.

Poles under 30 were amazingly good at it in spite of the indoctrination they get from the "British" professors. In that contest, the US wins hands down.
Atch 20 | 4,149
8 Aug 2023 #8
I can agree only about the street crossing and shop assistants.

Oh Lenka - really! The UK has one of the most diverse and stunning architectural heritages in the world. Are you seriously suggesting that Poland's streets en masse, are older and more beautiful than those of the UK?

I'm not like that every time I visit. This is first time.

Maybe it's because you're getting older. You may not be in a position to move back now but you could retire back to Poland. Your UK pension etc. would support you quite well.

I do mind jogging bottoms for every occasion including job interview.

Well, we're talking about chavs in that case and you'll find them everywhere. They have their own dress code which varies in different places around the world.
jon357 74 | 22,287
8 Aug 2023 #9
In my case, it's my family.

Families tend to have larger territories than cats and are more likely to move away from home.

And no, I'm not like that every time I visit. This is first time.

It will pass. When you're from one country and have made your life in another (as you and I both have) you tend to go through stages. I remember a thread here from an American who hated pretty well everything in PL. I'd bet that there was a stage before that where he loved everything and that (assuming he stayed) things would eventually settle down. Even after decades, things come and go for me depending on a lot of factors.

And of course it may not be a Britain/Poland thing; could the way you feel now have another cause?

They have their own dress code which varies in different places around the world.

Quite. Poland is the land of 'dres'. Both are big countries and what you see on the streets in York or in Saska Kępa isn't what you see in Scunthorpe or Sieradz.
OP Lenka 5 | 3,518
8 Aug 2023 #10
The UK has one of the most diverse and stunning architectural heritages in the world.

Uk has one of the most amazing building in the world. True.
But the average streets in towns is a different matter. Not to mention cleaner and better kept ( of course I compare only from my limited experience)

I'm sure that it's just a phase, that is why I was talking about homesickness but I feel that if I won a lottery I would move back in a blank of an eye.
Novichok 4 | 8,069
8 Aug 2023 #11
Your UK pension etc. would support you quite well.

My "pension" would support me in Poland very well but that would be the last consideration on my pro list.
The first is feeling plugged in, with English as the connector. In this respect, Americans are hard to replace.
The best testing ground to reveal the difference are hospitals and the people who work there. You immediately get the feeling that they are your best friends.

It was this test that made me leave Poland after only three days on my second visit.
OP Lenka 5 | 3,518
8 Aug 2023 #12
Maybe it's because you're getting older.

I know I'm not getting younger but I'm not 40 yet. What will it be when I'm 50?

but you could retire back to Poland.

I think that is a lie emigrees often tell themselves :) By the time you get there you are either too old and weak, too connected to the new place ( especially grown up kids) or disconnected from your homeland.
jon357 74 | 22,287
8 Aug 2023 #13
I think that is a lie emigrees often tell themselves :)

It is.

I've heard it time and time again in the UK from people who came from the Caribbean, Bangladesh, wherever. They dream of their retirement home then when they do hit retirement age they stay put for the reasons you mention.

Poland and Britain are nearer though and retirement there is more achievable. I don't plan to stay there in old age either and do dream of returning to a house with a nice English garden. Meanwhile however, house prices soar.
Atch 20 | 4,149
8 Aug 2023 #14
You immediately get the feeling that they are your best friends.

But they're not - not if you don't have very expensive medical insurance. And don't call the ambulance - average cost is over a thousand dollars just to get to the hospital.
Alien 21 | 5,172
8 Aug 2023 #15
Everything seems better.cleaner, pavementa wider, can see new investments everywhere, kids go on their own around streets without being in danger or being a threat themselves. Guys wearing jeans to the store instead of jogging bottoms

England is very picturesque, one of a kind, but the streets are narrow and the houses are smaller than in Poland. Children in Poland do not wear these beautiful school uniforms. Men in England are more obese.However, Poland is still very underinvested, which is especially noticeable when you drive off the main road. No, don't go back yet. Wait a little longer, maybe you'll win a million Pounds in the lottery. Then you decide.
Bobko 25 | 1,946
8 Aug 2023 #16
On the one hand, I want to crow over Lenka's feeling of missing out. On the other hand, I'm in the same goddamn boat - so who does it make me if I laugh at Lenka?

Regarding the first part:

1) The grass really isn't always greener on the other side.

