Friday, May 25, 2007

Life in Poland

Weirdness, part one

1) Chimney sweeps. There are chimney sweeps in Poland, and they transport themselves on bicycles. They wear a grey uniform and top hats. If you see one, you should hold a button until you see a woman wearing glasses.

2) Nuns. Are everywhere. I have seen nuns in Pizza Hut, shopping in Tesco, queuing for a bus, and eating an ice cream with two scoops.

3) Paying the bill. In a restaurant, if you say 'thank you' when you pay the bill, it means you don't want change. Polite foreigners beware!

4) Shyness. Poles are shy about speaking English. The woman who works in the baker's shop next to my school speaks English. But if there is someone else in the shop, she speaks Polish.

5) Politics.

i
One of Poland's foremost politicians is this man. At the 1:00 mark he is saying, "I have a mother, I have a brother. My daddy is dead. He is in heaven now." Later, he assures voters that if he is elected mayor of Bialystock, there will be no more drugs or crime.

ii
The President and Prime Minister are twin brothers. Their party won the election after a religious radio station known as 'Radio Maria' told its listeners (predominantly elderly women) to vote for it.

iii
Two Polish MEPs were accused of raping a prostitute. One of Poland's top politicians said, "You can't rape a prostitute." He was not fired.

iv
The Minister for Education (and deputy Prime Minister) doesn't want gays to be teachers. He wants schools to fire them. A journalist pointed out that this contravenes European employment law. The Minister suggests headteachers "Just make something up then." The Minister looks like Frankenstein.

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