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CULTURE SHOCK! (of my Polish finance who visited the US)


convex 20 | 3,978
1 Feb 2010 #61
Yeah, but visitors to the US assume that they actually mean it.

Its a meaningless comment, they may as well say 'go **** yourself'

In most cases they do actually mean it. Like Patrycja said, it fosters communication with complete strangers and makes people just that much more happier. You'll also notice that people smile, as opposed to the pissed off look everyone here has. Just be weary of the guy in the subway with no pants and the big grin.
mdeal
18 Nov 2010 #62
Well, don't think they care, though.

they dont.....its my job to say "have a nice day" i mean it about 50% of the time to be honest. the other fifty is a fake routine to keep my job....if you want honesty

In US they always say: "Have a nice day" and smile when you shop.

just because its said doesnt mean its true.....
EsotericForest 3 | 44
18 Nov 2010 #63
Hahahahaha. I suppose each person takes his own culture for granted and doesn't realize how strange little things like that can be to somebody from another country.
Lodz_The_Boat 32 | 1,535
18 Nov 2010 #64
Is his culture shock over Krysia?

How is life? ...
vetala - | 382
18 Nov 2010 #65
Mailboxes on the side of the roads and nobody steals the mail!!!

Nothing surprising. I live in an apartment block and we have mailboxes right next to one another and nobody steals the mail either.

never lock the house.

Ok, that's weird.

Nobody fences in yards!!!

And that just plain uncomfortable. I wouldn't want random passersby to gape at me and my family relaxing at our own backyard. I guess Poles just value their privacy more than Americans do.

My horses sleep outside at night!!!!

What if it rains?

Cars have air-conditioning!!!

You mean there exist cars that don't? THAT is a shock to me.

He'll freak out when he sees carpets and bathrooms in a church!!!!

I would too.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
18 Nov 2010 #66
just because its said doesnt mean its true.....

Of course it isn't true - it's just a pleasantry.

Not to be taken any more literally than miło mi or something.

("Oh my god... NO!...you mean to tell me that in reality, they may NOT actually be really pleased to meet me?! Oh that's so terrible")

I think many Poles read far too much into things like this and what they call the fake smiling etc. It's nothing, just a greeting, an exchange. It doesn't mean the person likes you, wishes you well, or is particularly friendly etc etc

By the same token, non-Poles probably read too much into the non-smiling. Doesn't necessarily mean Poles are miserable, hostile or suspicious.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
18 Nov 2010 #67
while growing up, until i moved into a city, i never locked my car. as a matter of fact, I didn't even take the keys out of the ignition.

vetala wrote:

And that just plain uncomfortable. I wouldn't want random passersby to gape at me and my family relaxing at our own backyard. I guess Poles just value their privacy more than Americans do.

or, Americans respect other people's privacy more than Poles do.

ever been to the USA vetala?
Olaf 6 | 956
18 Nov 2010 #68
My horses sleep outside at night!!!!

- Isn't this a climate difference rather than culture? Culture of.. what?! Horses' sleeping habits or farmers negligence;)?!

Cars have air-conditioning!!!

- I could never happen in Poland as there is no air conditioning, especially in cars. Maybe in next 100 years or so.

Hot water is on the left!!!

- Gee. I would't know how to use it!

Everybody stops at a stop sign even when there is nothing coming!!!

I do that too. So does most drivers. Am I by mistake an American? Should I apply for US passport already? Is this unique American feature?

In Polish grocery stores you have to bag your own groceries, in the US they ask "paper or plastic". Another shocking experience!!!!

I always get my groceries packed (in plastic unfortunately, but always). Go shopping somewhere else.

his sisters were crying, his mother, his nieces

- I am truely shocked. I think I need to cry now too.

Culture Shock!!!!

4-way stop signs!!

nobody steals the mail!!!

he doesn't get it!!!

fences in yards!!!

!!!!

!!!

!!!

!!!

church!!!!

You are my official shocking (i.e. culture-shocking!!!) Master of Punctuation and Shocking.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
18 Nov 2010 #69
olaf wrote:

I always get my groceries packed (in plastic unfortunately, but always). Go shopping somewhere else.

then i'd love to know where you shop.

not only do stores in wroclaw not pack your groceries for you but you have to pay for the bags.

olaf wrote:

Should I apply for US passport already?

that would be impossible.
Olaf 6 | 956
18 Nov 2010 #70
then i'd love to know where you shop.
not only do stores in wroclaw not pack your groceries for you but you have to pay for the bags.

Right now - Krakow, at the vegetable market next to Hala Targowa. Fresh groceries from local suppliers (usually) and usually they hand me the bag with all I ask for. Just try those "targowisko" - I'm sure there are some in Wroclaw.

Also at Bomi and Alma you don't pay for the bags, neither in Auchan and in the latter they actually put your stuff in bags! Surprising, as it's a hypermarket, while Alma and Bomi are delis and they don't do it.

that would be impossible.

Than's an obvious joke. I never intended to. Shocking!!! :D
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
18 Nov 2010 #71
Olaf wrote:

did you not just write in your initial response to Krysia, "I always get my groceries packed"?????

