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


delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
21 Aug 2010 #61
I might look for teaching in the polytechnic when I feel that I am in tip-top condition to do it justice.

Nice, stable employment if you can get it, I suppose - I'd probably lose my rag with the bureaucracy, but from what everyone says, it's a great gig in terms of stable, regular employment.

Do you know why it's overpriced, delph? I mean other than the import costs

No, how come? I assume it's the old case of "people think it's expensive, so let's make it expensive", but you're the Japanologist here ;)

Poland really isn't changing that much in a dynamic way, McCoy (not visibly). At least not in little Gliwice ;)

I'll tell you where it is changing quite rapidly - it would seem that the State bureaucracy is diminishing (and with it, less jobs for young people) - but the same people are now finding jobs in State-funded NGO's. The amount of people I've met with worthless non-jobs recently has been staggering - and their wages aren't too bad, either!
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Aug 2010 #62
McCoy, I sometimes do Zabrze ;) ;) Would be surprised if there was, yes ;0

The bureaucracy would be manageable as the incentive to not get it wrong is high :)

It's because they don't operate the kaiten-zushi places (conveyor belts). I loved Marine Polis in Japan, they had plates of sushi for dirt cheap. You just waited for it to come round and hope that some other guy wouldn't grab it before it reached you :) Sushi restaurants go by the piece or set of 3 and that stings!

Tusk did try to streamline bureaucracy here but he didn't do a thorough enough sweep. They will still try and extend procedures beyond the stated timeline. I even texted the new native today and he cannot work until he gets his card. I told him that they would extend it somehow and, true enough, they did. He has to wait another week and I predicted it quite easily.
Ironside 51 | 11,339
21 Aug 2010 #63
Society. I have never seen such endemic racism and homophobia in a society.

except quoted part I do agree with you ...
plk123 8 | 4,148
21 Aug 2010 #64
And they're the ones who will have nothing to come back to - while they work as waitresses in Western Europe. Let's be honest here - the best graduates don't need to leave Poland at all, because there's so much opportunity here. Actually, the ones that left are very often the ones that can't hack it in Poland - or they simply want to earn a lot of money by Polish standards quickly.

you just admitted that wages suck bad... opportunity? really? i really couldn't find sh.t and i am in engineering/construction field.. there were a couple of "opportunities" but i don't know if i could have survived on such meager pay..

and someone mentioned the roads in Irq and Afgh being better.. lol.. right.. rofl.. they are not, i assure you..

move to the UK to work in low paid employment?

wait a minute, you just said they move to make quick cash.. didn't you? and maybe being a waiter actually pays more in UK then a degreed job in PL..

someone who went to the UK to wash dishes is not going to be at any particular advantage at all.

who would think that that kind of experience would be relevant? i doubt someone with a uni degree..

Many were just uneducated and, thus, at an instant disadvantage.

shouldn't it be that way though? seems natural to me.

No

no? lol

and they'll invest it in roads and better infrastructure

poland got a boat load of EU funds for infrastructure.. and they are buikding the expressways, no? secondary roads are secondary.. it'll take a while

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...

besides, reggae is big so was or maybe still is rap.. definitely more blacks make that kind of music then whites..

I used to confuse ruchać and ruszać a lot to.

they mean the same thing.. movement.. lol

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

Japan is surrounded by seas and sushi is their thing..

------------

you know, this thread is actually one of the most objective ones here, especially as of late.. good job OP.
poland_
21 Aug 2010 #65
I've lived here for two years, and to be honest, I do not like it

Pubben, Poland can be a very frustrating country,especially after the first two years, most foreigners come here with pre-conceived ideas about how they are going to change Poland. After the first two years the frustration kicks in and you realize you are banging your head against the wall. The system is created to be difficult and the first thing to do is find your way around. The reason Poles like the UK,USA or other counties is because the system is easy and based on honesty.

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".

I would agree with this, in Poland it is all your contacts,things are not shared out evenly but in all countries it is the same. You are living in krakow the vast majority originate from the the villages around the city or the mountains. The class system in Poland is made up of three things your family name,position of power and money.

