Cultural Musings

The 5 craziest things that have happened to me in my 10 years in Poland

I’ve officially been living in Poland for 10 years… a whole decade. I’ve gone from 23-year-old girl, freshly graduated from college with no plans for the future, to a mom of 2, wife, business owner, blogger, and the hardest of all – a Polish speaker 🙂 it’s been quite a decade. I’d like to commemorate it with the craziest shit that’s happened to me since I moved here. 

Had my company closed without my knowledge

On a personal note, I initially moved to Poland for a guy who turned out to be…not so nice. When I broke up with him, he went to city hall and closed my company to get back at me. That’s when my future husband swooped in and saved the day. We reopened it with no issues. The joke was on the other guy because it turned out to be no big deal and I just paid less ZUS for one month. Can’t complain about that! 

Bought a house…illegally

Maybe you’ve read my post about building a house in Poland. Any kind of renovations are a lot of fun (read: total nightmare). So, the interesting thing about being a foreigner and wanting to buy land in Poland is that you need permission from the government. That makes sense as they don’t want someone coming in and buying half of Poland. So, I get it, but we didn’t know that. We were approved for the loan, bought the house, signed the papers, all good. So we thought. A few months after we moved in, we got a letter from the Ministry of Internal Affairs – never a good sign – saying I illegally purchased property and have to sort it out. Cue our lawyer having an aneurysm – calling it the biggest mistake of his career – and kombinowacing his ass off. It’s all good and I didn’t go to jail. Not yet at least. 

Embarrassed myself on live TV

Maybe I shouldn’t bring up my most embarrassing moment, but, in honor of this bare-it-all post, I’ll do it. Not like I haven’t posted about it before. In 2016, I went on Dzień Dobry TVN to discuss my blog and my husband came along as well. They wanted me to speak Polish, which I was reluctant to do, as I didn’t feel very confident in Polish at the time, and, well, it’s effing live TV, so even in your own language you might be stressed. Double the stress in a different language. Not only that, but I was in the 2nd month of my first pregnancy feeling nauseous and couldn’t eat that morning. Anyway, so I prepared the questions they gave me to death, and low and below the first question wasn’t what I’d prepared for, so I didn’t understand it ? Not my most shining moment. After that, I lost my mojo and my husband took over and covered for my loser ass till the end of the segment. Thank god for him ? Now I’d crush it for sure. I’m just dumb enough to do it all over again ? 

When Straż Graniczna paid me a visit 

I’ve been visited by the police on more than one occasion, but always in regards to my residence. This was something different. One day, I got home from work and my father in law oh-so-casually informed me that Straż Graniczna had dropped by the house looking for me. Dun dun dunnnn. As I proceeded to lose my shit, I asked him why in the fug they needed me and he just shrugged. Oh sure, no biggie. Just the border control coming to deport me. So, I called the number they left – continuing to lose my damn mind – and they came the next day. Of course I’m thinking they’ve come to take me away, but they sat down at my dining room table and asked me some questions about myself. Do I have a karta pobytu? Do I have a blog? Have I shared pictures of said karta pobytu online? Hmm, I thought. Yes, but a very long time ago when I was young and stupid. Ah, well, apparently someone had been using my old karta to advertise their fraudulent karta pobytu production service online. Fantastic! They asked me to kindly remove the photo and not to do stupid shit like that ever again. Ok, sorry Straż Graniczna. You were actually really nice but please don’t visit me again, k? 

