Thursday, May 20, 2010


It's true. I flew across 'the pond' to Poland. Cheating? Maybe, but as the waters of Poland are not on our list of sailing destinations, I boarded a flight bound for London, and released all control of my destiny for the next ten days.

Poland has become quite Americanized, with shopping malls, ethnic foods, cell phones, and political discontent. Prices are similar to that of the US, except the average Pole earns about 700 US a month. No one recycles, except the bums, who dumpster dive for aluminium cans. This early morning ritual can pay up to $20 US per day, a good wage. It also earns, however the resentment of ordinary people, who despise the noises coming from the dumpsters in the early morning hours, and the us vs. them divide deepens.

There are floods here in the North reminiscent of Katrina. (Not one person here has heard of Katrina) People are stranded in their houses, in rescue shelters, and there is nowhere to go. The funny thing is there are little rescue boats, that go from house to house distributing food. (I see a Polak joke in there somewhere.) These floods are the worst they have seen in recent memory, and the season is all wrong for flooding.

Here are a few things that blew my Americanized mind:
1. No one I talked to has heard of Sara Palin
2. Pigs feet make a good soup
3. Birch trees make good syrup
4. There are ancient "jungles" in the Northeast Poland
5. Polish mountain music and Jamaican reggea sound great together
6. Poles are the only people in the EU (european union) that are required to apply for a visa
when travelling to the US
7. The streets are free of trash

I'll leave it at that... goodnight.


jomamma said...

Good that you checked in, pictures please. Stay safe and have a good time.

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

So you missed your honey. How sweet! The real estate brokers that I work for are from Poland and they're the best. Have a great trip!

Travis and Maggie said...

Hey thanks to you both.

A corretion is necessary. Seems like Sara Palin is known here after all.

Pictures are more difficult. I only took the video camera, which I can't edit here, and learned that a camera is indeed different and necessary. Defintely take a camera along next time.

Only two more days to go. Yesterday a lesson in making pierogis. Today we make pototoe cake!

Allan S said...

Nice post...I love hearing of the differences between North America and the rest of the world. It gets me out of my :I/We are the centre of the universe" mindset!

Travis and Maggie said...

Allen, thanks for the comment. It especially relevant since I definetly detect a bit of resentment on the part of the Poles toward America for exactly that reason, the "we are the center of the Universe".
In fact we just had that conversation regarding cell phones, because my cell phone was completely useless. The sentiment was that America is so self centered that they sell phones with only the 119 mghz receivers instead of the 117, 118 and 119 common to all of Europe. I think I go that right. True this was all my fault as I did not research and buy the correct equipment, but nevertheless it gave them another reason to justify their somewhat disguised contepmt.