Which brings me to my next point. Wages. Stupidly low. The average wage is 3200 zl per month (2009 Polish government statistics) now this is the average of everyone in the country, from the very highest earners to the lowest. Anecdotally, most people seem to earn around 1500 - 2000 per month. Starting a career is a joke: "So we really like you, what's the lowest you're prepared to work for?"

The salary is the salary and Poland is not a country for STARTING a career, you either come here with one of the international companies or bring your own investment capital. You have missed the boat if you expected the streets to be paved with gold.

First and foremost, I often hear about just how materialistic and greedy western people are, particularly people from the US or UK. Pot. Kettle. Black. I have never seen such a materialistic society in my life

The need to show is very much alive and kicking in PL. I have noticed that PL circa 2010 is similar to UK circa 1995, very much a yuppies-ville. There is so much pressure on the young people today from advertising to media and social stigma. I recently over-heard a conversation between two people in their mid twenties. One said to the other, "a man needs money otherwise he is not a man,you cannot live off a women,you have got to do whatever you do to get money" Now I do not necessarily agree with this comment,but that is the mentality out there.

Pubben it seems you are quite frustrated at the moment hang in there, it can only get better.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
21 Aug 2010 #66
Delphiandomine wrote:

Something I find here is that anywhere that aspires to be "something" is usually terrible and priced at a high level.
Mind you, just who are the idiots paying for Sushi here? I look at Japanese prices in comparison and can't help but laugh ;)

I mean COME ON MAN! Have you not been flaming me for months because I say that ethnic food not only sucks here but is grossly overpriced??? EVERYONE has seen you do it, SEVERAL times. What's been your come back? That I can't afford to eat in these restaurants, therefore, I must not know what I'm talking about.

rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiggghhhht.

Your hard-on for this country is uncanny. You will say absolutely ANYTHING to make it look better than what it is, even if it means completely contradicting yourself.

Amathyst wrote:

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!

It's amazing, isn't it Amathyst? A 25 year old kid with less than 2 years' experience in Poland, lives RENT-FREE, doesn't speak Polish, yet seems to know everything and anything about Poland and Polish people.

He's like........like.......the Yoda of Poland! Truly a remarkable human being.
poland_
21 Aug 2010 #67
You will say absolutely ANYTHING to make it look better than what it is, even if it means completely contradicting

When someone is commenting on a country they are focusing on their personal experience, the experience of two people can be so different, just because it is good for one,it does not have to be good for the other and vice/versa.
wildrover 98 | 4,451
21 Aug 2010 #68
Poland can be a very frustrating country,

Trying to live like an Englishman in Poland just does not work..you have to learn to live and think like a Pole , which is not at all easy...

Otherwise you just wind up being disapointed , frustrated and angry , and you end up hating the place...

Go with the flow , and try to just enjoy the great things about Poland..there are many...!
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Aug 2010 #69
Can you elaborate on that post please, wildrover!? What did you have in mind?
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
21 Aug 2010 #70
The system is created to be difficult

The salary is the salary and Poland is not a country for STARTING a career, you either come here with one of the international companies or bring your own investment capital.

in Poland it is all about what contacts you have

After living and studying 3 years in Poland, I agree with this. But it's not unique to PL.

The class system in Poland is made up of three things your family name,position of power and money.

The same as in all Western countries.

The need to show off is very much alive and kicking in PL. I have noticed that PL circa 2010 is similar to UK circa 1995, very much a yuppies-ville. There is so much pressure on the young people today from advertising to media and social stigma.

This is very true.

Trying to live like an Englishman in Poland just does not work..you have to learn to live and think like a Pole

Also many young Poles think it's difficult to be "different" in Poland. You must be just like everybody else to be accepted.

However, things are slowly changing.
wildrover 98 | 4,451
21 Aug 2010 #71
Can you elaborate on that post please, wildrover!? What did you have in mind?

Poland is very different from the UK...if you come here expecting Poland to be like the UK with the same ways of doing things then you will quickly become frustrated , as nothing will work the way you expect it to , you will find it hard to make Polish friends , as you will come across as stuck up and unfriendly untill you know how to interact with Polish people , and if you don,t speak the language or have a Polish partner you will almost certainly fail here.....

