Welcome to the original English language Poland and Polish discussion group board. This message forum is a place where English-speaking Poles, foreigners (expats) living in Poland, and anyone with a genuine interest in Poland can discuss and read the views of others concerning Poland. Subjects include: Polish news and current affairs; Life in Poland; politics; genealogy research; Polish culture and history; advice and tips on visiting Poland; Polish property and investment issues. The aim of our group is to increase awareness of wonderful Poland using the English language and allow and foster the honest debate and exchange of opinions on anything vaguely related to Poland and Polish - positive, negative and/or neutral! To state the obvious: all opinions and views expressed on this site are solely those of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of anyone else! Messages consisting of ads will be deleted.
No, i meant this comment:
''I don't understand, if he does not like Poland, keep it to his self.''
We all need to look for the good things of Poland, and help correct the bad things, without playing them up. Every place has it's problems, but don't show everyone, but work on correcting them, as we need do in, and with, Poland.
We all need to look for the good things of Poland - do we rly?
Every place has it's problems, but don't show everyone, but work on correcting them - how can you correct anything that isn't shown?
as we need do in, and with, Poland - ???
Tell me more of what you talk.
Poland is a great place, and those who live there now, know this, and other who just read of the things going on, don't know for sure. Ask the people who live there, and not just from Germany, and on a long visit. Or those who are looking for that fast buck, and want to make it in Poland, without careing for those who live there now.
Help Poland get better and better, each day.
This group is to discuss Poland. Not to paint over faults. None of the users know nothing about Poland. Unlike every other forum, only those who actually apply can post here. All users must prove they have some interest and knowledge of Poland before being sent a password. What does it matter if a user is Irish, English, German, Polish or a Polish American?
Why is always people who have never llived, worked or even spent much time in Poland that love it so much?
Thousands of young Poles are leaving every day, a small number return.
I work with lots of Poles in the Uk they all agree life is better in the UK.
Michael Wait until you have been to Poland and speak to real Polish Poles before you decide how perfect it is.
Really with the current Government there is little chance of things getting better.
Please talk top people when you go in May, you will be suprised and depressed too. Poland is a great place but has a lot of problems. Ignoring them won't make them go away.
On my last visits to Poland, I talked with many of the people, and have friends and family there now, and all are happy with the Poland of today, and don't want to leave. I have asked my friends if they would love to come to the U.S.A., since I said, I would love to help them, if they did, but all said, they are happy in Poland. Why is this? They do know that there are problems with the goverment, but it is better now, than it was, and will get better soon.
OK, If you say so.
Michael, maybe they don't understand what you are asking?
Angela, maybe you don’t understand Michael?
Contrary to what many of these self-described experts on Poland would like others to believe, Poland is a beautiful country with many people who are very happy to live there.
If all your Brits get your information from Poland from your British scandal rags then your perceptions are seriously warped.
There are Poles who make plenty of money in Poland.
There are many who don’t and jump at the first opportunity to go abroad. Simple economics – if you’re a recent college grad and can make either 3,000 zl per month or at least three times as much in London, hmm, tough choice.
There are many honest, hard working people.
There are many who have no idea how to live in a free market economy.
This country was ruled by communists for nearly 50 yrs!! 3 generations of Poles had to endure that hell. Changes will come slowly.
The current government (PiS/LPR) stinks but lets not forget that many Poles cant stand them and this will show next time they go to the polls.
Hanser – living in some out of the way hole by the German border does not give you a true picture of what Poland is like. That would be like living in Athens, Georgia, USA and claiming to know what US is all about. Spend some time on Krakow out of the tourist season. Go live in Warsaw or Poznan for a while.
Some of these comments are priceless. ‘Russians were like EU in Poland”, “Poles owe their freedom to the Russians”, etc. illustrate complete ignorance.
Dajwid here and a few others are usually right on, the good and the bad. There are a few who itch at any opportunity to write something – anything – negative.
