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Poland

Cultural Musings, Poland

All Saints’ Day // Wszystkich Świętych

I’m not a Halloween-celebrating American. When I was a kid we weren’t allowed to celebrate Halloween so I don’t have those happy associations with trick-or-treating or dressing up. It’s just not something I miss about the States (unlike July 4th and Thanksgiving – those are sad days for me here), but Poles celebrate it more and more each year. There is the occasional costume party but still kids don’t really trick-or-treat much and people just don’t go all out like they do in the States.
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Poland

Polish wedding panic // Panika na polskim weselu

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.
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Poland

Things I’ve started doing since I moved to Poland

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.

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Cultural Musings, Poland

Czemu język polski jest tak trudny? // Why is Polish so hard?

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.

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Poland

Czemu Polska? // Why Poland?

Whenever I meet someone for the first time, I know with 100% certainty that the first thing they’re going to ask me is “Why do you live in Poland?!!?!!!?” Even worse is when someone finds out I’m from Florida. “You moved from Florida to Poland???!!?!” I know everyone thinks I’m nuts, but what can I say? Yes, I moved from a hot place that most people consider the ideal holiday destination to Poland, which most foreigners liken to Siberia in terms of weather. (I also thought that in the beginning and bought a jacket so puffy I’m embarrassed to take it out of my closet nowadays).

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Poland

Poważnie Absurdalne // Seriously absurd

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.