I got married this weekend. Jestem mężatką. Since I’ve already written about the process of getting permission to get married, now I can discuss my reflections on what a little Polish wedding is like. The funny thing is that my own wedding was my first in Poland and it was far from typical. The first thing you have to know about me is that I hate cliches. I hate doing things the same way as everyone else and I definitely hate when everyone is looking at me. Meaning a wedding is kind of my worst nightmare. Luckily my husband feels similarly so we decided on a simple civil ceremony, not a church wedding. But things that seem simple aren’t always so.
I’ve had a lot of firsts here and started a few good habits. Here are a few:
Driving a stick shift. Manual transmission. Whatever you wanna call it, I can drive it. This is one of my biggest accomplishments since moving to Poland. As an American, it was pretty strange for me to spend the first 1.5 years of my life here not driving, especially since I’ve been driving since I was 16. It’s possible to buy an automatic but the difference in price is so big that it’s just not worth it. So before I bought my car, one of my friends gave me driving lessons in the middle of the night. I couldn’t imagine something more stressful.
As an immigrant, bureaucracy is a huge part of my life. I have to have permission for basically everything and marriage is no exception. I mentioned in a previous post something about doing my wedding vows in Polish. Now I’ll describe a little more about what we went through to get here, now 2 weeks before our little, modest wedding.
The single most frustrating thing about my polonization is the language barrier. I’ve been living in Poland for 5 years and I’ve only been speaking Polish about 2, so I had a late start. I think that’s a common story for foreigners here because we’re all so daunted by the complexity of it all. Luckily my Polish family doesn’t speak English, and for some reason, they accept me even though I can’t seem to stop botching their language so royally.
Life in Poland. What is there to say? Well… lots! It’s properly ridiculous. Both cruel and kind. I love living here but, man, it’s a pain sometimes. Where else can you lead an existence so simple and yet so complicated? Here I’ll write about how those things are a part of my life. All the formality and directness – the irony of it all. But mostly, I want people to see how living in Poland is not only different than the stereotypes – it’s way better. What makes it so great? People, landscapes, food, for starters.
Explore what it’s like to live as an outsider through the eyes of insider.