As I write this on March 23rd 2018, I’m sitting by the classroom window, looking out. It’s cold. It’s dull. My thoughts conflict, is it spring or is it winter? They begin to argue… Spring: I’m fed up with this wintery white This mad, depressing snowy sight Go away you heartless cold Release the sun […]
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Dark and damp was this chilly mid-November evening. Anxious to get my hungry belly home, I was shuffling through the streets on the crooked pavements of Bydgoszcz, a rather quiet city in Poland. Though, this night more quiet than any other. A dead Tuesday evening. All the lively events of the weekend had faded into […]
Read more "The English Pedestrian In Poland"
Being back in my home for Christmas was wonderful, but as I was coming back to Poland, sitting in the plane, I thought to myself: “in my home or at my home – or simply at home! That puzzled me for a moment. Thinking about that, I felt troubled as another thought crept in: was […]
Read more "The Polish Demons In My Head"
Driving is an act quite possibly a matter of life and death in Poland. Am I exaggerating? The roads here are bendy, uneven, and every now and again you might be surprised with a hole in the road which is alligned just right for your wheel. There is no doubt that Polish drivers are highly […]
Read more "Driving and Surviving in Poland"
“Why is there some lemon in my tea? And where’s the milk?” asked my bewildered English friend when ordering a cup of tea in a little restaurant-bar-cafe in Poland. I hate it when Polish people tell me they don’t like English tea. Please, feel free to like and dislike what you want. So why do […]
Read more "‘Bawarka’ is Not My Cup of Tea!"
The biggest lie my Polish students tell me is that they don’t like disco polo music – you all love it and you know it! Nothing gets your feet tapping faster than the rhythmic beats of disco polo and pure vodka flowing through your bloodstream. From a wedding reception in a palace to a barn […]
Read more "Alcohol & Disco Polo: We All Love It"
The English and the Polish are very different. It took me a long to time for my partner and I to truly understand each other. In fact, it took me a long time to understand anyone, and I’m sure others thought I was strange, too. Coming to Poland has taught me to be perceptive and […]
Read more "The Individualist & The Collectivists"
Cooked pigeons (gołąbki), duck blood, chicken feet, cow guts, pig tails, pig tongues, pig lard, and sour milk are just a few of the appetizing treats I’ve tried since I’ve been here in Poland – delicious! But they weren’t always tasty. Some of these exotic treats made me want to throw up at just the thought […]
Read more "The Kitchen and The Cuisine"
When I’m asked, “How are you?’” I almost always reply, “I’m fine, thanks, and you?” I’m not a cold or reserved person as you may think. That’s just how I routinely respond. In fact, that’s how most English people respond. In England ‘how are you?’ is not really a question, but rather an add on […]
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There was a time when my Polish was awful, but I was carefree and could confidently speak to anyone. That has all changed. Now my Polish is better, but I’m terrified when speaking to other people in Polish. I now wonder what my father-in-law’s impression was the first time we met… Meeting and Greeting Meeting […]
Read more "Hi, I’m Rob! Or Pan Rob? But Call Me Rob!"