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Poland after one year of living here

Luke84 7 | 114
20 Jun 2016 #1
Hello everyone,

I hope everyone is doing just fine, so in 6 days I would be officially 1 year in Poland and as much as I would love to say that I like it here I cannot do so.

There is loads of things which I tried in Poland, I still don't have any friends at all, I'm a very communicative person and back in UK I had loads of friends. So here we have one negative for social experience, I have tried on several occasions however failed on every single one. Another one is food, I must say that I really liked Polish food until this become my daily basis food, not a fan of bakery in Poland, people probably will kill me by saying that, don't drink vodka or any alcohol so this didn't really matter for me, even Coca Cola have a different (weird, soapy) flavor in Poland...

Driving a car in Poland - not a fun at all, you can be killed - people on roads are very aggressive and I would say 3/10 drivers are OK on the roads, people are also not friendly at all, most of them have this angry face look, really depressing, not sure what caused that... Experience in shops while buy stuff - I have tried all sort of different shops and I must say that people are not nice there at all. Really sad but customer experience in Poland is often shocking and bad.

Weather- I suppose we cannot really complaint about weather - this is something we don't make so we cannot judge the country on that respect. I would say weather is OK for me, still prefer UK over Poland but this is more likely caused by me growing up there.

If you need a help of some sort of specialist like mechanic or any institution you will find that people HATE you with a passion. This were my feelings pretty much every time I was sorting or trying to sort something out. Everyone is OK to take your money and if they can RIP you off... Another thing is Polish people tend to be very aggressive and "they always know better than you", they have ideas above their station, sad but true. (again not everyone, but most of people I have meet in Poland are like that). Writing this stuff I must not forget about government, I think personally this is a joke...

I really hope that people treat that thread as solely mine experience, I don't want to say that Poland is rubbish country as there is 40 million people living here so for majority of them it's probably OK, I'm saying that from perspective of a foreign person in Poland. Financially I'm OK so please don't take it that I failed in live and trying to compromise something, this is not the case.

I would love to hear from all Polish and foreign people their thoughts of Poland and live here.

I have not made my last decision yet but it looks like I will be moving back home (yes even if I have a house in Poland+family this is not my home, I sadly cannot say it is...) Most likely I will be doing preparation for coming back to UK, problem is that wife doesn't want to go there as she hated it there, so really hard decision to make but end of the day happiness is most important in live. I hope that our marriage will not suffer from it, I'm not looking for adventures, my wife is telling me that she respect whatever decision I make and we would be able to spend holidays together etc. I don't really know what I'm doing as per writing this line I feel like a bad man who is leaving family alone. Trust me, she has her parents support so the only concern is the little one... Would be probably a "Skype daddy" for some time and hopefully before little one will go to school wife will decide to move back to UK... I've been super honest here, just said what is going through my mind, there is nothing 100% sure, I may stay here but for sake of my health and been miserable whole time... - is it really worth it?

All the best wishes for everyone who spent their time reading this!

rozumiemnic 8 | 3,849
20 Jun 2016 #2
is it really worth it?

if your wife and child are there, then yes. You should give it at least another year.
How could you talk so casually about being a 'Skype daddy'?
Dougpol1 32 | 2,673
20 Jun 2016 #3
in 6 days I would be officially 1 year in Poland and as much as I would love to say that I like it here I cannot do so.

Wow. No friends? Are you sure? Depends what you mean by "friends" of course.....
Surely it can't be that bad? You've got a wife and nipper right? That's tops for starters:) And where do you live in Poland? If it's some backwater and you are from London there's your problem right there.

I'm from Nottingham, and lived in Katowice - two very similar towns, in terms of sport, beer, hills quite close by, friendly outgoing people, so I was basically sound:)
20 Jun 2016 #4
{Luke84 - I would love to say that I like it here I cannot do so}

