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New in Poland! Not yet jaded and loving it


JamesJames 1 | 4
24 Jul 2012 #1
Just moved to Gdynia from South Africa with wife and two kids. Wife is Polish returning to mother country after 30 years in SA. So far have spent all my time on the beach in Sopot, on the Dzialka in Bory Tucholskie or just touristing around. Have loved the forests, picking jagoda i kurki's, making jam, riding mountain bike, going to concerts.

Have been here once in 2000 during winter. Was OK but now am loving it.

During intensive research on Poland whilst back in SA preparing for trip I happened on PF. I couldnt join because nobody with African email addresses can join. I must confess that I nearly threw up after reading a few threads, Poland sounded dreadful, polluted, no money, full of dog poo...

But its not, its wonderful. I'm still on holiday so my euphoric view will no doubt change. Will try to keep up the optimism.
Wroclaw Boy
24 Jul 2012 #2
Classic stage one James, long may it last.

Perhaps you haven't been to the post office yet....
sanddancer 2 | 58
24 Jul 2012 #3
Classic! Wait til he's been here a couple of winters. I suppose after the mess that is South Africa everwhere else must seem like a dreamland!
grubas 12 | 1,390
24 Jul 2012 #4
Perhaps you haven't been to the post office yet....

Did you have some traumatic experience at the post office?I went to post office a couple of days ago to mail a letter to the US and didn't notice anything bizzare over there.
Avalon 4 | 1,068
24 Jul 2012 #5
I went to the village post office to send 10 Christmas cards to England. I handed the cards over the counter, the lady added the stamps up and it seemed to be very cheap!!!, I queried the amount and said "UK"?, she looked at me and said, "Tak, Ukraina".
Wroclaw Boy
24 Jul 2012 #6
Did you have some traumatic experience at the post office?

Not particularly, I and a few others tend to use the post office to symbolise two fairly big negatives in Poland: the cues and customer care.

I went to post office a couple of days ago to mail a letter to the US and didn't notice anything bizzare over there.

You cant really go wrong with posting letters. Did you not notice that a hell of a lot of people pay their bills in the post office?
grubas 12 | 1,390
24 Jul 2012 #7
I went to the village post office to send 10 Christmas cards to England.

Guess what,official language in Poland is POLISH.If you have said Anglia or Wielka Brytania you would get the exact stamps you needed.I asked for stamps to U S A not Ju Es Ej and got what I needed with no problems at all.When I go to the post office in the US I don't speak Polish but English but when I go to post office in Poland I speak Polish not English.Makes any sense to you?

Did you not notice that a hell of a lot of people pay their bills in the post office?

I did but they were taking care of them in the other window so they didn't bother me at all.You could also pay your bills via internet from your bank account like my mother does and they wouldn't bother you either.

I and a few others tend to use the post office to symbolise two fairly big negatives in Poland: the cues and customer care.

From my experience,not much different than post offices in the US.Of course if you go to little post office in Bishopville MD you have very little chance to encounter a line (even though they have only 1 window and 1 clerk) there because Bishopville is a little place but in Salisbury MD or Ocean City MD ( they have 4 or 5 windows and more personell) there is usually a line you have to wait in as these towns are bigger.
Wroclaw Boy
24 Jul 2012 #8
You could also pay your bills via internet from your bank account like my mother does and they wouldn't bother you either.

You know that, i know that and even your mother knows that.....Problem is what would seem to be a large portion of the Polish population either don't know that or are too scared of the man to try it, and they all seem to be at the post office when im trying to post a letter.
OP JamesJames 1 | 4
24 Jul 2012 #9
Not been to the post office yet. We have however torn hair out at Urzad Miasta trying to register car, get Meldunek'd, karta pobytus etc. If I can survive that and a near miss by a tornado near Chelmno (we had to stop the car because we couldnt drive in the wind and rain), I can survive anything. Imagine coming half way around the world only to be sucked up by a tornado

By the way South Africa is not a mess, it has its challenges just like Poland. In many respects it is way ahead of Poland, but in many areas way behind.

Still smiling though, its hot and sunny in the Troimiasto. Time to fire up the grill and crack a Zywiec!!!!!
grubas 12 | 1,390
24 Jul 2012 #10
Problem is what would seem to be a large portion of the Polish population either don't know that or are too scared of the man to try it, and they all seem to be at the post office when im trying to post a letter.

