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Polish pretense - what's the deal?


Envyme 10 | 28
24 Feb 2013 #1
Hello Polish friends! I get the general feel that people in Poland are somehow trying to keep up appearance. From the look and feel of the country, the economy is down and people have little money. Yet, there are plenty of people that are trying to look Western Middle Class. It's not everyone, it's mostly,

* Some Boomers that have money
* X:er couples
* Some students, especially women

My question is why. Why pretend to be Western Middle Class when you can't afford one basket of food at the supermarket? By now Poles have been abroad and seen that the West sucks, so why imitate something that sucks?

And finally, why are there so many spinsters among the young student women? I am disappointed with their looks and behavior.

Please, keep it civil. Thank you.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,712
24 Feb 2013 #2
why are there so many spinsters among the young student women? I am disappointed with their looks and behavior.

that is odd,they speak very highly of you.
thetenminuteman 1 | 80
24 Feb 2013 #3
Why pretend to be Western Middle Class when you can't afford one basket of food at the supermarket?

Does that happen frequently to you?
Bieganski 17 | 901
24 Feb 2013 #4
Obviously the Poles you encounter aren't willing to debase themselves for the enjoyment of others who don't like them anyway.

They believe in themselves and know where they want to be in life even if some are still on the journey to get there.

Another way of looking at it is having determination and dignity.
Rysavy 10 | 308
24 Feb 2013 #5
<_<

You sure you didn't accidently visit us here in US and not "Poland? Was anybody holding a white and red cup with a gold arched symbol?

lol..@ rom
@OP: Wow! you say keep it civil..but seriously; wow. I am just waiting for you to get both barrels unloaded on you when the actual polish are here..especially teh fems. >You are displeased by the appearance of seemingly single females in the student body of where ever you "shopped" and call them 'spinsters'? < are they are really all past their prime and still in school? Maybe it was exam week and burning the candle, and trading sleep to study for getting good marks was more important than putting on makeup and becoming a peacock parade of dishes for your oh-so-discerning palate to sample? Maybe they are feminazis?

Or maybe they are an independent and socially supported breed of young women that can concentrate on their educations BEFORE getting married or distracting themselves with being "in a relationship".

I don't care what nationality you put in place of "Polish", as a female I found it swarmy, disrespectful, trolly and kinda creepy in a sex tourist way.

BTW "middle class' 'upper class" type consumerism/display is not simply 'western' and has been around as a behavior far longer (I am better than you because my mate has 37 gold rings around her lovely stretched neck or read some historical social history of ..hmm..lets pick HAN DYNASTY)

edit: typos..bout time for new keyboard
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,712
24 Feb 2013 #6
as a female I found it swarmy, disrespectful, trolly and kinda creepy in a sex tourist way.

quite succinctly put, yes.......
jasondmzk
24 Feb 2013 #7
Please, keep it civil. Thank you

That popped out like a tarantula on a wedding cake, after all the rest that he said.
Dreadnought 1 | 143
24 Feb 2013 #8
Yep lets say envyme is being very straightforward and to the point......and of course people are jumping all over him.....but it is sometimes as he says......around this area especially, back in London we had a saying that covers it.... 'All Flash and Front' it means all flashy but with no substance.....like peole around here look at my dirty (fully restored at great expense Russian Jeep) and say why do you never wash it? they wash their cars all the time regardless that the engine is a piece of trash, I tell them that people in UK with £50,000 Range Rovers leave them half a year without washing and they gasp and say 'shock'!!!!! But this in no way detracts from the people here they are what they are, trying to be what they aspire to......so long as they are nice people and friendly with it like they are hereabouts I dont see that it matters much at all. As for all the girls unmarried.....it goes well into the thirties and beyond in this area. I have started a different thread asking why this is so.....I have realised since I started that thread, that maybe in UK people do live together more, rather than get married and maybe stay together for a few years then move on and here they aspire to a proper marriage or not at all, so the upshot is many spinsters and unmarried men all over the place?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
24 Feb 2013 #10
Why don't you talk to the locals and find out?
Bieganski 17 | 901
24 Feb 2013 #11
I have realised since I started that thread, that maybe in UK people do live together more, rather than get married and maybe stay together for a few years then move on and here they aspire to a proper marriage or not at all, so the upshot is many spinsters and unmarried men all over the place?

Yet another British bragger finds his way to PF. It certainly sounds like you and the OP would have less of a low opinion of yourselves if Poles "learned their place." Alas, not everyone in Poland is poor.