2) The absolute majority of the emigres I meet in New York, specifically those that moved in the '80s, '90s, or even early 2000s - are miserable people that have nothing but envy in reserve for those that stayed at home and made considerably more money than a person living on Brighton Beach (while also remaining in touch with family, and the place that birthed you).

3) From what you write - it is evident that when you were leaving it was a seemingly well calculated decision based on the fact that you could not envision Poland affording you the same life. Well - here is karma, in the form of your current anxiety.

Now for the other side:

1) You have brilliant English (but not much better than Kania's, Paulina's, or Pawian's who stayed home)

2) You are able to participate in discussions from a unique perspective, which is rarely heard from the above mentioned compatriots

3) I am sure that you have acted as a wonderful ambassador for the nation of Poland itself - charming and light-footed as you are.

4) Not everything can be measured in terms of "quality of life", or "comfort of the soul". Perhaps Poland is catching up, and soon there will be no meaningful difference in living in the UK or Poland. Still, the experience of leaving and starting life anew in a new place - whether they like it or not - makes you stronger than the average Pole. In this life - strength matters.

Finally - one last thought on the subject:

* Having been born in Poland - you'll always be a Pole. Whatever sparkly and beautiful things in Poland that you see now - that pull at your heart - it's all yours anyway. Take this from a Russian living in NY.
pawian 223 | 24,567
8 Aug 2023 #17
miserable people that have nothing but envy in reserve for those that stayed at home a

Now I understand Ironside`s envy and spite towards me. :):):)
GefreiterKania 35 | 1,352
8 Aug 2023 #18
I should have never left.

That is absolutely correct.

Come back to Poland, Lenka. There has never been a better time for smart, hard-working people in our country (well, maybe early 90s, but a lot of other things were not so rosy back then).

Besides, here is your home - eagles' (and eaglesses') nest. You are hearing White Eagle's call - follow it!
jon357 74 | 22,287
8 Aug 2023 #19
and the houses are smaller than in Poland

Somewhat misleading since the alternative in Poland to the small houses in Britain (odd that you refer to just the part that is England) is even smaller flats with no outside space, no windows in the bathroom, no storage space and only one living room.

The lack of windows in bathrooms here is something I don't miss when back in the U.K. I even know people who've built their own houses with the bathroom having an outside wall but they didn't put a window in.

Lenka's feeling of homesickness isn't unusual. It's something you either get used to or don't. As I mentioned, it comes and goes. Lenka may well be having Britain Fatigue in the same way that people who've settled in Poland sometimes get Poland Fatigue. Different people have different ways of dealing with it, and you have to find your own strategy.

Wizz Air and Ryanair are a help; they make quick visits back ver6 affordable and easy, though it does help if your 'new' home and the place you're visiting back home are close to airports and if you have a job that allows you to travel back often.
mafketis 37 | 10,840
8 Aug 2023 #20
suffering the worst case of homesicness

It comes and goes and it's a good sign (for both you and Poland). The last couple of times I was in the states (very long ago) there were moments, some longer, some shorter, where I thought "I could just stay here and not mess with all the crap in Poland" but I didn't and I don't regret it.

Similiarly in early days in Poland there were a few times, usually in winter.... where I asked myself "why am I here? wouldn't I rather be somewhere where winter wasn't an ordeal?" but....

Overall it's been a wild ride watching the changes first hand and close up both material and social... you don't notice anything for a long time and then it hits you... wow! things are so different! and for the better! Lots of problems (cause that's the nature of everywhere) but generally getting better.

When I think of the US now... I'm a little homesick but for the US that used to exist because from all the info that I can gather.... it's dead and I have no desire whatsoever to even visit the rotting corpse right now... I'm on a couple of facebook groups about the history of the area I'm from and... yeah, parts of it used be pretty nice... but all that's gone. The political system has.... ended (both parties are very much to blame) and too much bad policy for too long... just not anything I want to be a part of.

Now when I think of possibly moving my thoughts are all just different parts of Europe... more south and east... not west.... but those are just idle thoughts.

house prices soar.

thank bad policy.... turning housing into a financial investment and not keeping building up with population growth....
jon357 74 | 22,287
8 Aug 2023 #21
turning housing into a financial investment

People in the U.K. say this too. And credit-funded BTL is generally a very silly investment with small margins and too many variables; something people in Poland who've done this are likely to find out sooner or later,

It comes and goes

Agreed, and of course seeing greener grass in the other side of any fence isn't unusual and is often symptomatic of deeper worries.
pawian 223 | 24,567
8 Aug 2023 #22
Come back to Poland, Lenka.