Maybe they like to wait in lines,i don't know.Anyway,Poczta Polska have separate windows for mail (Listy,paczki) and for the other stuff so it seems to me that you simply went to the wrong window.
pip 10 | 1,660
24 Jul 2012 #11
not all of them do. poczta polska is a clusterf*ck on the best of days- no way to defend it.
grubas 12 | 1,390
24 Jul 2012 #12
We have however torn hair out at Urzad Miasta trying to register car, get Meldunek'd, karta pobytus etc.

I feel you as I recentelly had to get Polish ID (4 visits in Urzad Miasta!).On the bright side you got it done and I don't think something can be worse than that as getting the new driver licence was pretty much painless except for waiting period.

Imagine coming half way around the world only to be sucked up by a tornado

Tornados will be your least problem in Poland as I have never experienced one here.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,385
24 Jul 2012 #13
Tornados will be your least problem in Poland as I have never experienced one here.

read his post again and then check the news for last week.
grubas 12 | 1,390
24 Jul 2012 #14
But its not, its wonderful.

Yeah,Poland is not that bad.Btw you are not James from SA I met in Connecticut US in a summer of 2001 or are you?He was a pretty cool dude just speaking weird English.
Avalon 4 | 1,068
24 Jul 2012 #15
Guess what,official language in Poland is POLISH.If you have said Anglia or Wielka Brytania you would get the exact stamps you needed

Yes, I was a bit stupid, I wrote "United Kingdom" on the envelope. The funny thing is, when I first came to Poland I did not speak any Polish, unusual yes?
grubas 12 | 1,390
24 Jul 2012 #16
Yes, I was a bit stupid, I wrote "United Kingdom" on the envelope.

Wouldn't call it stupid.I just wouldn'y blame USPS clerk if he/she couldn't figure it out if I wrote Polska instead of Poland on an envelope.

when I first came to Poland I did not speak any Polish, unusual yes?

Nah,not really.When I first came to the US I didn't speak much English either.
Avalon 4 | 1,068
24 Jul 2012 #17
Perhaps the government should warn tourists visiting Poland not to send postcards home, in case it confuses the poczta staff. Probably quicker to take it back and deliver it yourself anyway.
poland_
24 Jul 2012 #18
Time to assimilate and learn Polish Avalon...
grubas 12 | 1,390
24 Jul 2012 #19
...or just go back home where English is spoken.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
24 Jul 2012 #20
Glad you are enjoying your trip there. It's nice to read something positive for a change.
rybnik 18 | 1,461
24 Jul 2012 #21
Time to fire up the grill and crack a Zywiec!!!!!

Now you're talkin! LOL

Probably quicker to take it back and deliver it yourself anyway.

Now what's the fun in that?
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
24 Jul 2012 #22
Just moved to Gdynia from South Africa with wife and two kids.

I am glad to hear you like it, any ideas on what you might want to do in Poland.
jasondmzk
25 Jul 2012 #23
Don't worry about learning English. Anyone important or young will know it. If you wanna be understood by those that don't, just gesticulate wildly and speak as loudly and slowly as you can.
Avalon 4 | 1,068
25 Jul 2012 #24
Time to assimilate and learn Polish Avalon...

Already have,been here nine years now.

...or just go back home where English is spoken.

You have obviously not been to England for a long time, you would find it difficult to hear English out on the streets, Polish maybe, as they have all assimilated and speak English all the time.

I just wouldn'y blame USPS clerk if he/she couldn't figure it out if I wrote Polska instead of Poland on an envelope.

The clerk being an American I can believe you, but I am sure if you posted a letter in the UK to Polska, the post office clerk would not think that it was to be sent to Patagonia just because that starts with a P and ends with an A.
grubas 12 | 1,390
25 Jul 2012 #25
You have obviously not been to England for a long time, you would find it difficult to hear English out on the streets,

Better,I have never been to UK except for quick transfers at Heathrow.Twice I think.

Look,I know the difference between England,Scotland,Great Britain and United Kingdom and I know what UK stands for but this is very confusing for many people not only in Poland and it's a mistake to expect people to know.I can bet you a $100 that majority of Americans would have no clue what UK stands for.Some time ago waiting in a cashier line at my local Food Lion in Selbyville DE I overheard a conversation.There was a magazine rack with one magazine displaying on the front page something about royal family doing something in Scotland. American mother and teenage daughter,looking average Americans.The girl asked "Mom,where is Scotland?",her mother's answer "Oh,it's in England".True story.
Optimo 1 | 10
25 Jul 2012 #26
I am Scottish and have spent the last 3 months in the US. Alot of Americans have Scottish surnames and will tell you their grand parents or great grand parents are Scottish. But when you ask where in Scotland they came from they have no idea. One even said they were shot and killed when they came to the US.

