Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The first question

Whenever I meet a new Polish person, I'm always asked the same question: "So, what do you think about Poland?"

Without fail. Every time.

And I never feel totally comfortable when asked this question. It seems that they either want me to bury the country in compliments or to reinforce some American stereotype by saying that I don't like everything here. What's a man to do!? I'm either a total dope or I'm "just not willing to integrate."

I normally just shrug the question off with a reference to nice beer and unfriendly sales clerks. That's usually enough to placate my interlocutor. But those with the sixth sense have the ability to see through my veneer of indifference into my true thoughts.

I'll be honest. Poland drives me nuts.

The politics, the people, the customs...they all drive me to distraction. I'll expound on this later. But I do like Poland at times. Mostly from 9:00 PM until 5:00 AM. During these 8 hours, Poland is hard to beat.

In true P3 style, this post was written after bending the elbows at a local pub. Polish beer--whew--is always good.


At 11/15/2005 01:08:00 AM, Blogger Gustav said...

Things can be frustrating here I'll admit - but I think the Polish pessimism may be rubbing off on you Aaron. It's a contagious disease. I always try to remember I'm immersed in a different culture and language - and that's an experience I'd never get at home. It's an excellent opportunity to look at the world from a different perspective. Sometimes expats forget that due to all of the frustrations that come with being an immigrant.

And blogging after beers - a dangerous policy. I like risk-takers.

You'll fit in just fine Aaron. Just fine.

At 11/15/2005 07:42:00 AM, Blogger Michael Farris said...

How long have you been here? If living in a different country and culture _doesn't_ drive you nuts for a while then somebody's not doing their job.
On the other hand, it's still driving you nuts (beyond your ability to deal with it) after a couple of years, it's time to find greener pastures.

At 11/15/2005 09:21:00 AM, Blogger Becca said...

I dunno. There are frustrating aspects of the country and we can probably agree that the religion and politics provokes emotional discussions but as a relative newcomer, everything is still interesting to me rather than annoying.

I get asked the same question all the time too, and the samed shocked 'really?' when I say I love it.

At 11/15/2005 10:42:00 PM, Blogger Aaron Fowles said...

My pessimism is wholly unique.

Maybe I should change my nickname to IntrepidBlogger.

A bit long, no?

At 11/15/2005 11:37:00 PM, Blogger Gustav said...

Why do you chose to stay, Aaron?

At 11/17/2005 09:29:00 AM, Blogger Aaron Fowles said...

It's complicated. And I'll probably leave in June.


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