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

plk123 8 | 4,138
24 Aug 2010 #121
It's never easy to get a mortgage in any country mate, especially these days.

not really, still pretty easy in the US...

I was out on their old bicycles today and have a classic Polish flag on my arms

What the heck are you talking about? Why are you sufering from sunstrock or some other malady ?

drunk, would be my guess.. lol

Americans are by far the most materialist in the world.

not even close.. Poles are freaking 10x worse.

Been like that for ages > Pan, Pani, magister, dr, etc you can't say "you" to a stranger.

that is not what he's talking about...

You have to buy special cleaners like I do. The smells come out, as do the stains.

gross.. and you put that on yourself?

I've never seen so many people with brand new state of the art mobiles in Poland than anywhere else.

big status symbol..

Prices will always be what the populace can afford. If electronics are overly expensive then it means hat many people are buying them at those prices.

not sure if that is exactly true in PL.. regular market forces aren't what works there just yet.

Because I don't want to be tied down to an expensive contract. I prefer to just buy some credit then I know exactly what im paying for. ;)

contracts are normally cheaper in the long run if you talk, text and surf a bunch..

It's not my opinion, it's the ridiculous assumption by some people that blacks and gypsies get disliked for nothing but their different looks. If a group gets disliked despite a strong taboo on discrimination, you can be sure that there must be some really good reasons for it.

yes, it's called being a racist dolt and you have proved that plenty on these forums.

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?

not in the US.. most of people don't really care.. there isn't there that much up front judgment.. Poles are highly judgmental, however.
milky 13 | 1,656
24 Aug 2010 #122
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

Salaries are ridiculously low in relation to all the costs you incur here.

Im glad to see, at last, a bit of fresh air about reality in Poland.

I see it can be quite tribal. What I notice first and foremost is that, many posters here seem to be very sensitive to criticism of Poland. Also, they tend to be Polish ex-pats rather than Polish people living here in Poland.

Man tell me about it.. A lot of people(about four who attack in group) here have the job of constantly pumping positive information about the economical situation of Poland, which is consistently false.

The passion for truth is silenced by answers which have the weight of undisputed authority.
- Paul Tillich
convex 20 | 3,928
24 Aug 2010 #123
pumping positive information about the economical situation of Poland, which is consistently false.

Salaries are rising, jobs are being created, what's false about that? Average income is half to a third that of high income countries. There is no place in the world where imported products are relative wages.
24 Aug 2010 #124
Salaries are rising, jobs are being created,

szklanka jest do połowy pełna, co nie convex? ;)
milky 13 | 1,656
24 Aug 2010 #125
That's bull as many here get under 1000PLN gross and they don't claim as litigation is vexatious. Ask those that distribute fliers how much they get. I did and was shocked. Ask some cleaners and others that do ancillary jobs. The list goes on and on.

I was talking to a guy recently who works in lublin in a leisure park,he earns less than 2 euro an hour.
Seanus 15 | 19,672
24 Aug 2010 #126
Exactly! The minimum wage guff is such a slap in the face. It's rubbing salt in the wounds to people that don't get it. People from Warsaw and Kraków should try and see how some people here live.

Why should bankers and other government ministers be allowed to hike up prices while so many were finding it hard enough as it was? Come on, time to give people a good day's pay for a good day's work here and recognise that they often do more good than those pathetic specimens on telephone number salaries.
milky 13 | 1,656
24 Aug 2010 #127
I would imagine the government works hard to keep the wages down so as to encourage foreign investment and keep the country competitive. Thanks to the ultra free-market right wing government who could not give a f0ck about the workers and their criminally low wages.

And also developer work hard spamming lies that wages are high and all is well, so as to attract real-estate foreign investment.
The truth is caught between a rock and a hard place.
convex 20 | 3,928
24 Aug 2010 #128

So you think that salaries aren't rising, and that jobs aren't be created? I don't think I'm following you. Do you know of any middle income countries where the situation is different?

szklanka jest do połowy pełna, co nie convex? ;)

Well, I'm optimistic about growth...the current situation isn't that great, but the important thing is that there is improvement.
milky 13 | 1,656
24 Aug 2010 #129
Well, I'm optimistic about growth..

thats good to hear and i really hope you are right.
but the reality of the "now" for the majority, is not so good.
convex 20 | 3,928
24 Aug 2010 #130
"Not so good" relative to where/who?