Michael has his opinion. You have your opinion. Hans has his opinion. Myself and others have different opinions. That's how it should be. Not difficult to understand.
Exactly. Whatever we say it is hard to change a persons opinion, That what makes the forum good.
Simple you are right they are wrong
"Hanser – living in some out of the way hole by the German border does not give you a true picture of what Poland is like. That would be like living in Athens, Georgia, USA and claiming to know what US is all about. Spend some time on Krakow out of the tourist season. Go live in Warsaw or Poznan for a while."
I might spend most of my time near the German border, but the area isn't much different to any other part of Poland - except that it was historically German. Besides I've travelled extensively all over Poland unlike many Poles who until 2 years ago lived and died within 20 kilometres of their place of birth! The mass exodus of Poles eager to clean toilets and work in food processing factories in the UK and Ireland has changed all this.
Poznan is only an hour away from here and apart from a few upmarket stores, which few can afford to shop in it isn't any different.
Tourists visiting Krakow and Warsaw don't usually get to see the real Poland. Most probably wouldn't like to ...
"Contrary to what many of these self-described experts on Poland would like others to believe, Poland is a beautiful country with many people who are very happy to live there. "
I wouldn't disagree.
"If all your Brits get your information from Poland from your British scandal rags then your perceptions are seriously warped."
Newspapers report stories. They don't invent them.
"There are Poles who make plenty of money in Poland."
True. But they are a tiny percentage. Most Poles struggle to afford any 'luxuries'. Many find it very difficult to survive.
"There are many who don’t and jump at the first opportunity to go abroad."
True, but most of these are the generally the ones who speak no real English and are either without any life or the opposite - able to forge a good place for themselves in Poland. Money is there to be made in Poland for those with any sense.
"Simple economics – if you’re a recent college grad and can make either 3,000 zl per month or at least three times as much in London, hmm, tough choice."
The vast majority of Poles working abroad have no 'real' education or 'diplomas' from 'mickey mouse' colleges and universities. as previously discussed Polish education doesn't mean a whole lot!
"There are many honest, hard working people."
"There are many who have no idea how to live in a free market economy."
"This country was ruled by communists for nearly 50 yrs!! 3 generations of Poles had to endure that hell. Changes will come slowly."
Yes, but many Poles prefer the old system.
"The current government (PiS/LPR) stinks but lets not forget that many Poles cant stand them and this will show next time they go to the polls."
The present government is indeed a laughing stock around the world. But I don't agree that change is coming anytime soon. Most Poles don't understand politics ...
I think, in talking with Polish people, they would not want to old times back again, and will work for changes. They are new at this, and have a way to go, but all, or most are working on making things better for all.
There are a few who itch at any opportunity to write something – anything – negative
Spot on Mike C these are your words ha, you have always put the boots into the current polish government and the Catholic Church, is this a case of do as I say and not what I do?
not true, I strongly feel (as many do in Poland) that PiS and LPR are the worst coalition since free elections. Reasons are many.
And I have never said anything negative about the Catholic Church (I am Catholic and go to Church) only Rydzyk and his Radiomaryja cult minions. Big difference, many priests/Catholics in Poland agree he's a dangerous fanatic who exploits faith for $ and influence.
"Newspapers report stories. They don't invent them."
There is a saying in journalism - "Everything is reported, since nothing is known"
Newspapers are in the BUSINESS OF SELLING papers. Its not about accuracy but making money.
Other than Economist (superb magazine) and BBC British media outlets are not renown for accurate reporting. None of the newspapers that ran stories on Poland cited on this blog are considered credible sources.
"The mass exodus of Poles eager to clean toilets and work in food processing factories in the UK and Ireland has changed all this."
Most work in services that require skills, contruction, hospitality, etc.
"Poznan is only an hour away from here and apart from a few upmarket stores, which few can afford to shop in it isn't any different."
So how do these nice stores manage to stay open?? State subsidies?? Why do retailers continue to open upscale shopping malls?
