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Friday, May 30, 2008

Interesting things that you will only see in Poland

Friday, May 30, 2008
Before I arrived here in Poland I tried to sort out some means to know the country and its origin. Of course, I got all information from hubby. He gave me a polish language book with CD titled POLISH IN 40 WEEKS (i guess that was the title of the book), and so I was trying to learn some words like the basics but never got interested that time. I was so confident then that i will just learn the language when I got here. Now, that I am here for almost 2 years, I am struggling with the language and never knew that Polish language is that complicated. Nevertheless, I can understand a little and very optimistic in the next few years I can speak the language not fluently but at least. That reminds me that I needed to review my Polish language lessons (but the lazy me not motivated to do it so) if i want to speak the language very soon.

There are few interesting things that caught much of my attention here.

1. Polish are courteous people - everytime we 'll go inside a shop or an establishment they will never fail to greet you with their powerful 'Dzien Dobry' - good day! or 'Dziękuje' - thank you!. Though, some I find so snobbish when it comes to dealing with a customer even when they saw that the customer is right infront of them they still tend to be busy. Over all, they impressed me much with that simple manner of courteousness.

2. Voice overs on TV- when your watching a TV program here especially in english they kept the original voice or that the conversation from the original sound effect and music. There's this strange polish voice of a man who is interpreting every conversation of the program, which is fine but it is the same voice all the time regardless of the gender of the person speaking, emotion and intensity of the story. And I observed that this guys voice is so popular because I could distinguished his voice in some advertisements and channels. Just that i find the voice emotionless. A friend shared to us that he was able to figure out how to turn the voice off and just listen the pure english conversation. But I don't know how? Can somebody teach me how?

3. Vodka - They have good vodka here. One is the popular Polish vodka Źubrówka - with a blade of grass inside the bottle and literally means 'Bison brand vodka'. One joke says that the unique taste comes from the grass that has been pissed on by some pissed-off bison or żubr in polish. That i find interesting and wanting to send one to my dad and let him taste some pissed like taste of bison. lol!

4. Beetroot - That I really love to drink (not!) especially the pure juice. But i got no choice when after I gave birth I have to live with it. From salads to the famous Barszcz soup. The soup is the one I find so weird soup at first. So red that you can mistakenly named it devils soup coz of the color it is like blood super red. A friend who leaves in krakow taught me how to make beetroot salad. I'm going to try it sometimes I'll try to see if i will like it. Or I'll try to make Chłodnik (a chilled beet soup) this summer.

5. Polish family names & words- Yes! this is very interesting to me. If you try to learn the language, familiar yourself first with the Polish alphabets & characters so it will not be hard for you to read them. And that makes their family names hard to pronounce or to read. I remember my trip here, when i booked my ticket and when to checked- in to my flights the attendants always ask me how to pronounce my family name which starts with a consonant followed with another consonants letters with only 1 vowel. I just shrug my shoulder and jokingly said 'just spell it never mind reading or pronouncing it.' Exactly, I find it hard to read or pronounced since I came from a country where my primary language mostly has vowels on it like 'a, e, i, o, u'. But it's so challenging, right?

These things are interesting and strange to me, however they find me strange as well. Like having to eat rice everyday, using spoon and fork instead of knife and a fork (or worst just using my hands), with a pure black hair, skin without solarium and of course talking in english with a mix of my own Filipino language. Is that makes me strange?

More of my polish experience and adventure next time. Happy Friday!
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