Thursday, November 17, 2005

Poland’s peculiarities

I think we’ve pretty much agreed that Poland is a country that provokes extreme opinions. But why?

I’ve noticed loads of little things that I haven’t come across before in the UK, Germany or Belgium. My theory is that if we start a list of random observations and gather them all together, those people outside of Poland reading this will have a better idea of what we’re dealing with.

These are in no particular order, good bad and ugly all mixed up together:

  • People fall over themselves to give up their tram or bus seat to other people, especially the elderly.
  • Despite the strong Catholicism and high church attendance, the busiest places on a Sunday are the shopping malls, which are everywhere.
  • If you walk around the streets of Warsaw with a black person, people openly stare. With their mouths gaping.
  • Polish men have manners. Doors are opened, coats are helped on and I know I should be outraged, but it’s kind of sweet.
  • Polish food is a mix of mouth-wateringly delicious dishes, soup and too much offal.
  • If you try and watch an English-language (or other foreign language) film on Polish television, you will have to put up with a monotonous Polish man translating everything over the original with little or no emotion.

There are more… somebody help me out.


At 11/17/2005 06:03:00 PM, Anonymous Kinuk said...

- older ladies think nothing of criticising your parenting skills in public (even if they don't know you!)

- when you go to the doctor's their bedside manner is often apalling and they perscribe horse-strength antibiotics without too much prodding

- a Pole will have a selection of several pills for various ailments and pains in their house (and possibly on them)

- sixty people could bump into you on the street as you're walking but maybe only one would say "excuse me"

- if you're female and over the age of around 55, "helmet hair" is de rigeur (permed, teased and hair-sprayed into a helmet-like structure to encase the skull)

I'm sure there are more to think of, but that's all I've got so far...

At 11/17/2005 07:37:00 PM, Blogger jeronimo said...

And died red!

At 11/17/2005 08:20:00 PM, Blogger Gustav said...

You can pick a Pole out from the back of his head.

It's flat in back. A straight line from neck to crown. Every single one - though it's easier to see on men because they normally have short hair.

It's true.

At 11/17/2005 08:22:00 PM, Blogger Gustav said...

Again, the first sentence:

You can pick a Pole out of a crowd by the back of his head.

At 11/17/2005 08:30:00 PM, Blogger jeronimo said...

Oh, I was wondering how one would pick a Pole through the back of his head? Sounds like a Hellraiser scene!

Perhaps the men of the people of the plains slept too often on flat surfaces over the ages? :)

Now I'll be checking heads this weekend!

At 11/19/2005 07:56:00 PM, Blogger The Wendy Lady said...

Don't forget the old ladies with lavender hair. There are too many of them for it to be an accident, but why would anyone CHOOSE that color?

At 11/20/2005 11:41:00 AM, Blogger Aaron Fowles said...

- no matter which line you stand in at the train station, the guy at the window is always an idiot and isn't really sure which train he wants, so he stands there and pesters the painfully slow woman behind the glass (who would rather be watching M jak Milosc, anyway).


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