To the high income countries? To the middle income countries? Which aspects aren't good? How is it worse off than 5 years ago? 10 years ago?

Freedom of movement will/does allow everyone the chance to go wherever they want.
Kangurek 2 | 2
30 Aug 2010 #131

I've just spent a month in Polska. Awesome experience. Here are some observations (a rant) from a Polski-Australian perspective:

Materialism and "Wielki pan" syndrome:

Poland has been a free market economy for such a short time! 1989? Joining the EU has also obviously opened up new opportunities for the Poles. No longer will Poles have to work "na czarno" to ensure a better standard of living for themselves and their kids! (thanks to Mum and Dad for working na czarno in Germany, so that we could afford the airplane tickets to OZ!).

A lot of money earned cross-border is being poured back in Poland. A lot of foreign investment is taking place (firms + individuals). New and better paid jobs are available for the taking.

I think Poles are using their "new money" to improve their quality of life, their status in society, and to buy cool $hit. There has been an explosion in wealth, particularly in Wawa, and obviously not everyone is silently placing their new found wealth in term deposits etc. A lot of it is on show. The amount of Mercedes, BMW and Porsches on Warsaw roads also surprised me. I only saw a handful of "maluchs" in the CBD.

There is an unmistakable perception that western goods are desirable! I visited Galeria Mokotów, and thought that some prices were OK, others not. 335zl for a Lacoste polo shirt. LOL. 1700zl for a Joop jumper. LOL!! I saw a few guys and gals dressed from head to toe in designer wear brand names. "Ale wielki pan" I thought to myself. It kind of reminded me of rather tacky Russian oligarchs and the way they show off their money in a distasteful manner. But who cares? Everyone spends their money differently. Some people feel it is important to show off their status, others are more reserved. I'm sure some Poles see material goods as goals to attain/achieve.

Some of the aforementioned "Wielkich panów i panienek" definitely had an attitude and thought of themselves as superior due to their new-found socioeconomic status etc. Maybe putting such an importance on materialism is unhealthy! Maybe I should have a chat with the 4 guys in my IT group back in Australia who have just bought $900AUD iPhone 4.0!

I must stress that the vast majority of Poles that I met/saw did not exhibit this materialistic trait. I would strongly argue that I would easily qualify as more materialistic if you considered my accessories + clothes + car + house etc.


I've read consistantly that the average is about 3200zl per month. I think some Poles are doing quite well 8,000zl to 20,000zl per month, which affords them an inner city "Śródmieście, Mokotów, Wilanów" lifestyle. I'm sure on a killer salary you don't have to put up with a 20m2 "kawalerka" in a crappy suburb.

However, there is no question that there are some bad salaries going around. 1400zl isn't that much! Not for my lifestyle. But then again, my Babcia could live off 5zl per month. OK .. . maybe 10zl. :) The war made her the biggest saver/tight-ass ever!

Taxes. . . homophobia etc. I didn't see/hear enough to comment.

I'm a little surprised at how much of a "czynsz" gran has to pay on her mieszkanie though! FARK! 400zl for what??

Got my "dowód osobisty" done, and the amount of beurocracy associated with getting it was beyond a joke (this is in part where your taxes go!).

The roads from Warsaw to Krakow were terrible! Some of the potholes were big enough to lose your whole car in!

Here are some other issues: Corruption. Taxi mafia. Too many people "kombinują".


30 Aug 2010 #132
kangurek wrote:

I must stress that the vast majority of Poles that I met/saw did not exhibit this materialistic trait. I would strongly argue that I would easily qualify as more materialistic if you considered my accessories + clothes + car + house etc.

that's because in Oz you can afford "accessories + clothes + car + house"......
30 Aug 2010 #133
You can't call ppl that way only because they want to look good. it's different when someone buys clothes just to show off what brands he can afford for. The same goes for men who buy a brand new iPhone 4.0 even thought within a year it will be much cheaper. I wouldn't say that in this context Poles are materialistic. They are materialistic in context they would do everything for money, its the biggest aim of life for lots of ppl, but they don't show off (usually) about things they can afford for. It more a trait of western Europe countries.

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