Credit Suisse's Global Wealth Report (2012) assessed the following:

The number of dollar millionaires in Poland will grow by 105 percent to 78,000 over the next five years, according to the third edition of the Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse, a leading global financial services company headquartered in Zurich. The number of millionaires worldwide is expected to increase by over 62 percent to 46 million by 2017.

Source: warsawvoice

According to the last Forbes' report on The World's Billionaires, Poland has four.

Source: forbes.com

Here's a little inside knowledge for you: Everyone on here knows the expat British left for Poland because as individuals they were nothing back in the UK and were haunted with the knowledge of this grinding shame every day of their lives.

Jobs and marriages make a convenient initial cover story for coming to Poland. But it doesn't last. We've heard it all before. The self-exiled British always hope going to a lower cost country like Poland means that their arrival will instantly catapult them into a higher social status. But we can see their angst recorded here on PF almost daily. They become flabbergasted and enraged when they meet Pole after Pole after Pole who simply aren't impressed with the sight of some flabby old Brit waving his petty cash along with a severely misplaced sense of entitlement.
Dreadnought 1 | 143
24 Feb 2013 #12
I came simply for 'The good life'...which I do live here, No job, don,t need one have plenty enough money, could have done it elsewhere in the world, but my wife is actually Polish, (though more from Silesia than hereabouts) it looked good here and it is.....I have to admit that I thought Poles might simply be like Germans.....(whom I knew from serving there for 6 years) boy how wrong I got that one!! We looked at land in the North of Poland and the West of Poland....this area was just prettier....we like hills, we got them. We got a bonus with these long hot Podkarpacie summers. Flabby?? Flabby? I will exercise more this year I promise!!! I,ll saw more wood, cut more grass, cultivate more land and plant more crops and go for a good 5km run every morning, hey maybe that will impress people more.....I,ll let you know if it does.....maybe it will, running for fun is just not done around here...not seen a single runner these past 3 years?
Rysavy 10 | 308
25 Feb 2013 #13
? they wash their cars all the time regardless that the engine is a piece of trash

washing a car is showing off? 0_0

My auto loving and collecting family wash every week..but I was taught the purpose was longevity of the paint and metal beneath by that token.

To wax without causing damage you have to clean of road salts, tar, bird droppings and certain tree saps..so you wash.

It would be to me a sign of careless wealth (and laziness) to NOT wash a vehicle..especially an expensive one! since this indicates one feels it disposable and if it is ruined, you will have it repainted ......if you you haven't traded for newer improved one by then

will exercise more this year I promise!!!

pictures this summer or it never happened >_< (I have same pledge myself)
Dreadnought 1 | 143
25 Feb 2013 #14
I think the real reason that people in UK don,t bother washing their cars that often is that they don,t expect them to last that long, usually because they fail the UK version of the yearly safety test. rsavy may I ask is running for fitness and fun a done thing in your area? I have been in this area for almost 3 years now and have not seen a single person out runnning for fitness or fun. Some mountain bikers in all the right clothes sometimes although still rare, (but maybe all that spandex is just to look good? I don,t feel the need for it when I,m on my mountain bike) where I came from you couldn,t move for runners of all ages.
Rysavy 10 | 308
25 Feb 2013 #15
may I ask is running for fitness and fun a done thing in your area?

Not at my present location in Podunk, NC where I am helping my mom parse out 4 lockers worth of collected..JUNK before taking her home with me.

Locals would think me insane and maybe a lil tetched! is NOT recreation in their reckoning. Na dynamitin crow rookeries..that thar be the way to have fun! *sigh* here status is biggest fish, biggest truck, most guns, most hunting dogs (oh and sons after that) and most subservient mate..really upper is having a Basstracker!

Spandex.lawlz! I pointed an laughed at "Roadies'. I was a sponsored gravity assist racer til my youngest came on the scene.

At home in Arizona, and while I was in FL ,it is common to see cyclists and runners. Bike lanes are common most places I've lived.

I am Jockette. Was in track and basketball in school. So I am more active than the norm. I don't do PT or sports recent, been somewhat indolent past couple years hiding from inhopsitable (for me) weather. Lucky with my metabolism I am not a cow, but my tone went phfft.

EDIT: to add..I am in US..I am importing my Polish dish before going to where the recipe is made
beckski 12 | 1,617
25 Feb 2013 #16
A person doesn't always have to spend a bundle, in order to dress fashionably. It's a matter of shopping in the right places & coordinating what may already be available on hand.
Paulina 9 | 1,448
25 Feb 2013 #17
I have been in this area for almost 3 years now and have not seen a single person out runnning for fitness or fun.

