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Top 5 things I like about Poland

11 Aug 2015 #1

I'm not here to impress the inquisitors here, but just to see if anyone else agrees with me on a few things.

As stated previously, I really enjoy a lot of things about Poland, not just generic stuff like "the beer" or "the women," but real things that are unique.

The fact that I was railing on it for its hatred and backwardwardness was just to blow off a bit of steam - I am, after all, from a first world country and I chose to live here despite the fact that my wife and children now have American citizenship, so there must be something I like here.

So here is my list of what I DO like:

1) Love of land - people here are real blut und boden types and love their land - they take great pride in horticulture and agriculture and gardens here are excellent.

2) A very interesting literary tradition, if underrated - some examples of authors here I like that most people in the west don't know about are stanislaw Lem and boleslaw Prus.

3) An appreciation for alpinism - here in the south, these guys blow me away in terms of their natural inclination to conquer vast heights. I'm from the midwest in the US and we don't have mountains. Here people love and appreciate great mountains.

4) Very healthy diet - Polish food is very healthy compared to American. It can be somewhat spartan at times, but I really appreciate the diet always. This also brings out a healthy people, who for the most part dont have an obesity issue the way Americans and Brits do.

5) Lack of exploitation of prices. When people here my accent I rarely, if ever, have been charged extra. One time I even let my wallet fall out and someone picked it up for me. Amazing!

Nobody wants to talk about positive stuff? In Poland?

No way!
11 Aug 2015 #2
Poland is great i love it, I wish i'd returned earlier, nuff said

Everybody is probably too b usy answering your other postings.
Marsupial - | 881
11 Aug 2015 #3
Only 5 things is hard. Can I ask where u returned from dolnoslask?
11 Aug 2015 #4
Wife told me keep it short so I will.

Mother, Father both Polish, second world war both deported to Siberia, Father joined Polish 2nd corps fought for the British eighth army under General Anders.

After the war Exiled in England, could not return to Poland as grandfather was an officer in the polish army that fought against the Bolsheviks, no one wanted to end up back in Siberia or shot in the head as in Katyn,

Dad told me to save up because one day Poland will be free and I could go home if I wanted.

So I saved up looked around for somewhere nice to retire ( and guess what), My wife and I came home to Poland
Marsupial - | 881
11 Aug 2015 #5
Damn, I cannot, it irks me all the time.
11 Aug 2015 #6
Marsupial :

Sorry you can't come here, may be one day,

What I would like to say to the polish diaspora on this site is,

If you have the money and want to retire somewhere safe and beautiful come home to Poland you will be most welcome.
Atch 23 | 4,050
12 Aug 2015 #7
very healthy diet - Polish food is very healthy compared to American.

There are some delicious Polish dishes but few are 'healthy' all that pork for example, not very good for the colon. Poles usually overcook their veggies too. Very high salt and fat content in many traditional Polish dishes, loads of additives and E numbers in the processed foods.

One time I even let my wallet fall out and someone picked it up for me. Amazing!

Depends on where in Poland you are. I lived in Warsaw and although I never had my pocket picked or anything of that kind, I did have my shopping stolen twice! Once from outside my front door, when I went inside with a couple of bags and left the other outside for literally half a minute! Also had my hat nicked by a secretary in a solictor's office, now that's amazing!
12 Aug 2015 #8
Thought i would have a go my Five Things about Poland that I like are as follows:-

1. The weather, obvious seasons not many drizzly dank days (South western Poland).

2. We Feel completely safe here, young children can womble up and up and down the lane, go to school and play out til it gets dark.

3. Fags £3 a pack, Wine £2 a bottle (Sorry probably not pc)

4. Health care , A&E department not like a war zone, Dentists cheap and good.

5. Big well built ex German houses with lots of land (Silesia) wide open countryside and forrest.

The above is just me and I am not trying to generalize or suggest that others would have the same priorities.
InPolska 10 | 1,818
12 Aug 2015 #9
Polish diet is UNhealthy: very limited, only starches, a lot of pork, hardly any vegetables, hardly any fruit (all of them either grown with no sun in soil contaminated by Chernobyl or imported so no taste), no fish, no salt with iodine (a lot of people sick of thyroid gland, including cancer), no vitamins, no minerals. Result: people are always sick, and look much older than they are, when they reach 40/50. I'm not sure Polish diet is "healthier" than the American diet. (I live in Poland and I have lived in the US so I know both).

As to "alpinism", sorry, Polish mountains are very low...The Alps are twice higher (and much nicer)...
bullfrog 6 | 602
12 Aug 2015 #10
Agreed, Polish diet is usually not very healthy plus quite monotonous. But there are some dishes which are unique to Poland (or at least difficult to find in Western Europe ) and delicious, eg zurek or makowiec.
InPolska 10 | 1,818
12 Aug 2015 #11
@Dolno: dentists are "cheap" if you have a western or an above average local income. II have just been to dentist's this afternoon and I have paid 236 ZL for a filling. Next month, I'll have work that'll cost some 2,000 (and 0 ZL reimbursed). I CAN pay but not everybody in Poland have this kind of money. You know, a lot of Poles don't even make 2,000 gross per month.
12 Aug 2015 #12

I did say this was "My five things that I like about Poland", I fully understand that I am in a privileged position here and that many Poles struggle to earn enough money for the basics in life.

