People are often asking me about life in Poland, and by the way they ask I kindof know they expect it to be terrible. Then I reply to them and say, fine, great actually, and I can hear the surprise in my own voice! Not because I expected to not like it maybe, but I didn’t really expect to like it either. So fine, we have had some teething issues, Ive had stroppy people refuse to serve me in shops as I don’t speak Polish, and the security guards stalking my every move in shops drives me bonkers (do I LOOK like a thief??), but I’ve also met a whole ton of AWESOME people. In 6 months Ive already made friends for life! Lois from Polish Housewife, an American expat here in Poznan (go check out her blog!). I met Lois while searching for Poznan International Ladies Club. Great to meet a fellow blogger and have someone to speak native english speaking english with! Then the PILC ladies who have all been awesome as well. I never thought I was a ladies Club kindof girl, but I guess I was wrong! What a great and fast way to make friends. Then there was a note sent home in my sons school bag, ‘Hi we are Mrs I and Mr P, our sons like each other and want to play, CALL US, we speak english!’, possibly the awesomest note I ever received!
Then the random strangers in the post office line who overhear the cashier saying ‘Nie’ to my question of whether they speak english and offer to help translate. The lovely people in shops who speak not a word of english but who go out of their way to help you in any way they can! The awesome insurance guy who filled out all my claim forms for me as it had to be done in polish, and even got me coffee while I waited! All these people, they make Poland great. On top of that, the air, the trees, the green, heck, even the RAIN makes Poland pretty darned awesome at times.
Yes there are minor culture shocks, the old historic buildings which wow me, and makes my son – who has yet to learn to appreciate the beauty of old things – wonder why they aren’t torn down, ‘they are so old and dirty’ he says! The graffiti – everywhere- the blatant poverty in some areas. The drunks on the street (Don’t get that in the Middle East!), but I am discovering, liking, enjoying.
Im looking forward to summer, to exploring the different areas and going for a stay in the gluten free hotel in the mountains. An article in a Swedish newspaper the other day stated Poland has some of the best beaches in Europe, I cant wait to see those too!
Yes, I know I used the word awesome an insane amount of times in this post, but I just wanted to share some good stuff along with the bad 🙂 now, back to house hunting for me!
Linda – thanks for your kind words and for considering my “American speak” English! I’m glad you’ve found some good in all this!
Wonderful how one kind gesture from unsuspecting people can make up for the nastiness of others. I’m happy to hear you’ve experienced such kindness…… 🙂