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My own thoughts about life in Poland (have lived here for two years)


Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Aug 2010 #31
Delph, the same problem existed in Scotland but most didn't take off to foreign climes, certainly not on the same scale as Poles moved. We had 21,000 graduates out of work. It was reality for them and there were just no jobs. I remember my friend's strife when he came back from Japan. He got management exp there and had his postgrad MSc. He couldn't find anything and had he not studied again, he would've been doing work not befitting of his character.

You can't blame the Poles for taking off. Not being able to 'hack it' is a bit unfair. Many were just uneducated and, thus, at an instant disadvantage. Minimal prospects are better than no prospects at all.
zetigrek
20 Aug 2010 #32
Racism and Anti-Semitism are both appallingly embraced. Just speak about race for a few minutes, even to an educated person and you're bound to hear some derisory comment about N*****s or 'czarnuch', gypsies or Jews. Jedwabne anyone?? There is also a class system, as elitist as anything in operation in Britain, America or Western Europe. So many times I have heard about "stupid people living in the village".

Yes, polish ppl are racist, homophobic and antisemitic pretty often and certainly its much bigger problem than elsewhere. But mind that for Polish ppl being racist you can blame... western media and popculture! If you ask why some ppl don't like blacks, muslims etc they give you an example of New York ghettos or cars in fire in the outskirts of Paris...
Kasha83 - | 8
20 Aug 2010 #33
Kaczynski was right to a degree with such a comment though - where's the sense in the public funding people through 5 year degrees if all they do is move to the UK to work in low paid employment?

Would such situation have taken place if there were any/attractive (not saying lucrative as it'd be far too much to expect) offers in Poland?? - again Seanus is right ' Minimal prospects are better than no prospects at all'

An assumption that these people's work is irrelevant to their profession...of course a bunch of them certainly does have irrelevant job but let's not generalise ...ooooo and one more thing...majority of this 'some' - who are more likely to come back, works in such fields as building, construction, catering, etc (low qualified - please note, I do not mean to offend anybody ).... and I really doubt if the experience they gain abroad differs so much from Polish standards that it will immediately label them as unemployed...after all, brick laying is the same everywhere, isn't it?

PS. Apologies for any mistakes and brevity but I am learning and still a lot of place for improvement.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
20 Aug 2010 #34
Some things are very expensive in Poland; eg. electronic equipment, jeans etc. But the biggest problem is the low salaries.

Many things are cheaper in Germany, even though the average German salary is significantly higher than in PL.
Avalon 4 | 1,068
20 Aug 2010 #35
Kasha83

"after all, brick laying is the same everywhere, isn’t it?"

No
smurf 39 | 1,981
20 Aug 2010 #36
f8ck in hell

great post OP
nails on heads and so on.

although you do live in Warsaw and Warsaw sucks ;-P

I've only been here a year and it's been pretty hard at time, got a dog coz I was so bored and lonely, ye're a hard bunch of people to become friends with,

you're all open once you get to know people the problem is nobody once to get to know people once they're over 22 and, probably, already married.

I hope the all the money that comes form the football will make a difference fourfourtwo.com/news/restofeurope/61477/default.aspx
and they'll invest it in roads and better infrastructure
Wroclaw Boy
20 Aug 2010 #37
Poland is one of the most materialistic societies I have encountered. Far more so than any other 'western' country. Deny it all you like, but it is true.

I would say the UK is worse.

Let's take cosmetics - any aftershave, perfume, face cream etc and you can comfortably double what you would expect to pay in western Europe. Razor blades?! Jesus. Electronics? Well, we'll add another 20 - 50% at least. High street brands? It varies, but certainly Diesel jeans are at least twice as expensive, Levis too. Benetton, Esprit, Mothercare etc all far more expensive than elsewhere.

Its still way cheaper here in the long term for items which you buy daily such as food. Levis are cheaper here than the UK. Razor blades hardly any difference.

The only electrical item that ive witnessed massively more expensive are Mac computers, ive bought a nice LG 42" TV and loads of other items totally in-line with European prices, perhaps 10% higher at most.

Media Market is an expensive electronics oulet, best to shop around.