Its all about adapting and fitting in , if you are not able to do that then you will have a sorry time in Poland...

I am lucky in that i can adapt to anything...if you dropped me in the middle of Mongolia tomorow i would soon have a bunch of Mongolian friends showing me how to go on...

You have to accept whats wrong with Poland , just as the Poles do , and work your way around it , and get what you can from all that is good in Poland...

Poland is not going to adapt to you..you have to adapt to it.....
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Aug 2010 #72
I think the last statement is the most to the point! Despite being in the EU for over 6 years now, they are slow on the uptake when it comes to furnishing you with English documentation. Just as Poles with limited English can request documents in Polish in the UK, those with limited Polish (almost all) can request documents in English that come here. They don't seem to have cottoned onto that, though. It's Polish or nothing and that's rammed down your throat by vile old babcias.
convex 20 | 3,978
21 Aug 2010 #73
I am lucky in that i can adapt to anything...if you dropped me in the middle of Mongolia tomorow i would soon have a bunch of Mongolian friends showing me how to go on...

I can absolutely guarantee that.

Some friends that I met posing with the near dead g-ride (traded them the panda and everything in it for a ride to UB...). There are no roadblocks that you can't get around with the right people...

gride
wildrover 98 | 4,451
21 Aug 2010 #74
vile old babcias.

Be carefull Seanus...you be having a bunch of em round your gaff armed with knitting needles..scarey..!!!
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Aug 2010 #75
I have plans for them ;) ;)
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
21 Aug 2010 #76
After living and studying 3 years in Poland, I agree with this.

Do most foreigners who come to study in Poland, after finishing school stay and work in Poland or they go back?
Lonman 4 | 111
21 Aug 2010 #77
hey pubben
Thanks for posting/starting this very enjoyable debate.... and hey contrary to a lot of things on polishforums is mostly mature talk. Even Semus and Delphi keeping things civil.

I have been to Poland at least 6 times in the last 3 years and see many of the issues you brought forward.

I think the hardest issue to quantify is the material nature of Poles. This has bothered me as I speak with new and older Polish friends. I wonder if has something to do with the communist history? I know from talking with friends a great deal of value is placed on "things" and position (in society). Had one Polish friend talk down to me at the idea of taking time out to teach English in her country... ie low wage equal low thought of job. Still working on figuring this one out.

blessings
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
21 Aug 2010 #78
\

Does anyone on this forum think paying 5zl per minute to call the embassy is "affordable"?

I do. :)

Had one Polish friend talk down to me at the idea of taking time out to teach English in her country... ie low wage equal low thought of job. Still working on figuring this one out.

As far as I can tell, English teachers are seen as middle class in general - they're not high rollers, but they earn good money for Poland. It's really a bit like ESL throughout the world - genuine teachers aren't rich, but they aren't badly paid or badly thought of, either. However - I'd say that there is a definite negative perception towards the "early 20's and single beer lover" teacher - but where in the world isn't there such a perception?
Seanus 15 | 19,706
21 Aug 2010 #79
Lonman, I've never heard of Semus but he doesn't appear to have written here. Anyway, think 'suppressed instincts'. Poles have often felt hard done by and would have been like a bull in a Chinashop come Pewex and the creation of free markets. Also, don't underestimate the role of advertising. I've just turned my head to watch a commercial. Beyonce Heat :( It didn't state the price but it's no doubt around 300PLN per 50mls. Poles will also think along the lines of, well, if Westerners have this and this and this, then so can I as I am every bit as good as them in what I do.

You've been here 6 times and that's great. I take nothing away from you. However, I've been here for 6 years which kinda places me better.

Seanus (off to look for those posts of the normally non-civil Semus)
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
21 Aug 2010 #80
Does anyone on this forum think paying 5zl per minute to call the embassy is "affordable"?

thats a £1 a minute..That's what one could call daylight robbery!
peterweg 37 | 2,319
21 Aug 2010 #81
I agree with most of the OP's post. There is an reason for Polands predicament, its economically under developed. Its will take 10-20 more years for its and the other ex-communist states to recover and build their GDP. A richer, better paid population will be more open minded and travelled.