You seem to hate Poland and Poles with a passion. One question: are you fluent in Polish?
OP Luke84 7 | 114
20 Jun 2016 #5
Thank you very much for joining this discussion. I may indeed try for another year, my worries are that my UK life in the mean time will be completely vanished and I will find myself to be not fit for any of these countries :) I can see how much I suffered by being here, again I was really optimistic and happy guy when I was back then. Here I really feel separated, it's like (probably not like at all) being jailed. I cannot feel that freedom here, when I smile to people and say hello they look at me like at some sort of con artist, this is the feeling which goes through my head. Obviously wife is very happy here, she has what she really wanted, her family together. I really tried many times to find some sort of connection, I was able even to find a friend, English gentleman, member of this forum but sadly he died few months ago. That was another shock for me. Again, I feel isolated, going to UK this week for couple of weeks, will rent out the hotel room, rent a car and visit some of my friends there to see how they keeping. I'm going there also for work reasons but this is really 3 days out of 14 I will be there.... Again, thank you very much for such a quick response.

On other token why people here (on forum, internet) are much nicer than people in real life...

Hi Religio,

No that is not true at all. I can assure you that I don't hate anyone at all, but have this feeling that hate is coming from others... Yes I can speak Polish and I believe it's quite good.

Hi Dougpol1,

Thank you for replying. Sadly but yes, no friends... Of course I have wife and child and on top of it I have my work which I tend to spent more time in nowadays...

I live in Chrzanow, this is right between Katowice and Krakow. You would say perfect location but this isn't a nice town at all :)

Sounds like you are having a good time in Poland, how long you are here for and how your first year looked like... Maybe I just need more time, have more distance for myself and for other people. Who knows, I have tried several times to find any friends here, maybe they though that I'm too open or maybe they didn't like a smiley lad so much :)

Skype daddy

Yes - this is internet for you which cannot show real feelings, actually when I say Skype daddy - tears are running to my eyes, I'm not a monster and I know how bad this sounds but again I'm really lost right now
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,849
20 Jun 2016 #6
I do understand Luke, and I am not trying to make you feel even worse, but if u are 'really lost' it is nothing compared to how your kid will feel only being able to see his daddy on Skype.

Interesting what you say about 'smiley lad' it is true Polish people are less 'smiley' if there is no reason for it, and might be suspicious of random smiling, if u see what I mean.. In fact I tend to agree more an more with that as I get older.

Is there a bar or similar that you could make your 'local'?
OP Luke84 7 | 114
20 Jun 2016 #7
Hi Rozumiemnic,

Child is going to be 2 years old in October, again this is going to sound terrible but she will probably not feel much difference. When she will become older then this will be a real problem... Exactly - they must have some suspicion but why again having a bad feelings towards it... To be honest nothing local here, apart of church but sadly I'm not believer...
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,849
20 Jun 2016 #8
she will probably not feel much difference.

yes she will, don't put yourself down.
OP Luke84 7 | 114
20 Jun 2016 #9
So probably is better to stay and suffer... It's really hard that we cannot get some middle ground like 6 months here, 6 months there, I can replicate pretty much what we have here, I can still purchase a house outside London with a nice garden. We have two cars - can take one down there or even drive there.... Problem is that she doesn't want to leave Poland, she has only family, she don't have work or friends either... Well she meet with some of her "old" friends before when she was trying to find some people for us but this failed too...
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,849
20 Jun 2016 #10
You know what, right now she really needs her family around her, with a little one of under 2, and they both need you as well.

What you could do is start planting the seeds of ideas in her head, now, and she might feel quite different in a year, if she doesn't have work or friends locally.

Perhaps you could start talking about how wonderful UK infant schools are, for example...:)

What was it she didnt like about the UK? was she in London?
OP Luke84 7 | 114
20 Jun 2016 #11
Yes, she was in London, not sure, probably the fact that her English was not great, she understand 100% but when she talks she is doing loads of errors and she is afraid of that. I told her many times to not worry but she is just afraid of what people can think about her... This is my analogy of that problem anyway. When I ask her what you didn't like back then - she says - everything... Strange as when we were there she seemed happy...
Lyzko 31 | 7,844
20 Jun 2016 #12
Luke aka "Łukasz":-)

How much has your Polish improved since the move?
Dougpol1 32 | 2,673
20 Jun 2016 #13

Yes Luke, I know Chrzanow very well. Lovely area for an old boy who likes collecting mushrooms/hiking/sitting in the cafe in the local countryside.

For you, boring as hell I would think. If you are a sportsman, join a club. The lads there are mad on that sort of thing; it's a bit cliquey you know, and religious too.