Fuel is cheaper around 15% compared to the UK for 95 unleaded.

Clinque Facescrub for men - Sephora 149.99 zl. Boots GBP 12.99

Come on man you actually use that crap? Its a luxury item over here theres not a market for it of course it will be pricey. Polish men have taken the mickey out of me for using lypsil in winter, dread to think what theyd say about expensive face cream and Clinique facial scrubs.

My girlfriend's dad is director of a neurology department in a hospital. His remuneration? 5000 zl a month. Were it not for private sector work he would not be able to afford to live.

Yeh right, his private practice probably brings in around 6000 PLN / month not to mention all the bribes. If he cant live on 5000 PLN / month theres something wrong anyway.

Some of the other points are viable though.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
20 Aug 2010 #38
Ah - for these people, it made perfect sense to go abroad and they shouldn't be criticised. I'm criticising more the ones who graduated in - for instance - "economics and management" and instead of staying in Poland, they took off to work as a waitress in the UK. Those ones are at a distinct disadvantage now. But the manual workers, especially from the ones from a hopeless part of the country? They did the right thing.

I've only been here a year and it's been pretty hard at time, got a dog coz I was so bored and lonely, ye're a hard bunch of people to become friends with,
you're all open once you get to know people the problem is nobody once to get to know people once they're over 22 and, probably, already married.

Ah, come on, there's still plenty of people out there in their late 20's who are single. Quite a few of my friends are like this - yes, female ones too!

Yeh right, his private practice probably brings in around 6000 PLN / month not to mention all the bribes. If he cant live on 5000 PLN / month theres something wrong anyway.

Director of a neurology department? He's bound to be raking in the bribes!

Actually, the existence of bribery within the Polish system has to be one of the most vile, repulsive things about this country. They've managed to all but stamp it out from the police (at least at the low level!) and the driving examinations - why not health?
Wroclaw Boy
20 Aug 2010 #39
I've only been here a year and it's been pretty hard at time, got a dog coz I was so bored and lonely, ye're a hard bunch of people to become friends with,
you're all open once you get to know people the problem is nobody once to get to know people once they're over 22 and, probably, already married.

Its not hard in my experience, just get down the local Irish bar and start chatting, hook up with expats, chat up the bar maids.
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
20 Aug 2010 #40
They've managed to all but stamp it out from the police

Not really, most senior officers still must pay a "special" monthly fee to their superiors. Well this was in practise with the Krakow Police anyway.
zetigrek
20 Aug 2010 #41
Its not hard in my experience, just get down the local Irish bar and start chatting, hook up with expats, chat up the bar maids.

But he is talking about Poles. And I agree... but there is a method for Poles. You have to make them drunk... then everyone become more outgoing ;)

smurf don't you have a girlfriend?

When I tell people that I listen, from time to time, to Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, The Four Tops etc etc, I get slated for siding with those nig*ers.

wow, who do you hang around with, Sean? Most ppl born in 80s were brought up on hip hop music, so it's quite extraordinary to be bashed because of Marvin Gaye...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Aug 2010 #42
I know what smurf is getting at. I have noticed that Poles, more than other Europeans I have been with, have wanted to switch it back to Polish ASAP. This is their God-given right, of course, but they tend to want to gibber after beer and not cater for their guests. I tend to mask the fact that I can speak Polish in order to keep things in English as long as possible. If it is only Poles, I will speak in Polish.
zetigrek
20 Aug 2010 #43
Oh yes, and materialism runs rampant. I've never encountered a more money-obsessed society. The Japanese virtually never mentioned it!! It's embarrassing!

well we didn't have opportunity to enjoy real wealth so we are not bored with materialism yet... but maybe when we reach the level of 2 bmw per family maybe then we will start to complain about materialistic world...

If it is only Poles, I will speak in Polish.

That's why you are so good in polish ;)

wow, who do you hang around with, Sean? Most ppl born in 80s were brought up on hip hop music, so it's quite extraordinary to be bashed because of Marvin Gaye...

