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Is panhandling a common sight in Poland?


beckski 12 | 1,617
14 Sep 2011 #1
While visiting Poland, I didn't happen to see much panhandling. It was more like people receiving cash donations, while providing entertainment. The young violinist shown in the following photo is a perfect example.

At gasoline stations in the US, people used to offer to wash car windows, in order to earn spare change. Many folks today will come up to people and simply ask for money. While pumping gasoline in my car, some young guys had approached me with a gasoline container. They had the nerve to ask me, if I can spare a GALLON of gasoline! I said nope and ignored them. Gas prices here are almost $4.00 per gallon. They're out of their minds, if they think I'm gonna give $4.00 worth of gas to some complete strangers.

Are similar annoying panhandling situations are now taking place in Poland too?

Thanks...



pawian 170 | 11,316
14 Sep 2011 #2
Weren`t your cases an example of harrassing which is punishable in US, I suppose?
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
14 Sep 2011 #3
I get badgered in parking lots sometimes by dudes claiming they and their wives are out of gas and need money. I tell them "NO" and run like hell to my car. It's even worse when they expect you to fill up their tank for you.

Pawian, most cops are either aren't around or don't care.
OP beckski 12 | 1,617
14 Sep 2011 #4
Weren`t your cases an example of harrassing which is punishable in US, I suppose?

Yes, in some cases prosecution may result. This is especially true, if the panhandler has been asked to leave the premises previously, by the business establishment. It's matter of getting them involved though.

Is this type of harassing behavior punishable by law in Poland?
pip 10 | 1,661
14 Sep 2011 #5
here gypsies do a lot of the window washing at stop lights. not exclusively but majority. I was at a gas station and this man in a suit came up to me with a container giving me his sob story how he needed gas- he targets women. I said no and the following week he was back again only this time I was with my husband who called him out on his schtick- and he bolted pretty quickly. There are load of people that hit grocery store parking lots looking for the change from the carts.

But I wouldn't say Poland has panhandling to the same extent as other major European cities or North American cities.
pawian 170 | 11,316
14 Sep 2011 #6
Is this type of harassing behavior punishable by law in Poland?

Probably not.

How am I "harassed" for money in Krakow?

After mall shopping, bums ask me if they can take my trolley to the trolley park.

On Sunday, gypsy beggars ask for donation at the church front door.

That`s all. They are polite and agreeable people.
OP beckski 12 | 1,617
14 Sep 2011 #7
I get badgered in parking lots sometimes by dudes claiming they and their wives are out of gas and need money.

I had a man do that to me before. I noticed he was wearing a nice gold bracelet. I told him, how about selling me your bracelet instead! He got angry and walked away.

But I wouldn't say Poland has panhandling to the same extent as other major European cities or North American cities.

They are polite and agreeable people

It's good to know the majority of handhandlers in Poland, are as not obnoxious as others seen elsewhere
Sidliste_Chodov 1 | 441
14 Sep 2011 #8
Gas prices here are almost $4.00 per gallon.

Closer to $8.00 a gallon here (£1.33 a litre) :(
pawian 170 | 11,316
14 Sep 2011 #9
It's good to know the majority of handhandlers in Poland, are as not obnoxious as others seen elsewhere

It just occured to me that women are more often accosted by strangers than men. E.g., I have never been asked for money at the filling station. The last time a lost couple got 5 zlotys from me for their train trip home was about 13 years ago. I still remember it because I was in the Market Square with my girlfriend who became my wife later on. I gave them 5 zlotys though I strongly suspected they made up the whole story to get dough for drugs. Let them be so.

Then nothing like that happened to me.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
14 Sep 2011 #10
Beckski...... Please,dont call that poor lass with the Violin a Panhandler .....she's is clearly a Busker/Street Entertainer, a fine European tradition that goes back hundreds of years BC :)

If you go to major cities a lot of the time the street musicians will be from top Orchestras basicaly practicing with an audience :)
On an early trip to Krakow I was bored in the enth synygogue we had been dragged round that morning,wandered outside and had a game of footie with some urchins,right laugh untill as our group were moving on they all stuck out their hands and said " Money,Money,Dollars,Dollars", maybe not my finest PC moment but I just walked off saying Im not jewish or american ;)
eberhart 13 | 120
15 Sep 2011 #11
Please,dont call that poor lass with the Violin a Panhandler .....she's is clearly a Busker/Street Entertainer,

Agreed. I quite enjoyed a lot of the street musicians. Even the ones in the metro who play guitar etc are usually good. There was a cellist who used to play on Chmielna in Warsaw with a nice suit and everything.