Contracted Lyme disease

Florida isn’t a place where you really worry much about ticks. For sure they exist, but I’ve never had one and my dad, who works outdoors, has never had one, so it’s not the same as in Poland, where you can get one just walking in your backyard. So, I was always really careful when we went to the forest, spraying myself, wearing protective clothing, and always checking after coming home. We spend a lot of time in the mountains and foraging for mushrooms, so it was always a possibility to have a tick. It turns out that I got Lyme around the same time I got pregnant with my first child, and my only symptom was two toes that were so purple they looked like I had broken them. I was sent from doctor to doctor for about 6 months – dermatologists, surgeons, etc. and no one had any idea what it was. Eventually, the redness in my toes, which continued to rise up my leg overtime, reached my mid-calf. It looked like I was wearing a sock and my foot was so swollen I could only fit into one pair of shoes. Finally, one doctor realized it could be the rash from a tick bite. I was super skeptical because I’d never found a tick on my body, but it turned out she was right. Six weeks of antibiotics and lots of tests later, I was “healed”, and everything now seems fine. I’m pretty lucky considering that some people don’t find out for years and have major complications. Now, we all do the test once a year or so just to be sure.

So – that’s it for the craziest things that have happened to me in Poland. I expect the next 10 years will be much calmer… 🙂 What kinds of crazy things have happened to you guys while living in Poland?

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  • Reply Piotr 30 December 2020 at 10:39

    It could have been much worse with the Lyme disease– I had pericarditis due it. The thing that really drive me mad is that there was a vaccine made in 1998 but anti-vaxxers despite not proven that was harmful made it uneconomic for the producer to sell it.

  • Reply Jean 31 December 2020 at 00:19

    Hey Leah- I just wanted to say that I really like your blog. I am also a fellow American living in Poland and I have to say that your entries (as well as Phil’s) saved me a lot of frustrations when applying for the Karta Pobytu this year. My husband says that I’m probably the first person ever who applied for Karta Pobytu (for the first time) that didn’t get asked to come back to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to submit additional paperwork! But I still haven’t received it yet, despite having applied in June, lol. I am eternally grateful for your (and Phil’s) help. Keep up the good work.

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 31 December 2020 at 10:44

      Hi Jean! I’m so glad that we could help you out 🙂 I know it’s a real headache, but once it’s all figured out, it’s ok for a while! Things have gotten complicated but honestly I think the pandemic has made it easier because you can submit everything by mail and wait for their info instead of going there and waiting for hours or trying to make an appointment online!

  • Reply Jean 31 December 2020 at 00:23

    Oh- craziest thing that happened to me living in Poland – moving to Poland during a Pandemic and also applying for Karta Pobytu at the same time 🙂

  • Reply stephen earl 5 January 2021 at 14:18

    Hi Leah, Another super post from you, good to know about all of this stuff for when i eventually move to Poland! I have of course been to Florida, Tampa actually because that is where my sister has lived for about 40 years. She has two grown up daughters as well. She comes back to England regularly for visits so i see her quite often . Anyway Leah, keep blogging, very interesting reading!

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 8 January 2021 at 10:01

      Glad you enjoyed it, Stephen! Thanks as always for the feedback.

  • Reply stephen earl 5 January 2021 at 14:19

    Hi again Leah, How about doing a blog on what life in the pandemic in Poland is like?

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 8 January 2021 at 10:02

      I wrote one back when everything started — nowadays everything is so jumbled up and confusing it’s hard to give any concrete info. Something specific you’d like to know?

  • Reply zkn 7 January 2021 at 22:16

    Your 1 “thing” would make a good movie plot 🙂 And regarding TV – it was the interviewer’s fault, he shouldn’t have said it like he did

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 8 January 2021 at 10:01

      Hah thank you for the kind words 🙂 Perhaps you’re right!

  • Reply Marek 8 January 2021 at 08:30

    Hey, of the types of investment which qualify for a residence permit, Real estate investment provides possibly the best liquidity and security while also (statistically) being the most effective way to get approval from the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs – having the highest approval rate.

  • Reply G 31 January 2021 at 17:25

    I’m sure you don’t have to get a permit to buy real estate for residential purposes unless it’s located near the state frontier (including seashore).

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 31 January 2021 at 18:31

      If it’s an apartment, no, but if it’s land, yes.

  • Reply Steve 13 March 2021 at 10:23

    An intriguing read Leah. You’ve given me an idea for a future post. Cheers. Steve

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