September 2004- September 2005
For more about
Poland (Krakow, Warsaw, Gdansk, Augustow) visit also my Poland 1998 travel
Globalisation, emerging markets, new
frontiers. so new factories mushroom eastwards. I had the chance to work in Wroclaw
(Poland) for a while (Bóg
jeden wie jak dlugo), and why didn't get it? I've always been attracted by the east,
especially by Russia; I know Poland it's definitely not Russia (and there I learned it
very well!!), but at least geographically is not so far away, and maybe one day...
ABOUT POLAND AND POLISH
I travelled in Poland by train "in a
perfect beggar style" in the summer of 98 and I got a good impression of the country
concerning the landscape. Coming back with six years more on my shoulders, I confirmed my
Those who think that Poland is just a
monotonous flat area should have a trip from the green and sandy dunes of the Baltic coast
to the nice mountains in the south passing by the lakes and forests, without skipping
obviously places like Krakow, Gdansk, Wroclaw.
Moreover now I had the chance to know better
the people: I don't know why, but before I had the strange idea about some kind of common
attitude between Russians and Polish (Polish friends please don't hate me!!!). No way!!
Now I consider Poland more italian than russian!!! And fortunately (for me and for them)
here there's no space for the russian roghness. On the opposite I found so open people and
considering that in the north there're the Sweds (hej friends, u know I love u anyway!!
:-) , in the west the Germans (come on, smile!!), and in the east Russians (I'll got
you!), I'm really wondering from where the hell come such open attitude!!! from Ceks?
ahh, gotta, from the Baltic sea! ;-)
A characteristic of the Polish I noticed is
the kindness: often people avoid being direct especially if it's implies something
negative towards you, namely a comment or a critic. For instance when I
try to speak Polish: an Italian who is learning Polish, speaking not just to say something
but to test the latest words learned. The typical situation was meeting a new Polish
person and say in english:
"hej, I'm studying Polish, let's speak only Polish so I can practise, but tell me
when you got fed up"
Enthusiastically he answers something like: "of course I will not: let's speak as
much as you want!!"
I start speaking (bullshit obviously), and
after some minute his face got pale and he realises which kind of torture he got in. A
Polish will never never never offend you saying your Polish sucks, although he would
prefer licking the toilet of an italian train than listening to you one minute more. So
everybody carries on listening patiently !!! ;-)
POLISH FUNNY THINGS
Generally speaking being a foreigner
abroad you always experience local habits that look and will look forever funny to you. I
think a Polish living in Italy in turn could write pages about Italians and Italy:
in italian and in english "NO" means NO.
It seems clear, isn't? In Polish "NO" means "it's alright". Tell me
how I can get used to it?? Even after months every time I speak with somebody saying
"I need your help to do this, it's urgent" and calmly he answers "NO,
NO", I always feel a kind of confused.
Something strange about the greetings. When Polish
leave each other after 5.00 pm (or whichever hour is dark outside) they greet saying
DOBRA NOC (good night). To me it sounds like everybody is ill and is longing to lay
on the bed :-)
My personal conclusion is that Polish don't
like umbrellas!!! Walk whichever rainy day in the centre of Wroclaw and you'll realised
that you are one of the few (if you aren't Polish of course) not soaked. Some Polish
friend of mine tease me 'cause I always keep my small umbrella in the pocket when it
threats rain, I answer: "the real man is the one always ready to everything!":-)
There are some scaring Polish words for me;
one of these is "Kapusta" (a kind of cabbage). In case you'll come in Poland, I
strongly hope you love it because it turns quite difficult to convince the waiter you want
your meat or fish without being covered by a hill of violet stuff.
A must of being in Poland is to have a look to a movie at the TV. The superfunny thing is that every character, I mean a 3
years old baby, a teen, the mother and the uncle are dubbed always with the same voice.
The voice is the one of an adult male and moreover to me it seems the same in all the
films, and when it's a cute 20 years old girl who speaks it doesn't sound so sexy.