Monday, November 28, 2005

Observations from two weeks in Poland

I was in Poland for two weeks, my first trip to Poland since the summer of 2004, I noticed and found out a few things

The scoring leader of the Polish Orange Ekstraklasa, Grzegorz Piechna, makes 30,000 Euros a year.

Video screens in bars and pubs are in. During the 2002 WC qualifiers I couldn't find places in Poland to watch games, now they are a dime a dozen.

Polish beer is going into the shitter, did you know that Tyskie is being made in Poznan and not Tychy? Bullshit if you ask me. Other "imports" are all brewed in Poland, I guess they do it in order to avoid tariffs and compete with the Polish brews, clearly these beers are not as good as the originals.

I bought a bottle of Sobieski vodka in Poland to take to the US, I get to the US and look at the label only to find "imported by" some company in California. So the guy I bought the booze for will think I bought it in the States instead of dragging it with me from Poland.

I still don't get some of the Polish crappers, what is that little shelf for? I was told that they no longer make crappers with the shelf.
UPDATE: I was alerted to a nice article by the Banterist about the poo shelf.

People still use wood burning stoves, but they often don't use wood. I saw yellow or red colors in the smoke coming from chimneys, really thick with rancid smells.

The Polish hip-hop section at Media-Markt is about half the size of the entire Polish music section.

Media-Markt has no computers powered by AMD, weird.

Poland is expensive. Some crappy Pierre Cardin suits made outside of Opole were being sold for 1500 PLN, that's almost $500, and let me reiterate that these suits were crap, go to Vistula, cheaper and better quality.

Polish roads still scare me.


At 11/29/2005 07:49:00 AM, Blogger Michael Farris said...

RE: the "viewing shelf" on toilets

I once read (FYI I take no responsibility for accuracy) that this was 19th century German innovation, the idea being that the user could .... inspect (respectful silence) what they left behind before flushing the evidence away.
Apparently this had something to do with German ideas about health and early diagnosis of certain illnesses (and to facilitate taking samples?).
As often happened, the design lingered on after the practice stopped and the design also spread to German influenced areas where the people weren't so interested in micromanaging their bodily wastes.

You are very, very welcome.

At 11/29/2005 02:29:00 PM, Blogger Bialynia said...

That's interesting, a fellow told me that they are "non-siphon toilets, so in theory they save water."

I'm pretty sure they use a lot more water though.

At 11/29/2005 09:29:00 PM, Blogger Michael Farris said...

Especially considering how long you have to keep the water going to dislodge some of the more persistent ... (let's just drop this subject now).

anyway, re your sobieski saga: once in Gdansk I made a big deal out of looking up Goldwasser (herbal liquer with microscopic flecks of gold that was invented there, or more properly Danzig).
On the train back to Poznan I took a look at the bottle and saw it was actually made in the Polmos plant in Poznan, about a kilometer away from where I lived at the time.

Tyskie gave me a headache the few times I tried it. My favorite is okocim though my favorite okocim, zagłoba, isn't made anymore.

At 11/29/2005 11:58:00 PM, Blogger Bialynia said...

Yeah, what happened with Zagłoba? It was my favorite as well, I guess Carlsberg did away with it. But Poland has moved to the American system of brewing, it's the name of the beer and not where it was named, as opposed to the German/Czech model wherein the name comes from where the beer is brewed. Zywiec should be made in Zywiec, Tyskie should be made in Tychy, Krolewskie should be made in Warsaw, etc.

At 12/01/2005 11:54:00 AM, Blogger JANNIS said...

Hi Gustav, hi to everybody. Interesting remarks on Poland, I was visiting Warsaw and Crakow quite often in the late nineties and yes, I realised that western products are getting expensive there, not only because of the increasing wages, I guess it's also a matter of mentality or curiosity for everething new... In 1995 it was impossible to find a sushi-bar in downtown Warshaw, now I guess you can find better sushi there than in Tokyo... On my blog
I just published a story about big neighbour Russia, seen from a very Polish point of view. Perhaps this would interest you, I would love to receive some comments...
And I will try to bring some more stories about Poland in next time...

Thank You,


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