Funny how you make a statement like that, yet immediately after, tell us about places in Poland that don't pack your groceries. take a deep breath, concentrate....and stop typing nonsense.

Olaf wrote:

Than's an obvious joke. I never intended to. Shocking!!! :D

i wasn't questioning your intensions. just saying that it would be impossible.
Olaf 6 | 956
18 Nov 2010 #72
did you not just write in your initial response to Krysia, "I always get my groceries packed"?????

Someone clearly having a bad day today. I am sad to explain this minor thing, but here it is for you: I only meant that I go to those little shops that pack it for me while I ask for tomatoes, carrots, cabbage etc. But some other don't always pack. And by writing usually I implied that it happened to me to buy groceries also at the places where they DON'T pack them. Hence my knowledge where they do and where they don't. Maybe I get it packed because I'm usually there with a document bag I carry from work and they see I am missing a free hand;). Don't catch me by the word. I get veggies packed. I wrote also about places they don't do it. WTF is your problem.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
18 Nov 2010 #73
Is that 'finance' in the headline (instead of fiancé) not a freudian slip?
Olaf 6 | 956
18 Nov 2010 #74
Polonius3
Hahahahahah, good one! Are you shocked(!!!), Polonius3? :D I feel double shocked. Man, it's so eaasy to be shocked nowadays.:D
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
18 Nov 2010 #75
Olaf wrote:

Someone clearly having a bad day today.

and here it is for YOU:

Krysia's culture shock was that supermarkets in the USA pack your groceries all the time. she is polish and she isn't used to it. simple.

you saying, "I always get my groceries packed" without elaborating further is misleading and certainly doesn't suggest, on its own, "I only meant that I go to those little shops that pack it for me". most people will read that and interpret it as you saying, "well.....they always do it in Poland as well, big deal." when, in reality, it's rarely done, making your comment quite pointless. Not to mention, "Go shopping somewhere else".....sorry....i fail to recognize how that statement applies to her comment even remotely.

you can't make a comment like that and expect anyone to interpret it in any other way and if I hadn't called you out on it, that comment would have been sitting there, on its own, without any further elaboration from you.

"WTF is my problem?" I'd say that's self explanatory by now.
tygrys 3 | 295
30 Nov 2010 #76
Krysia's culture shock was that supermarkets in the USA pack your groceries all the time. she is polish and she isn't used to it. simple

It's the Polish guy who has the culture shock, not krysia.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,456
30 Nov 2010 #77
not only do stores in wroclaw not pack your groceries for you but you have to pay for the bags.

That's why Poznan has a higher quality of life, because that appalling practice (outside of the cheapest supermarkets, where it's to be expected) doesn't exist here.
convex 20 | 3,978
30 Nov 2010 #78
You get your groceries bagged up there? On a side note, Alma delivers for free if you buy enough crap.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
30 Nov 2010 #79
delphiandomine wrote:

That's why Poznan has a higher quality of life, because that appalling practice (outside of the cheapest supermarkets, where it's to be expected) doesn't exist here.

hahaha, yes. why yes of course. quality of life should be judged upon whether or not you get free shopping bags or not.
Lodz_The_Boat 32 | 1,535
30 Nov 2010 #80
Krysia just never came back to respond ... I wonder what happened !
southern 75 | 7,096
30 Nov 2010 #81
She got drowned by the pierogi.
Maybe 12 | 409
30 Nov 2010 #82
his sisters were crying, his mother, his nieces

They were crying because you weren't taking them!

I'm happy for you, good luck. I'm sure he will adapt soon.
blob 3
1 Dec 2010 #83
it's not a culture shock at all.
Just big civilization/economy difference between two countries.
PolishNate - | 2
1 Dec 2010 #84
I had pretty much the same exact type of culture shock when I went to go visit Poland. It was just so....different. But I still love it all the same! :)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
1 Dec 2010 #85
My Polish finance stays in Poland ;)

Joking aside, Poland is not a country I associate as bringing a major shock factor but it depends what you are used to.
Olaf 6 | 956
1 Dec 2010 #86
hahaha, yes. why yes of course. quality of life should be judged upon whether or not you get free shopping bags or not.

Well, yes! Petty things can make your life miserable or quite easy, packing your groceries can be one of such smal things that ease your life...
Teffle 22 | 1,321
1 Dec 2010 #87
Poland is not a country I associate as bringing a major shock factor

Not major, but relatively speaking, compared to western Europe I would say that there is a reasonable difference.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
1 Dec 2010 #88
Please continue. What strikes you as odd or different? Maybe because I have experienced more foreign places, I don't see it.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
1 Dec 2010 #89
No offense Seanus - have kind of gone into it before and it will just be interpreted as bashing.

I haven't had a huge amount of experience with other countries but in many ways, I find more familiarity (cultural and otherwise) with e.g. Britain, Spain, France, the US, Netherlands, Germany - than I do with Poland.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
1 Dec 2010 #90
Ah, I remember those early posts :) :)

Maybe with reference to those countries you mentioned, what do they have that Poland doesn't in terms of 'Westernness'? (other than they are Western, hehehe, bad joke).


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