Easier said than done, unfortunately, :(:(:(
Bobko 25 | 1,946
8 Aug 2023 #23
Easier said than done, unfortunately

Few things in life are easier done than said. In fact, very few indeed.

But what does the Bible say, again? In the beginning, there was the Word.
Novichok 4 | 8,069
9 Aug 2023 #24
Having been born in Poland - you'll always be a Pole.

If you mean DNA, no argument. All else is negotiable.

The best way to eliminate future dilemmas is by making the decision to emigrate irreversible. Sometimes blowing up all the bridges behind you is a good thing.

Second step: Create a magnet to hold you in the new country that is stronger than any nostalgia about the old one. That magnet is getting married and having unhyphenated kids. Once they have kids of their own, you are in for good.
amiga500 4 | 1,529
9 Aug 2023 #25
person behind the counter smiles rather than scowls and when a stranger on the train or buys smile and talks to you.

Hahahaha so true, I've decided when I'm back in Poland next, I'm going to be the same joyfull and chatty, happy go lucky person I am in Oz. Going to smile and make small talk to shop attendants and strangers. I don't care if people think I am an informant, gay, a creep or just mentally ill.

If some debil get aggressive about it, he'll get a smack in the head. I guess my accent in speaking polish will help in that people will accept it cause 'he's not from around these parts".
Novichok 4 | 8,069
9 Aug 2023 #26
I'm going to be the same joyful and chatty, happy-go-lucky person

For this, you need people who are not afraid to look straight into your face. Orientals and Poles don't. To them, you are invisible - even if you hold the door for them.

In the US, the best country in this respect, we do it routinely - even if no words are spoken - just to acknowledge the other person's existence. A nod or a simple hand gesture is always good to see.
jon357 74 | 22,287
9 Aug 2023 #27
just mentally ill.

Sadly, that's what they think.

They probably think I'm deranged sometimes, however smiling makes you feel better when you do it and it's their loss if they want to scowl.

If you're the first customer of the morning and they refuse your money due to having no float at all in the till and you ask why they've no float, you'll get silence. I've found that smiling at shop keepers doesn't work much unless a) you're in a small town or the countryside where people are a bit friendlier or b) it's a western-owned chain shop with younger staff who've had customer service training.

It's actually a lot better than it used to be and nowadays I even get a smile at my local petrol station sometimes. Unthinkable 20 years ago.

Poland, for all its pluses sometimes seems like the land of passive aggressive. All those daft 6or 7 foot high metal fences around suburban houses are another symptom of that.
OP Lenka 5 | 3,518
9 Aug 2023 #28
it was a seemingly well calculated decision based on the fact that you could not envision Poland affording you the same life

No, it had more personal touch to it :) I was never bothered that much about money beside being able to have a roof over my head and enough to survive without a big struggle.

you don't notice anything for a long time and then it hits you... wow! things are so different! and for the better!

That is big part of my feelings atm. It seems Poland is constantlyimproving, I see so much work done, things progressing etc. Even the people I talk to seem more interested in improving themselves....

It's so motivating.
mafketis 37 | 10,840
9 Aug 2023 #29
I see so much work done, things progressing etc.

When you're here you don't see it as much, like I said, you're just going about your daily business and only occasionally suddenly something hits you and.... wow! It's so different!

Visiting occasionally must make it even more obvious but that feeling doesn't last long before you're back to the daily grind and complaining about petty inconveniences (which never go away.... anywhere).

Sadly, that's what they think.

Smiling at strangers also used to be taken (by some) as aggressive... are you laughing at me? I'll show you!

The general lack of smiles from service workers doesn't bother me, it's a different culture and if anything I've assimilated and think of unmotivated smiling as a bit.... intrusive.

But general politeness levels in stores have changed a lot for the better from employees and also from fellow shoppers. I remember grabbing someone else's cart a few months ago in a store and both the other shopper and I just smiled over the mix up..... I can remember when that could lead to a nasty confrontation and accusations of trying to steal something.....
Atch 20 | 4,149
9 Aug 2023 #30
Even the people I talk to seem more interested in improving themselves....

I think it's the gradual recovery from having been a communist country and the shedding of the post-communist mentality for a healthier outlook.

Besides, here is your home

Yes, that's the bottom line really. Having lived in Ireland yourself you may understand when I say that what bothers me is not living in Poland but the thoughts of dying here, away from my own people. Anyway, I'll be cremated so hopefully somebody will be left in my little circle of loved ones to take my ashes and scatter them on the Atlantic coastline, back to the sea where I grew up, where I belong.


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