The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered [2]  |  Archives [1] 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / Life  % width posts: 82

Worst aspects of living in Poland?


Intermarium 11 | 64    
23 Jan 2019  #1
As someone now living in Poland who is accustomed to life in a wealthy country like the US, Germany, or the UK, what are the major drawbacks of daily life in Poland (aside from the language)?

I realize there are many redeeming aspects too. Just looking for some insight on the unpleasant stuff here.
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,088    
23 Jan 2019  #2
Almost none. It is a white wonderland. And Poland is considered a developed country by Moody's - wages keep going up while unemployment keeps going down and is now even lower than many W. European countries. The wages are lower, but many things are cheaper. If you have an education and can sell your skills you can easily land a 10k 12k zloty a month job which will give you an upper middle class existence in Poland even though it'd be an average working class salary by US/W. Europe standards

Only things that annoyed me was having to register a cell phone, the ridiculous taxes on imported goods, high fuel costs, and spray paint everywhere. It makes cities look trashy and it's quite an eyesore. Poland's cities are honestly more tagged up than even some of the worst hoods in the USA and UK. Not a big fan of Polish food but there's tons of other choices though.

Besides that, it's perfect imo. Those minor inconveniences are vastly outweighed by problems that people face in the cities of western Europe like paris, London, berlin, etc.
OP Intermarium 11 | 64    
23 Jan 2019  #3
Great insight, thanks. I like Polish food and would be keeping my German salary, so those are not concerns.

What about the issue of health and safety? I hear reports about the air quality in Poland, especially southern Poland, being bad due to the coal and trash burning. Have you noticed this?

Also, any known or perceived issues with unsafe building codes allowing for faulty electrics, asbestos, fires, etc.?
PolAmKrakow 1 | 34    
23 Jan 2019  #4
Smog and air pollution is way over stated by people. Its nothing compared to LA or SLC in the States. You can smell coal burning but as for real smog, its next to zero.
jon357 64 | 14,382    
23 Jan 2019  #5
Smog and air pollution is way over stated

It's pretty bad in Warsaw, also in a couple of other cities. They publish the pollution levels and they are often high.
Dougpol1 27 | 2,573    
23 Jan 2019  #6
major drawbacks of daily life in Poland

The only major one I can think of is the weather. Five months of tedium. Dirk says it's a winter wonderland. Not to those who live and work here. In holiday time, yes. Not during the daily grind.

real smog, its next to zero.

Please do not pass disinformation to the OP. Your post is pure nonsense. Domestic coal burning raises pollution levels to life threatening levels for many in the cities. That of your moniker being a prime example.
delphiandomine 85 | 17,654    
23 Jan 2019  #7
but as for real smog, its next to zero.

What? Krakow, right now, is sitting about 150% of the PM2.5 / PM10 norms. Some areas nearby are at 600-700% of the maximum, such as Wrząsowice (16km from the Old Town in Kraków). Nowy Targ has 680% of the allowable levels of PM10! There's a place called Sławkowska (not far from Dąbrowa Gorniczna), where the pollution is so bad that it's registering as 1542% of the allowable amount of PM10, and 1176% of PM2.5.

And the smog isn't bad? Really? The situation is dire, and it's the reason why so many children in Poland have problems with respiratory illnesses.

I hear reports about the air quality in Poland, especially southern Poland, being bad due to the coal and trash burning. Have you noticed this?

The air quality is awful in winter in the south. Mountains, cities, both locations are polluted and dreadful.
OP Intermarium 11 | 64    
23 Jan 2019  #8
It looks like Krakow has plans to ban domestic coal burning starting September 2019. Any thoughts on whether it will be effective or sufficiently enforced, or if other cities will follow suit?
jon357 64 | 14,382    
23 Jan 2019  #9
I went down to Kraków for a meeting a few months ago. Train down in the morning, and train back in the evening. I had a white shirt on. When I got back, the collar was almost black. It used to be like that in Katowice. Now it's like that in Kraków too.

In Warsaw the pollution map is scary too. About 20 years ago, they used to have a pollution montor with a display screen outside DH Smyk. They had to remove it because the monitor for the different polluting substances was always right at the top of the scale.

Poland has a serious problem with this. Too many private vehicles, but above all, too much coal.
cms neuf - | 767    
23 Jan 2019  #10
I think it will be difficult to enforce - there are already rules against burning rubbish but i reckon about a third of the families in my street do that
Dougpol1 27 | 2,573    
23 Jan 2019  #11
I think it will be difficult to enforce

Yeah...people on the street will call the police when you're walking your (under-control) dog without a lead, but they wont "inform" on their neighbours when they are guilty of poisoning the locality by burning rubbish.