Actually you know what? I can bet that most of your friends are in their 30s, am I wrong?
Paulina 13 | 3,467
20 Aug 2010 #44
but maybe when we reach the level of 2 bmw per family maybe then we will start to complain about materialistic world...

LOL

Good one ;)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Aug 2010 #45
True, a very good point! The instincts were suppressed for so long and we have witnessed an explosion.

Good at polish? What, Kiwi? ;)

What friends? ;)

Gliwice is conservative, remember?
zetigrek
20 Aug 2010 #46
Good at polish? What, Kiwi? ;)

Don't be so modest... I have an impression that you really feel the language... Of course I don't know how do you deal with your "si" vs "sz" ;P

What friends? ;)

Oh I forgot you keep your wife in the basement while you in the other hand are chained to your computer... You are still young ppl go party a lil bit! ;)

Gliwice is conservative, remember?

never been there
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Aug 2010 #47
Scots tend not to be able to produce the difference between cz and ci and that can lead to problems. I cannot say CZ as hard as Poles do. Czipa and cipa, for example, or picza and picia. I also have problems with Szczyrk. I always say it too weakly.

Hmm...partying is such a transitory thing ;)

It's nothing to write home about here.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
20 Aug 2010 #48
What made me laugh about this thread is one of my most respected posters agreed to a greater degree with the OPs opinions yet my least respected poster thought it was joke..one is Polish is the other is an immigrant to Poland...I Know whose opinion I trust (the former lived in England for some years so has an alternative perspective)..

Cudos the the OP for being so articulate and level headed in his approach to writing..I enjoyed reading this and I hope he returns to respond to counter some of the less inteligent responses.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Aug 2010 #49
I think the language was more tempered than Aussie Sheila's. He did make some valid points that really needed to be said. Delph has been here for a while but I'll happily take him up on some statements he makes. I would have agreed with him some time ago but Poland has turned a page and not for the better (in the cost sense, I mean). The advent of the Euro will only compound peoples' problems when it finally comes around.
zetigrek
20 Aug 2010 #50
Czipa

that one I wouldn't pronounce either... and none of Poles would ;)

PS why such examples you have used? ;)

Actually its hard for me imagine why do you have such problems to prouncounce it if you hear the difference between those sounds...

Hmm...partying is such a transitory thing ;)

but you can met ppl who will make you life a bit nicer :)
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
20 Aug 2010 #51
(in the cost sense, I mean).

Ive only holiday'd Poland but 2 out the 3 times Ive stayed in an apartment and in comparable terms..buying ham off a deli counter not pre-packed sweaty stuff)..its almost the same as the UK..purchased bread and other basics..butter ect and (I dont want to go out for breakfast its a peaceful time of the day) so got a taste of how expensive life is in comparison to earnings...I was there when the zl was a good rate too in summer 2006.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Aug 2010 #52
Zeti, because they are those that I must be careful with ;) The funniest was an Australian female who tried to teach the students how to say 'cheaper'. She couldn't work out why they were laughing when I explained to her that 'cipa' (the Oz pron) is funny for them.

I used to confuse ruchać and ruszać a lot to.

The problem with trying to save money here is that the cheaper options are often unhealthy. For example, I can pick up 4 big bread rolls for around 2PLN with some pate. 3PLN in total but a heckuva lot of fat in there.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
20 Aug 2010 #53
buying ham off a deli counter not pre-packed sweaty stuff)..its almost the same as the UK..purchased bread and other basics..butter ect and (I dont want to go out for breakfast its a peaceful time of the day) so got a taste of how expensive life is in comparison to earnings...

Almost the same? No way, unless you're eating the cheapest stuff that isn't comparable in quality at all. I'm looking now - and it seems that Tesco Value bread is about a comparable price to the price for fresh bread here.

Ham off the deli counter? The median price here is about 13-14zl for a kilo for fresh stuff. Again - Tesco Value price in the UK is a bit higher - about 17zl or so at current exchange rates.

Butter? Tesco value stuff comes in at 4 pounds a kilo. Here, the stuff I buy is about half that price - and it's not the cheap stuff either.

The crucial thing to remember is that in cities in Poland, earnings are much, much higher than people will let you believe. The thing that people often confuse is that for new workers, wages are often really dire - but they increase rapidly.

