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Going back to the Old Country of Poland after more than 25 years! (from USA)


rybnik 18 | 1,462
11 Feb 2011 #1
I came to Poland for the first time when I was 21 in 1978. I left in 1985. I returning this September after all these years. Please help me imagine the changes I will experience upon my return.
Wroclaw Boy
11 Feb 2011 #2
Please help me imagine the changes I will experience upon my return.

I cant help there im afraid but it would be interesting to read your experiences once you arrive here.
Mr Grunwald 25 | 1,717
11 Feb 2011 #3
when I was 21 in 1978. I left in 1985. I returning this September after all these years. Please help me imagine the changes I will experience upon my return.

Oh boy... It's gonna be alot of experience! Write about all of it! Very interessted! :=)
convex 20 | 3,978
11 Feb 2011 #4
I came to Poland for the first time when I was 21 in 1978. I left in 1985. I returning this September after all these years. Please help me imagine the changes I will experience upon my return.

You haven't been back to visit? Do you stay in touch with family (I assume you've got family here)?
Ziemowit 13 | 4,204
11 Feb 2011 #5
I came to Poland for the first time when I was 21 in 1978. I left in 1985. I returning this September after all these years. Please help me imagine the changes I will experience upon my return.

I was younger than 21 years of age in 1978, but I had left for the UK in 1981 for a rather long visit where I could have stayed as a permanent resident, yet chose to come back the following year. And even if I have not left my home country since then except for several short stays abroad, I very often feel in Poland as if I indeed have been living in a foreign country these days. So much have changed ... but still, in many ways I may feel myself a man of the past, of the People's Republic period in which I was immersed until 1989. Yet, changes in mentality are not so swift as a change in the economic system. They take tens, if not hundreds, of years. You may see from the posts of foreign people living in Poland and writing on this forum that the former "communist" mentality is still here as far as the organization and functioning of society is concerned. The younger generation tends to be quite different, however, though not everyone and not everywhere - I'm taking of the Warsaw metropolitan area where I live. In short, I find the Polish society a sort of mixture now - it is a society on the path from its past towards its future.
OP rybnik 18 | 1,462
12 Feb 2011 #6
thank you Ziemowit for your concise synopsis. I'm both excited and anxious.

You haven't been back to visit? Do you stay in touch with family (I assume you've got family here)?

No Mod, I haven't. We have a saying here in my part of the States that "life gets in the way". I think that's what happened to me. Regretably, I haven't stayed in touch with my family for most of those years....About two years ago I've started reaching out to my cousin. He has received my overtures with tepid enthusiasm, which I can't blame him for. I'll keep trying.
poland_
12 Feb 2011 #7
No Mod, I haven't. We have a saying here in my part of the States that "life gets in the way". I think that's what happened to me. Regretably, I haven't stayed in touch with my family for most of those years....

What motivates you to return to PL?
OP rybnik 18 | 1,462
13 Feb 2011 #8
That's a great question. I'm not sure from whence this is coming but it all began about 2-3 years ago. I discovered that my area got 30minutes of Polsat polish news each day. I was excited! I started watching everyday. You must understand that until then I hadn't heard nor uttered a polish word in a very, very long time. This along with watching the images from Poland re-awakened my polishness and now I'm planning my return.
tygrys 3 | 296
13 Feb 2011 #9
Please help me imagine the changes I will experience upon my return.

You were there when the martial law begun so you probably remember how the food was rationed, the long lines for toilet paper, empty stores and nothing to buy. Life has changed drastically in Poland, people can own private businesess where before it was very uncommon, stores are well stacked, food from other countires is available, many restaurants with good food, no 5 hour lines for meat and many positive changes. Except for one. People still don't smile and always look mad.
convex 20 | 3,978
13 Feb 2011 #10
No Mod, I haven't. We have a saying here in my part of the States that "life gets in the way". I think that's what happened to me. Regretably, I haven't stayed in touch with my family for most of those years....About two years ago I've started reaching out to my cousin. He has received my overtures with tepid enthusiasm, which I can't blame him for. I'll keep trying.

Well User, that's pretty damn interesting. Heading back to the beast after years going cold turkey. A lot of people have posted write ups about their experiences, but most of them were after a few years absence, and usually they were in contact with family/visited.

Here's one:
https://polishforums.com/usa-canada/poland-moved-back-reasons-46727/

You're coming from a very interesting position. I'd be really interested to hear your expectations, and how you get on.

Anyway, good luck.
poland_
13 Feb 2011 #11
This along with watching the images from Poland re-awakened my polishness and now I'm planning my return.