What was the word I used earlier - to describe Kurski......?
OP Intermarium 11 | 64    
23 Jan 2019  #12
When you write burning trash, does that mean just paper and untreated wood, or are they burning everything including plastic bags and old electronics?
delphiandomine 85 | 17,654    
23 Jan 2019  #13
I think it will be difficult to enforce - there are already rules against burning rubbish but i reckon about a third of the families in my street do that

What was the number, something like 85% of municipalities don't have any means of enforcing the rules?

or are they burning everything including plastic bags and old electronics?

Everything. Cities are getting better, but there are huge issues with people burning trash in suburbia.

airly.eu/map/en/ for more info on how bad it is.
OP Intermarium 11 | 64    
23 Jan 2019  #14
That's terrible.

I'll make sure to take note of the air quality in central Szczecin next month.
delphiandomine 85 | 17,654    
23 Jan 2019  #15
Currently, it's at 150% of PM10 limits and 180% of PM2.5 limits.

If you want clean air, you need to look in Eastern Poland, though it can vary wildly from place to place.
OP Intermarium 11 | 64    
23 Jan 2019  #16
I would imagine it also varies within the city of Szczecin. The map shows Berlin as even more polluted now. Some parts of Berlin have much clearer air than others but the map doesn't reflect it. It may just be an average.
jon357 64 | 14,382    
23 Jan 2019  #17
Currently, it's at 150% of PM10 limits and 180% of PM2.5 limits.

Partly explains why life expectancy in PL is so low. That and the high proportion of processed meat and other processed foods which make up such a large part of the diet.
Spike31 2 | 868    
23 Jan 2019  #18
drawbacks of daily life in Poland (aside from the language)?

What do you mean "aside form the language" ? :-D I love Polish language. The grammar and pronunciation is so difficult that you won't be able to master it unless you were born Polish.

From my point of view this is a great quality and a foundation of cultural and national integrity. Especially in today's world.

Take a delphiandomine for example. Do you think that he will ever be able to learn proper Polish? Nope, no chance. He will always be a funny, slightly leftists, character living in Poland and no one ever will take him seriously :-)
jon357 64 | 14,382    
23 Jan 2019  #19
It's a fascinating and beautiful language, isn't it.

The grammar and pronunciation is so difficult that you won't be able to master it unless you were born Polish.

The pronunciation's easy enough (and consistent), and there are plenty of people from elsewhere who've settled in Poland who speak the language very well (plus plenty of people in the diaspora that spoke it at home as a child yet speak it badly).
Spike31 2 | 868    
23 Jan 2019  #20
The pronunciation's easy enough (and consistent)

I don't have an ear for various English accents but I do for have it for Polish accents.

I spoke with a 19 yo Polish girl from Western Ukraine once [from Kresy]. She has spent last 12 years of her life in Poland and she spoke a very good Polish. Yet I could hear that cute ringing tone at the back of her voice. I knew that she must be either from Belarus or Ukraine.

So if Polonia from Ukraine can't imitate it perfectly, I don't know about native english speakers :-P
jon357 64 | 14,382    
23 Jan 2019  #21
Polish accents

I've found Poznan and Podlasie accents stand out the most, and sometimes Katowice people. In Warsaw it tends to be older people from across the river that have the Warsaw sibilant.

So if Polonia from Ukraine can't imitate it perfectly, I don't know about native english speakers :-P

Mastering a language isn't about imitating someone from a particular country so they're indistinguishable from someone born there. Why would someone even do that?

It looks like you're confusing pronunciation with accent.

Becoming a proficient user of a language is about communicating effectively, being able to articulate feelings and nuanced opinions, understanding complex texts and utterances and and having a broad enough lexical range to function comfortably in society. Not about 'imitating'...
delphiandomine 85 | 17,654    
23 Jan 2019  #22
(plus plenty of people in the diaspora that spoke it at home as a child yet speak it badly).

There's actually a fascinating report on this by AQA, one of the British examination boards. I can't find it now (probably on the work computer), but basically, it pointed at the poor results being caused by many candidates not actually knowing Polish properly. They were frequently using unacceptable slang in speech, they had problems with writing and that they struggled to produce coherent texts in Polish. They essentially had language abilities well below expectations, partially because they simply hadn't prepared properly for the exam. They thought that they could just attend as a native speaker and ace it - when (as the experience of the IELTS exam shows) - native speakers actually do quite poorly on exams.