(for Seanus - it seems that ESL wages have pretty much peaked)

Something that does seem very common in Poland - people will tell you their salary freely, and complain about it - but hardly anyone will admit to just how much they make "on the side". I know someone who makes about 5000zl a month netto as an IT developer. What he doesn't tell the vast majority of people is that he also takes home another 2000zl a month from freelance projects - which are taxed at 9.5%.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
20 Aug 2010 #54
Of course, you know better and I and everyone else is a liar..okay you win..I made it all up..damn..It must be so cool to walk in such enlightened shoes and know what everyone else paid for their goods...I dont recall telling you where I shopped or what city I shopped in..back in ya box idot!
zetigrek
20 Aug 2010 #55
I used to confuse ruchać and ruszać a lot to.

Seanus you've already proved that everything associates for you with sex... (pamiętasz lody? ;D )
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Aug 2010 #56
Inflation has gone up and my salary (which I can't state) has gone down. Still, I'm happy to have a job here as I'd have to head back to the UK were I to lose this position. My Britam wage was lucrative but let's keep earnings out of this discussion.

Eating out here is expensive. I remember paying 16PLN for a tiny bowl of soup once and can also remember feeling so peeved, as an Aberdonian (you know it, delph), that I headed straight to the deli and bought a cheap as chips 'Cup a Soup' from Knorrs. Ahhh, instant relief for my stingy soul ;)

Zeti, it just so happens that those are the problematic points I have. I have a problem with those because ruch is movement so I associate ruchać with movement. Simple? :)
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
20 Aug 2010 #57
and my salary (which I can't state) has gone down.

It might be worth your time to go freelance Seanus - it would seem that in Warsaw, people are rapidly going towards freelance natives rather than schools because the freelancers can give them what they want. I've done the same - and it seems that people really do value the flexibility. Of course, they pay for it - but I've found that offering them cheaper, fixed time/day classes or more expensive flexible classes really does do the trick.

It's all about the invoice ;)

Eating out here is expensive. I remember paying 16PLN for a tiny bowl of soup once and can also remember feeling so peeved, as an Aberdonian (you know it, delph), that I headed straight to the deli and bought a cheap as chips 'Cup a Soup' from Knorrs. Ahhh, instant relief for my stingy soul ;)

Something I find here is that anywhere that aspires to be "something" is usually terrible and priced at a high level. Yet - there's a fantastic Italian restaurant here where you can have a great feed (and drinks) for about 60-70PLN for two. But they don't advertise themselves very well, and there's nothing Italian about the place - but the food is fantastic.

Mind you, just who are the idiots paying for Sushi here? I look at Japanese prices in comparison and can't help but laugh ;)

(a little eyeopener - apparently the going rate for English teachers in Switzerland is 290zl an hour!)
McCoy 27 | 1,269
20 Aug 2010 #58
i admire you people, youre damn heroes of the internet. another year, same bollocks, new trolls but some of you still enjoy wasting their life and getting trough the same smelly shite all over again, and again, and again ... world changes, pf remain the same. (:
Seanus 15 | 19,706
20 Aug 2010 #59
I can freely enter into contracts, delph, and have done so. However, being just that, they come to an end. I had a lucrative CPE contract with a company here :) My energy has dipped a bit lately so that's why I'm sticking in 3rd gear. I can increase my private base quite easily and could make a killing. I might look for teaching in the polytechnic when I feel that I am in tip-top condition to do it justice.

Sushi is overpriced everywhere you go, delph. Berlin, Budapest and Edinburgh were evidence enough of that for me. My wife makes it which spares me the need to fork out through the nose. Do you know why it's overpriced, delph? I mean other than the import costs.

Poland really isn't changing that much in a dynamic way, McCoy (not visibly). At least not in little Gliwice ;)
McCoy 27 | 1,269
21 Aug 2010 #60
Poland really isn't changing that much in a dynamic way, McCoy

you would be suprised

At least not in little Gliwice ;)

yeap, thats your problem. move your lazy addicted arse from that shithole from time to time


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