It's the old "Krakow empire" land, and they can be standoffish and a bit far up their own arses, but what they are actually doing is minding their own business.

Here in Tri-City people are different (for good and for bad) Do you drink beer? As Roz says, try that if you do. But obviously avoid the places that are skin/nationalist. To answer your question, I have ).lways lived in cities here - don't like cities especially, but have alot of drinking buddies and ex-students as pals. My experience is that your missus wont be too thrilled about that lifestyle.......:))

Whatever you enjoyed doing in England, do it in Poland too, if you can (as long as it's not going to culturally freak out the locals). Poland can be very nice indeed, especially as you sound sort of OK financially? Sorry not to be of much help. Anybody on here will tell you that my glass is always half empty too:)) But cheer up! It's the Polish summer, when the living is easy:)
OP Luke84 7 | 114
20 Jun 2016 #14
Hi Lyzko,

It has improved but surely if I would be surrounded by Polish friends it would be even better. Right now I only speak with my wife and her family, occasionally with people at shops etc..
dolnoslask 6 | 3,074
20 Jun 2016 #15
"Anybody on here will tell you that my glass is always half empty too:"

Not tonight Doug some very good advice given there

I found that I had to go out of my way to join in with the community when I moved to Poland 3 years ago, don't forget the people will find it hard to communicate and socialize with someone from abroad many poles are not used to it, especially in the sticks even today when I speak English to the wife in the supermarket everyone turns round and looks.

Your wife and her family should be helping you here, try finding your local community center, get involved and join in , fund raising, local voluntary fire brigade whatever... reach out as I did you might be surprised.
20 Jun 2016 #16
I am a native Pole and have lived in Poland most of my life, and I can say that your description of the country is very accurate :)

The reason for this is that Poles hav e lived under communism and post-cummunism for 70 years, and it did have a lot of negative impact on the society.
dolnoslask 6 | 3,074
20 Jun 2016 #17
" negative impact on the society."

Yeah I have noticed that , some values from the old Poland seem to have been lost,

Soviet social engineering has left its mark on my people , we are and will continue to move forward.
Lyzko 31 | 7,844
20 Jun 2016 #18
I too was in Poland for a very short while, but well over twenty-odd years ago! Although this was post-Communism collapse, similar impressions which Luke has shared occurred to me as well. Often my interlocutors would turn away ever so slightly if I so much as smiled, even faintly, in their direction.

What impressed me though, as had been my experience in other European countries, namely Germany and part of southern Scandinavia, was a degree of seriousness and candor, supported by well educated responses to questions, which, as an American, I found MOST refreshing indeed:-)
20 Jun 2016 #19
"we are and will continue to move forward."

It's quite true, in fact.. Poles in theory may become in the next 10-15 years a powerwful and prosperous country once again but only if they obey God's laws and follow the instructions of Jesus Christ directed to the the Polish nurse: Rozalia Celiakowna: Enthrone Jesus Christ as the King of Poland.

If they don't do it , they will perish under Russian or German occupation..

I know it's a little bit off-topic, but this seems to be a general discussion on Poland and its citizens and their behaviour, life-style, etc...
dolnoslask 6 | 3,074
20 Jun 2016 #20
"perish under Russian or German occupation."

Errm after 3 years of living here I think we do not have to worry about the Germans or the Russians anymore, we just need to focus on building a strong economy.

errm not sure off topic
Lyzko 31 | 7,844
20 Jun 2016 #21
Yet Germany and Russia haven't somehow "stopped" being your neighbors, even if the War has been over seventy-five years and counting! Poland continues to depend heavily on both her nearest states, admittedly much more than vice-versa:-)

Not having been back to Poland (Szczecin) since around the mid-'90's, I nonetheless follow Polish news religiously every day, reading the "Wprost", "Gazeta Wyborcza" or whatever I can lay my hands on.
dolnoslask 6 | 3,074
20 Jun 2016 #22
"Not having been back to Poland (Szczecin) since around the mid-'90's,"

Why don't you pop back, bags of fun here

follow Polish news religiously every day,

nice to know you still keep in touch, proves your soul lies in Poland.
20 Jun 2016 #23
"Wprost", "Gazeta Wyborcza"

Wyborcza is basically owned by Soros now, so every Polish patriot should stay away from it.