Homeless people would ask politely for money but I never had one be rude or pushy. There was an occasional old woman with a sign praying in front of a cup for donations etc too. Nothing you don't see in any big city and never pushy like in some.
OP beckski 12 | 1,617
15 Sep 2011 #12
Beckski...... Please,dont call that poor lass with the Violin a Panhandler

She's clearly not a panhandler. She's a violinist, entertaining viewers with her musical talent. Spectators have the option of making a cash donation, to show their appreciation for her entertainment.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
15 Sep 2011 #13
She's a street musician. Do street musicians require licenses to perform in Polish cities? They have to pay a fee at city hall and get a license just to perform here.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
15 Sep 2011 #14
They have to pay a fee at city hall and get a license just to perform here.

You think you got it bad? :)
bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-14813359

I dont live in a mad town really,honest.... ;)
Teffle 22 | 1,321
15 Sep 2011 #15
Do street musicians require licenses to perform in Polish cities?

Dunno, but they seem to require to be kicked around by the cops a bit. I've seen it twice, in broad daylight.
OP beckski 12 | 1,617
16 Sep 2011 #16
It just occured to me that women are more often accosted by strangers than men

The panhandlers probably feel women are more intimidated by their presence, more prone to get a bit scared and give them money. When I'm approached for money, I pretty much tell them to get lost. They will usually back off. I guess I have a very mean look about me, lol.

You think you got it bad? :)

Many people love animals, such as an organ grinder with a cute monkey. Cute animal=$$$

I noticed this elderly lady in Lublin praying. I didn't see much money in her donation box. However, it was rather early in the morn.


  • praying
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
16 Sep 2011 #17
lols, great advert for religion....pray all day,live on the streets begging...........ah well,maybe she will get a really comfy cloud to strum her harp on......
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
16 Sep 2011 #19
Dunno, but they seem to require to be kicked around by the cops a bit. I've seen it twice, in broad daylight.

Cops don't like street musicians? Usually they don't mind them from what I've seen. It's the bums cops really hate.

So you got that in the UK too, Isthatu? Glad it's not just here ;) I wonder if the dog and his owner both have to pay a fee for a license or is it just the dog?
eberhart 13 | 120
16 Sep 2011 #20
I have always heard those old women are unable to live on their pensions or don't have family. Maybe that's just the scam but the ones I saw regularly were not that healthy...had sores etc and looked like they had a hard life. Not just someone changing into old clothes for a scam.

I never saw buskers getting hassled...homless people all the time but never buskers.
Chicago Pollock 7 | 504
16 Sep 2011 #21
Prayer power.

Prayer is no substitute for being nice to your neighbor.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
16 Sep 2011 #22
So you got that in the UK too, Isthatu? Glad it's not just here ;) I wonder if the dog and his owner both have to pay a fee for a license or is it just the dog?

Its different rules for different towns and cities...I think doncaster was one of the first to introduce auditions for buskers, you have to pass a formal audition before you get a street licence. When it first came in I thought it sounded a bit faschist for such a lefty town....but, when I remember the god awfull talentless bums strumming 3 chord beatles covers all day and now I can hear high class violinists, it works :)
scottie1113 7 | 898
16 Sep 2011 #23
Do street musicians require licenses to perform in Polish cities?

Not in Gdansk. Many of them are students from the Music Academy here and they play some pretty good music. Some of my students-not from the Music Academy-play under the Green Gate. Great acoustics.

While visiting Poland, I didn't happen to see much panhandling.

Unfortunately, it exists.While in Warsaw for six weeks four years ago, I was panhandled almost every day, either for money or cigarettes, and sometimes both. The best one was a guy who spoke to me first in Polish, then French, and then English.

After Warsaw I moved to Gdansk where I've lived for four years. Panhandling isn't limited to the destitute. Young men frequently come up to me to bum a cigarette, but if you sit outside a cafe or pub you can count on someone asking you for money or smokes. I always reply "I work so I can buy cigarettes and beer. Why don't you work?" Usually they leave muttering some Polish obscenity-thank the k word-but they always go away.
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
16 Sep 2011 #24
The young violinist shown in the following photo is a perfect example.

Please support street musicians, the good ones...It can be a wonderful alternative to corporate music, and gives you a chance to actually meet and converse with an artist, which you cannot do in a formal concert setting or at a bulls**t corporate/MTV spectacle.


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