I was waiting to board a plane at the airport and there was an American family who were going on a European cruises from Barcelona. The daughter asks ' Mom, is the cruise company American?' The mom replies 'I expect so' The daughter then asks if the people on the cruise ship will speak American as the ship was leaving from Barcelona.....

It was an 8 seater plane from a regional airport and we had to turn back on take off as the American Dad forgot his IPAD. Despite being reminded lots of times by the 8 security and airport workers not to leave belongings behind.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
25 Jul 2012 #27
Polish maybe, as they have all assimilated and speak English all the time.

About a quarter of the Poles I met in London/South East did not speak any better English than I speak Polish. Surprising for many Poles that I tell that to here, but true all the same.

As for Post Office queues in the UK - you would be lucky to find a branch where there isn't a queue of about 10 to 20 minutes in England, especially the main branches that issue vehicle licences.

Classic stage one James, long may it last.

A lot of truth in that.
Wroclaw Boy
25 Jul 2012 #28
I have never been to UK except for quick transfers at Heathrow.

Give it time grubas, you'll soon be seeing the fruits of life in the UK from your fellow Poles back during the holidays and driving around in there nice UK plated cars. I should think you could do quite well for yourself in the UK, whats your trade/profession?

If you don't mind me asking how long have you been back in Poland and hows it going? How long were you in the states for?

Not been to the post office yet. We have however torn hair out at Urzad Miasta trying to register car, get Meldunek'd, karta pobytus etc.

ahh the post office will be a breeze compared to that mate.
grubas 12 | 1,390
25 Jul 2012 #29
About a quarter of the Poles I met in London/South East did not speak any better English than I speak Polish.

Only a quarter is not bad if we take into account the number of Poles in the UK and the fact your government make it easy for foraigners (not only Poles) to get things done in their native language,though personally I don't think I could ever live in a country where I am not able to comunicate with natives in their language.It's like being handicaped,me thinks.

Give it time grubas, you'll soon be seeing the fruits of life in the UK from your fellow Poles back during the holidays and driving around in there nice UK plated cars.

Very few of those in town of Sieradz but I have seen some.Many more nice cars are PL plated yet everyone is saying that they don't have any money.

I should think you could do quite well for yourself in the UK,

Yeah,maybe but I am being put off by the anti Polish sentiment in the UK which I can understand but don't really feel like dealing with.Sure in the US from time to time I meet a person trying to talk down to me because I am a foraigner but that doesn't happen often and is compensated by Americans who make me feel very welcomed.I have met tons of Americans insisting that now I am an American because I live in the US,store clerks asking where am I from and then telling me "God bless you and thank you for coming to the US",girls from High Leigh college telling me that they apologize if someone ever gave me a hard time for being a foraigner and so on.Maybe it's because I am a cool dude but I doubt that would ever happen in the UK or maybe I am wrong as I have never really been in the UK.Also it would probably take me some time to switch from Amglish to English not to mention accent.In the US I already reached the level of proficiency where I am being understood and don't have to repeat myself when trying to get things done over the phone.
Wroclaw Boy
25 Jul 2012 #30
Very few of those in town of Sieradz but I have seen some.Many more nice cars are PL plated yet everyone is saying that they don't have any money.

Its more likely that you will see them in the West because it closer to drive, its not a pissing contest anyway - merely a personal observation.

Yeah,maybe but I am being put off by the anti Polish sentiment in the UK which I can understand but don't really feel like dealing with.

I'm not surprised you have that perception reading this forum but it just doesnt really happen in reality. I was concerned coming back after 6 years in Poland, as my wife is Polish and i knew that the mass immigration happened after we left the UK back in 2005. The Poles have integrated well, i was at a village fete last weekend and i could hear Polish people speaking a lot, they had a section where two old ladies were faced painting flags on childrens faces and a fair few kids had the Polish flag on their cheeks.

,store clerks asking where am I from and then telling me "God bless you and thank you for coming to the US",girls from High Leigh college telling me that they apologize if someone ever gave me a hard time for being a foraigner and so on.

and yet they themselves are the biggest nation of immigrants ever.


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