So I’m gonna get a little ranty and tell you my complaints about Poland. Let me preface this by saying please don’t read this post first and think I’m a total asshole. I’ve written many heart-warming, sentimental posts about my love for Poland so, please, no offense, ok?
Air quality and general lack of environmental-friendliness. Air quality sucks for a few reasons. One of them is that this part of Poland (Silesia) is industrial and the other reason is that people burn garbage. This is due to the fact that people either don’t have money for more efficient methods of heating or don’t want to pay. Not only that, many people are skeptical of recycling. Um, why? Maybe the idea is something new for a lot of people, so if it’s new, you push back against the change. Ok I get that, but I often hear from people that they don’t recycle because they live in a flat and don’t have a place for 3 bins that will help them segregate. So do what I do and take a plastic bag and shove everything inside and then segregate when you go downstairs. It’s really not that complicated. or “I don’t recycle because the truck just takes everything and puts it in the same place anyway”. Yes and 3 minutes spent on segregating was lost forever. What a tragedy.
Everyone speaks Polish to me too fast. Ok I understand a lot of Polish but, for the life of me, I can’t understand why no one slows down their speech when they talk to me. Ma-sa-kra. You have to slow down your speech when talking to foreigners, y’all. I don’t need more excuses to look stupid. Throw me a bone.
Taxes. Being from the States, this is my most common complaint about Poland. Given the fact that there are many absurd social benefits and social health care, taxes are massively high. Sales tax (VAT) alone is 23% percent. Although they are far from the highest in Europe, the comparison to America is quite dramatic and it’s only getting worse.
Graffiti. I can’t stand this. There are beautiful buildings everywhere which are covered in graffiti, and not the pretty kind. The kind that just lets you know which football team they support or which area they live in. Somehow kinda idiotic to spray paint the name of your area on a building in your area… but ok. A new coat of paint? Perfect opportunity to paint “Piast całe życie!”
Sales. There aren’t real sales here. Even at outlets. You’re never like “oh shit! this is a sweet deal!” You’re like “eh, ok, that’s what this is worth.” And forget there being an amazing sale on some real name brand. The only place you can really find good deals is Tk Maxx, and if you don’t like searching through junk, it can be an irritating experience. That’s why every time I visit home, you better believe I’m coming back with a full suitcase and maybe one extra.
Intolerance. Generally, the fact that we live in homogenous society doesn’t help much with tolerance but, overall, most people I know and spend time with are very tolerant. However, it happens sometimes that when I’m out and about I can hear that even young people are intolerant to people like gays, for instance. I suppose it’s a matter of not knowing many and just simply not having experience with people who are different, but when I hear people talking about homosexuals, I often cringe. What’s acceptable in common conversation here would be considered very not PC in the States.
Bad service. Mostly it seems like people just accept the bad service they get here. And as people don’t expect good service, it’s often not given. Sometimes I’m shocked by treatment I get and sometimes I’m delighted. It irritates me that it can be so drastically different. Nowadays there are so many options, it doesn’t make sense to frequent a place where you know the service is bad.
Along with my fellow inhabitants of Poland, you can hear me complaining about the weather and how expensive things are as well, but of course I have a few of my own, but they’re not that bad in my opinion. Anything I missed?