So what is being Polish all about?

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.

Continue reading “So what is being Polish all about?”

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Please protect this area from dust

For those who want to charm their Polish builders, there’s an informative article on how to do that.

Being a native Polish speaker myself, I’ve found a sophisticated amendment done apparently by the person who translated the original English sentences. Original phrase number seven is:

Please protect this area from dust.

However, the Polish translation has this one tiny yet important addition:

Please protect this area from dust and beer.

Now, that’s a thoughtful translator!

UPDATE: Michał suggested that it wasn’t beer, but phonetically spelled dust. He’s probably right. I’m keeping the entry anyway, to remember this funny misreading

Engineers’ salaries rising in Poland

Seems like I left Poland only to learn that engineers’ salaries have dramatically risen there. I’ve read something almost comical about Polish headhunters. Usually, headhunters work in opposition to each other, fighting for candidates. However, in Poland, headhunters cooperate.

(…) They don’t do that in opposition, but they exchange candidate contacts instead. “Few months after recruitment, my colleague [from another agency] gives a new job offer to an engineer that I recruited. I do the same with another engineer that was recuited by my colleague. Specialists are will just swap places, each one will get higher salary, and we [the recruiters] will have the orders of our clients’ nervous managers fulfilled.” – says Jacek.

The article (in Polish) says that the guy went from PLN 3k up to PLN 14k. Taking into account costs of living in Poland, it’s like earning €14k per annum in Ireland, and the guy is quite fresh on the market. Am I coming back?

No, I’m not. It’s not about the money. It’s about an interesting job.

People who live in Ireland

The latest poll taken by the Government asked people who live in Ireland if they think Polish immigration is a serious problem:

23% of respondents answered: Yes, it is a serious problem.
77% of respondents answered: Absolutnie żaden. To nie jest poważna kwestia.

(translator)

Personally, I think that it in fact is a major problem, but not for Ireland. It is a major problem for Poland.

Poland vs the Polish

I’ve heard that there is a stereotype of Polish people being reliable and hard-working. I wonder, if Polish people perform so good abroad, why is their country performing so bad?

It’s not uncommon that good musicians can form a mediocre band, or that mediocre musicians can form a good band. Similarly, Polish people would gladly work hard in Poland if they worked well as a (huge) team and their work was rewarded appropriately. However, this would require the whole society to follow certain rules.

Lemme give an example of the road signs. I was driving a car down a six-lane street (three lanes in each direction). It was straight and there were no crossings. Suddenly, I saw a speed limit sign: 50km/h. WTF? I could safely go 130km/h there. OK, I thought to myself, I’m going to obey the rules. I slowed down from 80km/h to 50km/h. Whizz! A car passed me. Whizz! Whizz! Cars were passing me one by one. When a police car passed me, I accelerated to catch up with it. The police car was going 70km/h under a 50km/h speed limit.

I never obeyed this limit again.

You get such things all the time in Poland. If you try to follow the law, you’re doomed. You will be ripped of with taxes, you will be crippled and just watching people whizzing past you.

What to do then? Well, in order to survive, you need to disregard the regulations, exceed the speed limits and cheat on taxes. Everybody does it.

“They can’t put everybody in prison, can they?”

I would have had hope for better life in Poland if the authorities would be getting smarter. Unfortunately, every government gets dumber and dumber! Current government is so dumb that you wouldn’t believe. Moreover, they haven’t kept a single promise.

I considered running my own business in Poland. I had an idea that might work. I finally decided that I don’t want to do that in this demoralized society.

I rather go someplace else, where there is a point in working.

Going to Poland and not having my bike stolen

Stealing is not common in Denmark. I can go out shopping on my bike with a trailer and I don’t have to worry that somebody steals it while I’m picking yoghurts from shelves. How is it going to be in Poland? I will have to buy heavier locks and lock both my bike and the trailer. And not only lock the wheels, but also tie vehicles to some heavy object so they can’t be loaded on a truck and carried away for lock removal.