The way I look at it is that at least I am contributing to the economy by spending my money here.
InPolska 10 | 1,818
12 Aug 2015 #13
@Dolna: ok ;). When I say "cheap" or "expensive" I usually consider the local income levels since prices are first of all aimed at the local population ;). If for you it's cheap, then great for you! :) Believe me, all the money I have spent and I spend in dental and in medical bills (I even had cancer) is really concrete and unfortunately abstract to a lot of Poles and I'm aware of it ;).

Never mind! :)
smurf 39 | 1,971
12 Aug 2015 #14
Polish diet is UNhealthy:

You must eat a terrible about of crap if that's your diet.

I have paid 236 ZL for a filling

50 something euros, yea, that's cheap, even by Polish standards. And if your poor you get free dental anyway, you just have to wait.
Steveramsfan 2 | 306
12 Aug 2015 #15
There are many different dishes and I have had lots of different dishes made for me by Polish people.
The majority are meat dishes where you can eat any vegetable you want with them.
I do not agree with anything you wrote here as I eat lots of salad, vegetables and fruit and buy it all from the market where it tastes a lot better than the food in UK.

Polish markets remind me of what UK was like when I was growing up, I think UK needs to go back to them rather than the big supermarkets.

Polish food is not processed like in UK and America, I have never seen a microwavable meal anywhere in Poland.

My top 5:

1. The weather and real seasons.
2. The markets and the food I can buy there.
3. The large empty areas (Fields and forests) that you can walk for hours in without meeting another person.
4. The crazy parties that I have with my Polish friends, always something random and funny happens.
5. There is no nanny state, you can live your life without and government intervention.
12 Aug 2015 #16
Steveramsfan :

I like your top five, but number 5 is huge i totally agree with you. It is nice to feel free again, in Poland your home is really your castle.
Dougpol1 31 | 2,640
12 Aug 2015 #17
I agree with your top 5 Steveramsfan.

I am not very keen on your name though, as I am Dougpolforestfan!

My top 5

1. Poles are dog lovers and that's an ice-breaker
2. Weather. Positively tropical at the moment ....
3. Varied landscape and open country, and no farmer pointing a shotgun in your face.
4. Fewer chavs than in the UK
5. Cheap service sector, and quick too. None of this "Get your laptop back in 3 weeks from the repair center" malarkey.

Your number 5 will alter with a new PiS government sadly. I am seriously thinking of closing Dougpol Mansions for the duration.
Steveramsfan 2 | 306
12 Aug 2015 #18
I hope I can avoid them interfering too much in my life.

I have not really lived in Derby but my family are from there so I support them.
I go to games as often as I can but I have a few red friends so I am not anti forest.
I dislike Leicester City though :)

I have noticed a lot more dogs than cats over here but I like all animals.
I want a kitten and a puppy so they get on from an early age.

I am really happy living here even if the language is causing me a few problems trying to master it.
I can get by but the word endings keep tripping me up.
They understand me but I must sound like a 5 year old :)
12 Aug 2015 #19
Steveramsfan Don't worry too much about the language, I grew up in a polish family and I can only manage 10 year old.
12 Aug 2015 #20
Whether you think you sound like a five yr old or not its brilliant that you are trying to learn the language, I was told by my Polish mother in law that Polish was easy (my response 'you would say that you speak it fluently')

Keep up the good work matey

My top 5

Lovely scenery (I have to drive thru a forest to my local supermarket, Autumn being my fave time)

My back garden (with a resident Deer, how cool is that!)

Dark clear night skies (so I can see all the stars and ISS fly past)

Every Ice cream imaginable

Christmas, that starts on 24th Dec and not in July
TheOther 6 | 3,674
13 Aug 2015 #21
Poles usually overcook their veggies

Serving almost raw veggies in restaurants is a very typical American thing. Most of the world actually prefers their food well done... :)
bullfrog 6 | 602
13 Aug 2015 #22
i don't think it is typical American, if anything I would have said its is more typical southern European (Italy, France, Greece.;). And that is also increasingly the direction many are moving towards for at least 2 reasons :

- when you cook them less, all the vitamines/minerals in veggies do not get washed away
- it allows you to get the real taste of the produce.

Cooking less meat and fish is also a tendency I noted over Europe, even in the UK. 30 years ago, asking for your steak bloody/blue in Britain would get you an "are you sure?" from the waiter, now they don't bat an eyelid!
jon357 74 | 21,843
13 Aug 2015 #23
In Italy they like veg boiled to a pulp often, at least in home cooking. In Poland there's surowka, raw but often almost decomposing. The taste for steaks in PL tends to be for them to be overdone.