And you won't, jogging is a city thing. If you see someone jogging in my grandma's village it means they're someone's relatives from the city :)

In the countryside running "for fitness or fun" would be a strange notion. People in the city usually don't move enough outside in the fresh air. People in the countryside don't have such a problem. They're out in the fresh air most of the time. And they work in the fresh air most of the time too. Also, people often walk some distances to get somewhere, to a shop, for example, to a field, to a forest, to visit relatives in a nearby village, etc. Bicycles are usually used to get from point A to point B (it's still fun though, especially for the kids :)).

Wow! you say keep it civil..but seriously; wow. I am just waiting for you to get both barrels unloaded on you when the actual polish are here..especially teh fems.

Oh, I won't bother, Envyme is clearly a troll lol

A person doesn't always have to spend a bundle, in order to dress fashionably. It's a matter of shopping in the right places & coordinating what may already be available on hand.

+1
AmerTchr 4 | 201
25 Feb 2013 #18
I don't have this sense of Poland at all.
Dreadnought 1 | 143
25 Feb 2013 #19
Hey rsavy sorry I didn,t read into it that you are in America, I have to admit that the English of some of even the most abusive Poles on this forum is very good. (don,t let them get you down when you tell the truth, they are very nationalistic and almost oblivious to their faults... gotta love em.... even thought they may sometimes seem...almost... as bad as the crazy muslims!!!) A car collecting family?? what is it with America, my big sis lives in California, when she left UK she couldn,t drive, now she has some strange collection of Mustangs and I drool constantly over her pristine 72 (I think) Roadrunner which she shows. I am more into offroading and have a fully restored UAZ 469 (Russian Jeep) which is the wifes shopping car, a 71 Pinzgauer and a Unimog U1300L not the usual stable of cars, but it is so funny here when they all ask why I didn,t buy an Audi??? My next car will be an UAZ Patriot just to annoy them.
OP Envyme 10 | 28
25 Feb 2013 #20
Bieganski,

No need to be butthurt. Although I don't see what there is to be butthurt about.

Determination and dignity does not mean that you show up at the mall once a week to buy branded yoghurt so that others will think that you can afford it. There is no dignity in that. Normal Poles will buy normal affordable products and have no need to join the cult of the local mall. Do you see what I mean? Or are you one of those mall guys?
ifor bach 11 | 152
25 Feb 2013 #21
Jumping to (stupid) conclusions, are we, Bieganski?

The use of words such as 'boomers' and 'sucks' indicate a speaker of American rather than British English.

And btw, it's really pathetic how easy it is for just about any idiot Westerner to wind-up a Pole such as yourself. If you were sure of yourselves you could easily ignore them. But rather your fragile egos force you to make frenzied attempts to demonstrate that 'we are just as good as you are' which kind of proves the point the troll was making.
Dreadnought 1 | 143
25 Feb 2013 #22
Hear hear.......Just a case in point......back where I used to live, my wife and I would shop for cheaper brands in some areas ( tinned food etc) so that we could have a better car, better clothes etc.....It was not to be flashy, indeed my clothes are not flashy at all, just very good quality same for my cars. I think we (sensible people) do this all over the world......its just an extension of....if you want something you can,t afford, you save up for it by economising in other areas (unless you are mega rich). But I will say that here in (this part of Poland) my wife is always amused by the looks she gets after working all day on the farm and we go to the local shops to buy something, still in our working clothes, the other farm women all look at her in disgust, because to go to the shops they will all go and dress in their best clothes and vie with each other to be the most fashionably dressed in the village shop!!! men here are not so bad at the dressing up thing. (I love weddings here...always a good excuse to get out and dust off my dinner jacket and cummerbund....does that make me a bad person?)
Bieganski 17 | 901
25 Feb 2013 #23
Determination and dignity does not mean that you show up at the mall once a week to buy branded yoghurt so that others will think that you can afford it. There is no dignity in that. Normal Poles will buy normal affordable products and have no need to join the cult of the local mall. Do you see what I mean? Or are you one of those mall guys?

This is what your thread is about? Poles buying branded yoghurt at a shopping mall?

This has got to be one of the most bizarre posts yet on PF.

Did you know that many different branded products including generic varieties are often made by the same company in the same facility but just off different production lines? The only difference is a slight change to the contents and different packaging.

Tell you what if you ever notice somebody stealing branded yogurt then by all means alert the store manager or call the police yourself.

But if anyone has money for something then they are entitled to buy what they like. It's called having consumer choice and it is really none of your business what other people buy.

People often make tradeoffs and give up purchases in other areas of their lives so they can afford the things they really like. Everybody does this. Rich and poor. So if somebody doesn't smoke or gamble then they have money for other items or better quality items.