The only reliable newspaper now is Gazeta Warszawska..
Lyzko 31 | 7,844
20 Jun 2016 #24
....don't forget the late 'Lolek' Wojtyła's "Tygodnik Powszechny", very parochially Catholic, so I'm told, but solid reading!
Paulina 12 | 2,062
21 Jun 2016 #25
When I ask her what you didn't like back then - she says - everything...

This sounds exactly like you in this thread ;D So, yeah, you don't like it here, she doesn't like it in the UK - looks like you guys have a problem...

Luke, it looks like you're suffering from a major culture shock :) Have you ever lived in a different country? People in Poland are different, they are accustomed to their ways and behaviour, food, etc. since they grew up here and I'm sure they don't realise how you view them.

Maybe those links will help a bit:


The things you should know:

- people in Poland don't hate you and they aren't out to get you ;)))
- they're not angry at you, just assume we were born with such faces and we can't do anything about it ;D
- we don't smile randomly at strangers here
- we're not very open and we're rather shy, it takes a while for us to warm up to people, to make friends (especially "real friends"/"good friends")

I was able even to find a friend, English gentleman, member of this forum but sadly he died few months ago. That was another shock for me.

Oh, I'm sure this didn't help...

Chrzanów sounds like a very small city, almost a town so I can't blame you for being bored, etc. Maybe try to go to Kraków from time to time, I'm sure there's more food choice there, etc.

Do you work in Chrzanów? Don't you have any work colleagues? What about men in your wife's family - couldn't you hang out with them a bit?

Btw, letting your frustration out on this forum probably can help a bit, sharing experiences with "fellow immigrants", etc. ;)

Also, maybe find some hobby, buy a dog - dog owners sometimes chat up each other, animals brake the ice ;)
Lyzko 31 | 7,844
21 Jun 2016 #26
I tend to agree, Paulina! Luke may be no different from many Anglos, as well as Americans, whose ethnocentrism causes them to measure the foreigner by their own yardstick, not realizing that the experiences which shaped Poland are markedly dissimilar from those of the UK or the US:-)

Having lived in Germany prior to visiting Poland, I was already long used to a greater degree of directness and self-confidence than many Anglos are comfortable with! If, for instance, a Pole thinks their English is better than your Polish, by golly, they'll tell you, and often in no uncertain terms!

Moral of a European experience: If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen!
Paulina 12 | 2,062
21 Jun 2016 #27
I..not realizing that the experiences which shaped Poland are markedly dissimilar from those of the UK or the US:-)

Spot on, Lyzko :) I think it's the core of the problem with the usual complaints coming from Westerners here, probably not only the British and Americans, plus, I have an impression that many British haven't lived in other countries before and it's the first serious culture shock they experience.
Lyzko 31 | 7,844
21 Jun 2016 #28
You betcha, hence all this Brexit rubbish! The traditional, button-down Brit honestly believes the whole world revolves around their (LONG LOST) Empire and believes every non-Brit to be culturally disadvantaged:-)

What a joke (and the joke's on themLOL).
jon357 67 | 17,648
21 Jun 2016 #29
The traditional, button-down Brit honestly believes the whole world revolves around their (LONG LOST) Empire

Actually Lyzko, such people (perhaps I'm one) don't believe that at all. Those who think things like that aren't the "traditional, button-down Brit", they're actually the people who neither know nor care about anything except misplaced emotion. In short, Trump voters.
Lyzko 31 | 7,844
21 Jun 2016 #30
Trump aka Brexit supporters.... am I right?

As far as Poland and culture shock are concerned, the fact is that Anglo-American culture places considerable emphasis on accentuating the positive like a bunch of incorrigible little Polyannas, "If you've nothing nice to say, don't say anything!"-type thinking, and generations of us have been inculcated with same, through our parents, movies, popular jingles etc.., so that frequently a European encounter can feel like cold snap in the face with a wet towel!!!

Anglos have to learn to listen sometimes to WHAT their European partner is saying instead of always HOW it's being communicated:-) Their bark IS worse than their bite most of the time and they simply resent Western-style condescension, that's all.

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