"Tourists visiting Krakow and Warsaw don't usually get to see the real Poland. Most probably wouldn't like to ... "
Actually Warsaw is not a top 'tourist' destination. There are about a dozen places flocked by tourists each year. Not every place is a tourist destination, sure. You're telling me that there are tourists in every nook and cranny in East Germany?
You can rest assured that the current government in Poland is supported by the US administration, otherwise it would be doing everything possible to destabilize it etc..(Mike C you may shake your head and laugh) but this is true, it does this all around the world, (It has taken over doing what the communist did years gone by)
I think Poland will never be a rich country (I'm not saying that there won't be rich people in Poland) but the majority will just be making ends meet, true enjoying some modern comforts.
People keep telling me on this forum that Poland is booming well all I can say, pity the Polish people once a recession comes there way, and it will, like it has reached all western economy's.
The spirit of the Polish people will save Poland and will bring back the true values which Poland is known for.
Somebody remarked to me that Poland is rich, but it carn't provide decent free public toilets!
"None of the newspapers that ran stories on Poland cited on this blog are considered credible sources. "
The Daily Mail is the most popular newspaper in the UK. The stories about Poles and Poland were unfortunately all true and not just reported by this one newspaper .
"So how do these nice stores manage to stay open?? State subsidies?? Why do retailers continue to open upscale shopping malls? "
I suggest you visit one of these new malls one day and just sit and watch what business is going on.
Many of these new shops are run by thugs processing money earned in the black economy or to limit their tax liablities from more profitable businesses.
The 'average marek' buys clothes second hand, not in malls.
"Actually Warsaw is not a top 'tourist' destination."
Not true. Tourists go to either Krakow or Warsaw. Most have no idea that any other city even exists. Michael D is a prime example.
"Somebody remarked to me that Poland is rich, but it carn't provide decent free public toilets! "
Are there any other places in the world where you have to pay the toilet wench to drain the lizard??
"Not true. Tourists go to either Krakow or Warsaw. Most have no idea that any other city even exists. Michael D is a prime example. "
Dabrowski is a typical American. Most of them are happy visiting the rebuilt Royal Castle, Lazienki, etc. Older Brits are in that category as well.
Most Europeans go elsewhere - Krakow, Tri-City,..
I have many business acquaintances in Vienna. Most of these Austrians would not go to Warsaw unless they had to, but all have been to Krakow more than once.
Krakow, Prague, and Vienna are some of the most beautiful cities in the world.
"The 'average marek' buys clothes second hand, not in malls. "
Average Hans in Germany doesnt go to an upscale mall to do his shopping either. Or average Betty Lou in the US. She goes to WallMart - 'Always the lowest prices'
If you look at places in terms of microeconomics, retailers are a good gauge of how people in that market spend their money and what type of establishments can sustain themselves.
I agree with your comments that most of the people there cannot afford these luxuries. Over the last 5 years 'growth' in Poland has not been uniform, i.e. you have 3 areas of the country where incomes and standards of living rose significantly and other places where they fell. That's where EU can step in, I guess.
Bottom line, had it not been for EU, Poland could have ended up like Argentina.
My grandparents on my Dad's side came from a area aroung Piotrowice, Poland, and on my last visit, I went into this area, and spoke with the people, and also in Katowice area, and Gdansk and also Zakopane and many small villages. I want to learn more, and on this visit, will go all over, and talk with everyone, who will talk with me. I do now, write and E-mail many friends, and family in all parts of Poland.
If you have a good idea, for me, as to how to learn more from the people, please let me know.
P.S. I know of many people who live in my city, and have for some time, and don't know what is going on now, or care, just follow, like sheep. I am not a sheep.
What city's or town's or village's do you think I must see, to get a view of the real Poland? Where are they? And why?
Trust me Michael you don't want to see the real poland. Keep the pretty image you have. Go home after and tell the American Poles how good things are back home, keeps the guilt at bay.