I wish I could find it now, because it would be relevant to your work as well.
Spike31 2 | 868    
23 Jan 2019  #23
The purest and the most proper Polish is used by inhabitants of Lublin

being able to articulate feelings and nuanced opinions, understanding complex texts and and having a broad enough lexical range

That's a very ambitious goal. To understand a Polish soul and to be able to express it freely. Now at least I know for sure that you're not German, cause then you would never have such a wish :-)
Dougpol1 27 | 2,573    
23 Jan 2019  #24
It's a fascinating and beautiful language, isn't it.

Yes.........Russian is.
jon357 64 | 14,382    
23 Jan 2019  #25
The purest and the most proper Polish is used by inhabitants of Lublin

I like the way elderly and upper-class people born around Wilno speak. It reminds me of the Polish you hear in pre-war films.

That's a very ambitious goal.

Not that ambitious. I know many people from elsewhere who speak (and write) Polish very well, including high-level academic texts. They'd need proofreading (as any and every publishable or presented text written by a non-native of any language has to be), yet there are plenty of people who can do it.

To understand a Polish soul

Most Poles can only aspire to this. To understand any soul from any country takes intuition and a high degree of emotional intelligence. If it's even possible (c.f. the flawed narrator). Nevertheless, it's a beautiful aspiration to have. (And no, I'm not German!).
delphiandomine 85 | 17,654    
23 Jan 2019  #26
I like the way elderly and upper-class people born around Wilno speak. It reminds me of the Polish you hear in pre-war films.

I'm not fond of that version of Polish at all. The way of speaking grates, and it seems rather like a West Country accent to my ears. I especially can't stand the music that was made in those times. At the same time, I adore the Polish spoken in Zaolzie...

The current "korpopolski" is utterly awful though, and should be banished for eternity.
Chemikiem 5 | 1,480    
23 Jan 2019  #27
I hear reports about the air quality in Poland, especially southern Poland, being bad

Out of the 50 most polluted cities in Europe, 33 of them are in Poland:

euronews.com/2017/11/30/poland-among-europe-s-worst-for-smog
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,088    
23 Jan 2019  #28
The pollution aspect is true, but poland has far ooan just about any country in asia, africa, m.e, etc. It's not bad in wroclaw and much of tbe country i.e. north near gdansk, east near bialystok etvmc outside of Krakow and katowice where it can get real smoggy some days.

@Spike31

The way gorale speak is most unique imo. People from gdansk warsaw krakow wroclaw will all sound more or less the same, but a goral will sound way different
jon357 64 | 14,382    
23 Jan 2019  #29
The current "korpopolski" is utterly awful though, and should be banished for eternity.

Yes, kind of an Estuary Polish.

Out of the 50 most polluted cities in Europe, 33 of them are in Poland:

It gets more noticeable year on year.
antheads 12 | 287    
24 Jan 2019  #30
- The aftermath of war, Warsaw and many other cities are standing on a masacre site, with the energy of millions of murdered people in the ground, If one is attuned to energy , there is a paltable tension on the street of warsaw. laugh if you want but it's true.

- the aftermath of communism, Poland is not like a western country it has its own values and ways of doing things. I found it difficult to make friends as people were generally suspiscious of a stranger being friendly, (of course i was travelling solo and not relying on family or job etc to establish commonality with people. Vodka helps of course.

- Because getting rich is new , materialism is the new religion and the first thing you are judged on. Poles were happy that the opera/concert hall in Poland was covered in advertising as this was a sign of progress. People were tripping out that I had dreadlocks, wore alternative clothes, yet was staying at the sobieski for months, they thought i was the son of an oligarch and all these business people in ties were giving me their business cards, but still suspicious of course.

-If you speak Polish with an accent, you will always be a foreigner to people, even if you were born there.
- Lack of a proper social welfare system , leading to crime, scams people freezing in the street.
- the stigmatisation and general unsympathy to mental health and alcoholism/drug addiction.
- the extreme culture wars far beyond anything i've seen before, half the political class thinks the other half murdered their leaders at smolensk. The other half regard their opponents as totalitarian fascists. Only ukraine is worse.

- Extreme poverty in the counryside leading to women coming to the big cities to become prostitutes or parents leaving the country and their kids stay behind looked after by babcia.

- General business ineficiency and lack of logic - I mean why is there Peron and Tor? Can't we just have one number for a platform like in normal countries?! Metro construction most expensive in europe due to corruption. stage 2 3km? wat a joke

- The former SB/UB higher ups and their children who are now men of capitalism, have no regard to the rule of law and control large sections of the economy.

- The skinheads and hooligans who will bash you as a pedał for giving them a hug.
- The expats who married a polish hottie but hate poland and resentfull about being ordered around by their wife and her family.
Rant over :)


Home / Life / Worst aspects of living in Poland?
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.