When I first arrived in Dublin, one of my first thoughts was: did I really leave Poland at all? Polish people were all around, in a pub, on the street, in the shop, in security and in laboratory. Seven out of fourteen flats in the house I live in, are inhabited by the Polish.
However, that was a superficial thought. Obviously, I was meeting people whose mother tongue is the same as mine and I can easily recognize them on the street. Either by white socks, or by seeing them throwing empty bottles into the sea, or by the way they walk, just as if they had abscesses under armpits. I’m sometimes ashamed of them, sometimes I’m proud of them, especially when I hear that they’re regarded good and reliable workers.
As time kept passing by, I started questioning my relation to other Polish people in Ireland, and finally, instead of „did I really leave Poland”, I started asking myself:
Did I ever live in Poland?
If we reject superficial things such as language or geography, the answer isn’t obvious anymore. If we think of a typical Pole as of a soccer lover drinking vodka in front of a TV set with an illegal digital decoder, I’m as much Polish as I’m Pakistani. Well, we can say that English hooligans aren’t much different than that, we need to look for Polish traits somewhere else.