Cultural Musings

9 things that surprise me when I go back to America 

It’s fun for me to take trips back to the States because I notice things now that I never used to when I lived there. Nowadays I’m more accustomed to Polish culture, so some things are really surprising about life and culture in America for me, as I imagine they would be for (I wanted to write “other” here like I’m also a Pole, haha) Poles as well. Water fountains? Cute. Not impossible to buy liquor on Sundays? Weird! Free refills on drinks? Awesome! Read more to find out what else I found surprising on my last trip back to America.

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Cultural Musings

How to survive winter in Poland

I’ve lived here for just about 7 years and I have to say that I dread winter in Poland every year with every part of my being. It’s not the cold that bothers me so much. It’s more the dreary lack of sun that makes me want to jump off a bridge. And then, when there’s a tiny ray of sunlight, I stand in the window soaking it up while I can because by the time you’ve put on your jacket, boots, hat, gloves and scarf, that ray of light has disappeared and you’re left alone again in the dark, overcast sadness that is Polish winter. So what can you do to make it a little bit better? (note: above picture is not representative of Polish winter – it was taken at the end of April!) Continue Reading

Cultural Musings

10 things that are “so American”

My last post was about things that are “so Polish” and someone suggested I write a post about things that are “so American”. Since I was just in the States for 2 weeks (it was glorious – In Florida it’s like 25 degrees now!), it was a lot easier for me to recognize those things and make some comparisons. So here are 10 things that are “so American”.

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Cultural Musings

15 things that are “so Polish”

I got inspiration for this post from some recent conversations with my husband – we’d be walking and or driving and we’d see something and we’d say “gosh, that’s so Polish”. It’s funny for me that even he realizes something is kinda special to Poland. So read on for the list of the behaviours, activities or things that to me are “so Polish”. Continue Reading

For Foreigners

How to get dual citizenship for your Polish/American baby

My baby is two months old and he has already had the pleasure of visiting Urząd Wojewódzki in Katowice (twice), ZUS, Urząd Miasta in Gliwice and Tarnowskie Góry, and now the American Consulate in Kraków to get his American citizenship. Luckily for him, he has dual citizenship, so he won’t have to go through the hell I’ve had to go through being an immigrant.

If your baby is lucky enough to be born with parents from two different countries, they can generally have citizenship in both, depending on the laws in those places. In America, you’re considered a citizen if either you were born in America or your parents are citizens. In Poland, your parents have to be citizens in order to have citizenship. So that means if two Americans have a baby in Poland, their baby will only have American citizenship. So how can you obtain American citizenship for your baby if you’re American and he or she was born in Poland? Well, just a few rather simple procedures.

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Cultural Musings

Polish health myths… or truths? 

There’s a whole load of things which make people sick in Poland that don’t make people sick elsewhere. I swear I’ve only heard these things here and maybe they’re real and maybe they’re not but I’m skeptical. Perhaps we can get a doctor to weigh in? Anyone? So let’s talk about polish health myths

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Cultural Musings, For Foreigners

My experience giving birth in Poland

I’m happy to announce that as of June 4, 2017, I’m a mom! I gave birth to my baby boy at my local hospital in Gliwice, Poland. I chose the hospital based on location as it was the closest to my house, but I’d also heard good things. Frankly, I wasn’t disappointed with the stay. On the contrary, I was pleasantly surprised. My stay lasted 5 days due to the fact that I had to be induced. Interestingly, the standards varied depending on the floor you were on – the postpartum floor being the nicest. Here’s a list of the advantages and disadvantages of giving birth in a Polish hospital.

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Cultural Musings

Polish Music I like – second edition

Hi guys! It’s been a while since I did the first post with Polish songs so I thought I’d do another one. Again I welcome your recommendations for cool Polish music – especially if it’s similar to what I’ve got here. I’m open to whatever but typical rock, metal, alt-rock… eh not so much. But yeah if you think it’s cool, maybe someone else will too so feel free to post it in the comments. Happy listening.

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Cultural Musings, For Foreigners

The ins and outs of binational relationships

Being with someone from another country is often an adventure and sometimes a challenge. Which is it more of? Well, that’s hard to say. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone from a different culture than you? Then you get it. If not, it’s hard to imagine. Here are what I think are the upsides and downsides and how to manage them. Continue Reading

Cultural Musings

The dark side of living abroad

This post is a little different than usual, but it has been on my mind for a while now. If you’ve ever lived abroad for any amount of time, you know how it can be lonely it can be. We recount its advantages together or and commiserate about the difficulties we’ve faced. After 6 years, I’m only now starting to get past the various negative emotions, which truly come in waves overtime, I’ve felt since leaving my previous life behind.

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