I have seen many people come back to PL over the years, there is a saying " Better the devil you know" I am not Polish, so there is no " biała-czerwona" burning inside me. Many of the returning Poles I have met over the years fall into two categories, those who return for family reasons and those who return for business/financial reasons. Most holes have been filled in PL and no one is giving up ground without a fight, although there is still opportunity, it is now more niche. The only wise words I can give you is, the buildings have been painted, the people dress in nicer clothes,PL is now part of the EU, but underneath when you pierce the veneer it is still the same mentalities as you know.
OP rybnik 18 | 1,462
13 Feb 2011 #12
Thanks for the tip....I respectfuly submit you create a third category for returnees to Poland: just simply to re-connect with "it".
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
13 Feb 2011 #13
just simply to re-connect with "it".

good enough reason.
s2good2 1 | 72
13 Feb 2011 #14
I hadn't heard nor uttered a polish word in a very, very long time

Just curious, not intended negative, Why? Why would you not speak your native language at all? Are there no Poles where you are? My wife is Polish and we seek out Clubs,people, stores that are Polish in order to keep her and my son connected with her culture. My son is Bi-lingual and he is only allowed to speak Polish to his Mom and English to me (not a prison, Just want him to know his mom's culture and be able to communicate with his family in Poland) Sorry got a little off subject, so why?
poland_
13 Feb 2011 #15
Thanks for the tip....I respectfuly submit you create a third category for returnees to Poland: just simply to re-connect with "it".

Good luck with the move.
BBman - | 344
13 Feb 2011 #16
I came to Poland for the first time when I was 21 in 1978. I left in 1985. I returning this September after all these years. Please help me imagine the changes I will experience upon my return.

Wow that's a long time! I can't help you with the differences though as i'm much younger than you. I hate to sound pessimistic, but unless you are incredibly patient and prepared to work extra hard, you WILL not stay in Poland for long. Not too long ago I relocated from Canada to Poland for work (i was born in poland, speak polish, have family there etc.) but only stayed a couple of years. There are too many things wrong in Poland and I just couldn't put up with it anymore.

Just curious, not intended negative, Why? Why would you not speak your native language at all?

I'm also interested...

it would be interesting to read your experiences once you arrive here.

Ditto.

Rybnik, I hope you make a daily blog about your experiences in Poland!
OP rybnik 18 | 1,462
13 Feb 2011 #17
I'm afraid I haven't expressed myself well here. For this I sincerely apologize.
1) I'm an American-born polonus, who went to school in Poland in 1978 and left in 1985 upon graduating. I returned to New Jersey with a polish wife and 3-year-old daughter. I divorced my polish wife in 1993. Since that time I never had the need to speak polish.

2) I'm only returning for a visit not to re-locate. I agree it would've have made for interesting reading had I intended to stay for good. I apologize for piquing everyone's interest.
poland_
13 Feb 2011 #18
I'm only returning for a visit not to re-locate. I agree it would've have made for interesting reading had I intended to stay for good. I apologize for piquing everyone's interest.

Enjoy the visit. Do you have an itinerary yet?
OP rybnik 18 | 1,462
13 Feb 2011 #19
Do you have an itinerary yet?

My visit's going to be no more than 10 days. I want to return to my old haunts namely Krakow, Wroclaw, Zielona Gora and Warszawa (if time permits). This time I'm going solo; it's more of an opportunity for me to re-orient myself. I plan to return with my filipina wife and daughter next year. I can't wait!
Gregrog 4 | 100
13 Feb 2011 #20
I'm afraid I haven't expressed myself well here. For this I sincerely apologize.

Nevertheless reading about your comments about changes in Poland would be very interesting:)
OP rybnik 18 | 1,462
6 May 2011 #21
Right. I'm thinking about flying into Berlin, maybe elsewhere just outside Poland(Czech) and driving into Poland sometime in early to mid-September. What is the conventional wisdom regarding coming to Poland from North America? Is is better/easier/cheaper to fly into Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow? I'm very interested in hearing your ideas.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
6 May 2011 #22
Is is better/easier/cheaper to fly into Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow? I'm very interested in hearing your ideas.

if you heading south, Berlin is probably the best option - rent a car there.
OP rybnik 18 | 1,462
7 May 2011 #23
That's what I did back in '89. I'm afraid this time I'll get lost! Should I get a GPS-equipped car(don't laugh :) ) ? I'm really worried I won't recognize any of the old landmarks.....maybe just an old-fashoined map will do?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,386
7 May 2011 #24
I'm afraid this time I'll get lost!

plenty people here can give u directions before u set off.

the road/s out off berlin may seem a problem, but then u just follow your nose :)
OP rybnik 18 | 1,462
7 May 2011 #25
ok
My greatest worry, though, is once I get to Wroclaw. How will I negotiate within the city?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,386
7 May 2011 #26
How will I negotiate within the city?

plenty of sign posts. you'll be ok.

morning and afternoon rush hour can make things slow.

ask again a week before u travel.
OP rybnik 18 | 1,462
7 May 2011 #27
I'll do that.
Thanks

Any recommendations for medium-priced hotels in Wroclaw, Krakow and Zieolona Góra?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,386
8 May 2011 #28
some 3 star hotels in poland
Palivec - | 380
8 May 2011 #29
That's what I did back in '89. I'm afraid this time I'll get lost! Should I get a GPS-equipped car(don't laugh :) ) ? I'm really worried I won't recognize any of the old landmarks.....maybe just an old-fashoined map will do?

Seriously, don't drive without GPS! Either rent a car with GPS or buy a cheap portable device. Makes your trip much, much easier.
And btw: many car rentals in Germany don't let you drive to Poland.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
8 May 2011 #30
And btw: many car rentals in Germany don't let you drive to Poland.

Not anymore. The only companies enforcing such a thing are the tiny ones who shouldn't be used anyway.


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