That's how rational people behave.

So you'll just have to continue to seethe away in silent envy at your fellow shoppers.
Dreadnought 1 | 143
25 Feb 2013 #24
I think (though I,m not sure) that Biesganski and I agree on something at least. I tried to tell my wife that because I don,t smoke maybe we could buy a crate of Zywiec now and then instead of Tatra!!! she said you want diesel for that giant truck of yours you drink Tatra!!! ah well.
OP Envyme 10 | 28
25 Feb 2013 #25
Bieganski,

But Polish yogurt tastes better than any of the branded ones. It's what makes sense to buy since it's both tastier and cheaper. Really, I've tried both. So they don't buy it because they really like it. They buy it to show off somehow.

No, this is not a thread about branded yogurt.

"Consumer choice" is ********. In some places the cheapest brand is truly the worst choice. Here, it is not so. The more expensive brand is often the worse choice. So there is no real choice in terms of products, there's only a choice in whether you want to pretend to be Western Middle Class or not.
Paulina 9 | 1,448
25 Feb 2013 #26
OK, I'm doing this for fun, because this guy is so clueless lol

But Polish yogurt tastes better than any of the branded ones.

Polish yogurts have no brands? lol

It's what makes sense to buy since it's both tastier and cheaper. Really, I've tried both. So they don't buy it because they really like it. They buy it to show off somehow.

So it didn't cross your mind that:
a) some people may have different tastes than you and find other yogurts than you tasty;
b) they trust more famous brands more;
c) are influenced by TV commercials of a given product, just like everywhere in the world (for example, Serek Danio has that funny commercial with "little hunger")

So there is no real choice in terms of products, there's only a choice in whether you want to pretend to be Western Middle Class or not.

Firstly, what on Earth is a "Western Middle Class"? lol
Do you think that only the West has middle class or what?

Secondly, I don't even know which brands are Polish and which are Western or whatever.
I used to buy Bakoma yogurts, for example, because they were cheaper (not necessarily tastier). I didn't know whether that brand was Polish or not - I didn't care to be honest.

I've just googled it and it turns out it's Polish:
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakoma
Yay.
poland_
25 Feb 2013 #27
So there is no real choice in terms of products, there's only a choice in whether you want to pretend to be Western Middle Class or not.

I really do not know what you are talking about regarding the food sector in Poland, many Polish products are of a very good standard the best yogurt. in Poland by far is Zott ( Polish). When you see branded food products in Poland many are made in Poland with Polish ingredients. Tesco is surviving in Poland by exporting Polish own labels under the Tesco brand.

Envyme are you aware Poland is a large agricultural player in Europe?

As for clothing Poland has its own brands with western names Bigstar, Gino Rossi, Royal collection are all Polish brands are there are many many more.

Most people who I bring to Poland are very suprised at just how well kept the Poles are, appearance is very important, Poles like to maintain a healthy and clean appearance about themselves. Which most likely emanates from being raised in quite close quarters.

It is just very different the Americans and British choose a dress down approach, the Poles prefer to dress up, zero to do with class. There is no class system in Poland there is only those who can afford and those who can't. You have Polish Intelligentsia and Aristocracy which is more status of position and family name.
OP Envyme 10 | 28
25 Feb 2013 #28
Warszawki, I disagree. Poles I know do not really care about the clothing in my opinion. It is indeed important to be 'welll dressed' on some occassions, but everyday life lacks the sense of fashion. It may be down to poverty, maybe down to false modesty, maybe down to real modesty, who knows, but I dont see much interest in clothing among average Poles, exluding people who are 20 or 30 who are different.
poland_
25 Feb 2013 #29
but I dont see much interest in clothing among average Poles, exluding people who are 20 or 30 who are different.

It's kinda difficult to see in the winter when everyone is wrapped up warm

Try the 15-20 year olds they are very fashion conscious, at my kids school in Warsaw its all Abercrombie,Hollister and Jack Wills most of the kids are travellling with their parents every 2-6 weeks, they don't shop in Poland.
OP Envyme 10 | 28
25 Feb 2013 #30
There is no class system in Poland there is only those who can afford and those who can't.

I don't mean brands literally. There are certain, usually branded, products that are considered to be Middle Class markers. Such products can be Coca Cola, Activia Yoghurt, KitKat chocolate bar, toast, baguette, baby foods. Buying such products has nothing to do with buying actual food at the supermarket so you can have dinner.

You seem to be one of these mall guys. Maybe you can explain why you go to the mall to buy pointless products?


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