The EU exists to bring countries into 'convergence', its happened to Greece, Ireland and Spain and it will happen here.

Please wait....

When I grew up in the UK, Alf Garnet was on TV complaining about 'Darkies' and the ministrles were blacking up. How things change.
poland_
21 Aug 2010 #82
You have to accept whats wrong with Poland , just as the Poles do , and work your way around it , and get what you can from all that is good in Poland...Poland is not going to adapt to you..you have to adapt to it.....

From what I have read on here, you are one just to get on with it. Being a man in your forties you understand what your capabilities are, I am sure your expectations are not as high as Pubben who I guess is twenty something. There are three types of people I have met in my life,

1. Those that know where they are going.
2. Those that go,where they are told to go.
3. Those that do not have a clue where they are going.

There is a very fine line between people in 1 and ,3 and sometimes you just need a little bit of luck, or a nudge in the right direction.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
22 Aug 2010 #83
Amathyst wrote:

thats a £1 a minute..That's what one could call daylight robbery!

actually, it's more.
EwaFromPoland - | 8
22 Aug 2010 #84
You know it`s very hard to say but I agree with what you people write.It`s very sad what`s happening in this country. Day by day I hear news and I just turn the tv off, cause I really got enough. And if such young people as I am, have hardness to start in here, hen I guess there will be no future in this country at all. Cause we, ambitous, workable, full of hope to change the situation, have knocked the wind out of his sails.

There`s really no branch of life which will be good....politics, economy, health and well society is even harder to understand than in any other place.

That`s why we simply want to get out and do not come back here.

very sad and realistic
We can afford for much more working in UK as a cheap workforce than here on a post which is our profession (if we find it of course, cause that`s another story).

Average pay for 1h of working during oliday for teenagers is 5zl...in UK the lowest is 5,80pounds...now look what can you buy for 5zl in Poland and what for 5,80pounds in UK...let alone if you convert punds for złoty and go back to Poland...

And you may say we are materialists. I agree we are! Cause living conditions force you to be like this. However, I won`t change my mind about US people. They are materialists but it`s a bit different way of being a materialist.
zetigrek
22 Aug 2010 #85
Average pay for 1h of working during oliday for teenagers is 5zl...in UK the lowest is 5,80pounds...now look what can you buy for 5zl in Poland and what for 5,80pounds in UK...let alone if you convert punds for złoty and go back to Poland...

Ewa be glad you can work as a teenager. 7-8 years ago no one wanted to hire a teenager besides in giving out leaflets for 3 zł/h
EwaFromPoland - | 8
22 Aug 2010 #86
7-8 years ago prices were different and I don`t work :)
jarnowa 4 | 499
22 Aug 2010 #87
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??

It's remarkable to see you having 2 unrealistic assumptions at the same time.
1) Poles talk bad about certain groups not because of their observations relating to these groups, but just because they are a bunch of evil rednecks.

2) Blacks, gypsies and jews don't do anything to cause hatred.

There is a name for your way of thinking (too negative about whites, too positive about nonwhites), it's called Political Correctness.

The rest of your story was nice to read and i agree on quite a few points you make. :)
mietek emigrant 2 | 3
22 Aug 2010 #88
I thought I would offer some of my own thoughts about life in Poland.

dude you forgot about terrible work organisation in poland
and the same work we are doing three people in uk, in poland there is one - not even mention wages you already said about it

so whats better in pl than uk? housing. i work in uk but wouldn't be able to buy own house/flat yet i bought in pl my own flat, so all in all back to poland is a must for me as i cant imagine spend all life living in rented properties and most of brits i know rent rooms/flats - it's a real british joke
convex 20 | 3,978
22 Aug 2010 #89
i work in uk but wouldn't be able to buy own house/flat yet i bought in pl my own flat

I'm guessing that if you lived in Poland, you probably wouldn't be able to buy your own flat either...
mietek emigrant 2 | 3
22 Aug 2010 #90
was able because it was only about 50thousand in 2003 yet i had two jobs
now in the uk even if i had 2 jobs buy own flat not possible at all, joke
as far we talking about living standards owning a flat/house is the 1st place - without it your life sucks


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