What village or town should I see. Simple travel by BUS not taxi, go 20-30 Km s outside any tourist trap, head down most country lanes, most villages, open your eyes and look. Wait outside the small shop and watch what the elderly are buying to eat, sit with the group of locals and have a chat about how great Poland is.
You are really not ready for that. I have been there, I spent my summers in very small villages with real Poles, with real problems.
A friend lives in a house with 8 other people 2 bedrooms, none of them work as the local farm closed down years ago. (PGR). She lives on abou 300Zloty per month, she gave birth to twins, premature. Both of them were in intensive care 1 blind and other with breathing problems, she couldn't wait to get them home as she didn't have money to get to the hospital for visits.
She couldn't wait to get them home as she would get more money. 10 living in a 2 bedroom house!
I met 2 brothers, mum, dad and sister were killed in a car crash, they moved in with an uncle, no money at all only the couple of hundred a month from social help. They one of the brothers got killed by a drunk neighbour. No help at all.
As you say life in poland is better, no. For many the old days were better. Village life is tough, very tough. Some homes still have wells for water.
My advice is stick to the cities or big towns, life is good for most people, they will tell you exactly what you want to hear, show you what you want to see.
What some of the shops in poland are like.
But many are like this.
What Poland do you want to tell your American polish friends about honestly?
I went to the small shops, and talked with the people in many small vilages, on my last trip, and find many have probles, but most are very happy. Sometimes, you can't make everyone happy.
I want to learn more on all the Polish people, where do you think, names of village, I should go to?
"... and find many have problems, but most are very happy."
I assume you only spoke to the English speakers.
That means ones that could afford private English lessons. Most people don't have money for dinner let alone extra lessons.
Maybe I am wrong and you spoke Polish to them.
What towns and village do you think I need go to, to see the real Poland?
Michael, do you actually read anything anyone writes?
Poland is big, get on any bus that leaves Warsaw, travel for about 45 mins and get off at the next village, Enjoy.
Michael, most of Poland is as Dajwid describes. Forget the city centers and affluent surburbs. Most people struggle hard to survive. Why would anyone tell you that life stinks for them? This is not human nature.
Just google village, poor, poland.
I found these:-
If you were really looking to help poor poles, surely typing poor and Poland into google would have been a good 1st step. Instead you only typed, Poland culture, tourist, pretty, music, food.
Sorry but people are hungry and unemployed in many villages, not hard to find when you look. Closing your eyes and saying I am only looking for the bad side of Poland. No I love poland, so much I stayed 13 years, I helped hundreds of poles who were hungry, unemployed, uneducated. I still help Poles here I the UK.
Poland is not perfect, take off your rose tinted glasses and help them.
Don't reply with,
What can I do? Who can help? The 1st step is believing there is a problem. Yes I know England, Germany, USA isn't perfect, we have hungry people too but in most cases it is by choice, in Poland it is not.
To get back to my first question, what must, or should I take with me, that either cost more there, or you can't get in Poland? I have just 30 more days, please help, if you can. Does not have to be food, can be anything.
Most things are available here now.
Prices may be higher for memory cards for your digital camera. Could be something you could consider stocking up on before coming over
Just a few weeks, (3) until I will be in Poland, and I don't want to forget anything, any ideas, what I must take?
And for Hans, I traveled all over Poland on my last visit, and talked with the rich and poor, but must have missed somethings, that I hope to see this time.
Visiting Warsaw, Gdansk, Krakow, and Aushwitz as a tourist - doesn't equal knowing Poland. Travel wider this time.
I did last time, and will again, this time. Where do you think would be good to see the real Poland?
Michael, you can get pretty well anything you might need here now. The shops in Warsaw are quite well stocked and getting better all the time.
A tourist guide book in English would probably be cheaper in the US though, and worth buying first.
Thank you, I now have several, but if you know of one, that I may not have, let me know.