Incidentally in the UK, it's questionable whether bleu steaks are still legal or not under food hygiene laws. In Poland, people almost never order steak rare or even medium rare.
bullfrog 6 | 602
13 Aug 2015 #24
Incidentally in the UK, it's questionable whether bleu steaks are still legal or not under food hygiene laws.

Why? Unless mistaken, steak tartare (less then blue!) is allowed in the UK..
jon357 74 | 21,843
13 Aug 2015 #25
Tartare isn't partly cooked like a bleu steak with some of it reaching a high temperature but most of it not, that's the issue there. Even rare steaks are legally iffy now unfortunately.

In any case, I never really trust tartare anywhere. I ordered some once in Warsaw and there was definitely raw pork mince in it.

I'm really surprised that some people in this thread say that food is fresher and tastier in Poland than the UK. God knows where they were doing their shopping in the UK. I also suspect that some posters in the thread think that those street stalls run by farmers selling fruit and veg have stuff straight from the farm, local food etc; they don't - it all comes from the wholesale market and most is imported from Holland or wherever and is full of the same pesticides and chemicals. At least at Waitrose you know it's exactly as labelled.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,177
13 Aug 2015 #26
5. There is no nanny state, you can live your life without and government intervention.

I beg to differ, actually. Have you ever heard of Sanepid and PIP? They can really ruin a business through literally applying the law - which is so extreme as to require chairs and tables in schools that are the correct height for children. I've seen documents from one company that was required to install windows that opened (even though they have air conditioning) - even though they were on the 12th floor. The lack of government intervention is only true as long as you don't encounter the government.

Things are getting better, but it's a long way yet. Unlike the UK's HSE, PIP and Sanepid are also not very helpful.

Jon - yes, exactly. Take Poznań - almost every single vegetable seller in Poznań will sell fruit and vegetables that come straight from the huge market in Franowo. Where that stuff comes from - well, some might come from farms such as apples, but anything non-Polish will be equally chemical-laden.
bullfrog 6 | 602
13 Aug 2015 #27
I'm really surprised that some people in this thread say that food is fresher and tastier in Poland than the UK.

Come on Jon. I lived 8 years in the UK and 5 in Poland and there is no comparison.. I am not saying you cannot get quality ingredients/food in the UK but you have to pay quite a lot for it. But the real difference is that in the Uk the majority a people eat processed/industrialised food on a daily basis, and I am sure this explains at least in part the high obesity prevalence in Britain. In Poland , at least while I was there (until 2011), it was very difficult to find "microwable Tv dinners" and most household bought fresh produce and did the cooking themselves. And the "standard" fresh produce you bought in Poland (eg tomatoes) were much tastier than what you buy in supermarkets either in UK or in France. But maybe things have changed
jon357 74 | 21,843
13 Aug 2015 #28
I've lived much longer in both places and I see a lot of processed food in Poland and better, fresher and more local produce in the UK, especially intradotionsl markets selling fish caught a few hours before and fruit and veg from the local area. Plus local cheeses sold by weight and not in plastic packed slices, lamb from just outside the town, eggs from a farm not a factory. Plus local beer made in small breweries rather than fizzy lager from a factory.

Remember, microwaveable foods might be on the shelves, however they are frozen and in the freezer for a long time - they aren't fast moving consumer goods. Most people don't buy them anyway and I notice more obesity in Poland - in fact among children it's now at crisis level.

There's certainly nothing wrong with frozen veg, however there's a lot wrong with not eating much veg and having a high-sugar, high-fat diet. Most of Europe's frozen chips, packet soups and instant noodles are made in Poland. The Polish diet is not a particularly healthy one and this is reflected in the very high rates of stomach cancer.
bullfrog 6 | 602
13 Aug 2015 #29
I've lived much longer in both places and I see a lot of processed food in Poland and better, fresher and more local produce in the UK, especially intradotionsl

I agree about the trends, ie Poland becoming more "processed/industrialised" and Britain waking up in the past 15/20 years to more fresh produce and more variety in terms of food, in line with continental habits, as shown by the increasing number of markets in the UK. For example, North End Road market in London, which used to be quite scruffy and dinghy when I was in London has now been become nice and plentiful. So maybe the lines (trends) have crossed since I left Poland!
Steveramsfan 2 | 306
13 Aug 2015 #30

Where in UK do you live to find that sort of food? I have not seen many fresh fish markets unless near the coast.
You can go to a farm and pick your own but that is not practical for people living in a city.
If you live in a city in UK you will have to search hard to find decent fresh produce, the supermarkets don't sell it.

I use the markets and small shops to buy my food in Poland and it tastes better than in UK.
The food is in my top 5 because it is better than in UK and Germany.

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