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29 February 2008

My top 5 things I like about Poland

I know there's a tendancy to be critical when talking about what's different in a new country, so I just thought I'd put a few things I like about Poland because I think overall it's a great place and don't have any regrets about moving here.

  1. The weather is better. No you read that right - the weather is better. I know that it drops to minus 1o sometimes at night in the depths of winter (or lower I hear in years gone by), but I would rather have -10 degrees with crisp white snow everywhere, a clear blue sky at day time and dry weather rather than +10 degrees in London but with drizzly rain and a depressing overcast grey sky. Plus summertime is much hotter than in the UK and I love the sun.
  2. The food is better. Well my wife says I don't like Polish food but that's not true, more that I am ambivalent about Polish food. However I am ambivalent about most food. But I still prefer to buy 'proper' meats and the local produce that is more readily available here rather than what I heard someone refer to as 'plastic ham from Tescos' in England.
  3. Family values are still important. The UK news always talks about moral decline, falling standards of behaviour in schools and in the streets and the increasing numbers of single-parent families. I like the fact that in Poland the family unit is respected more. I hear it was like that in the UK in the fifties, but given that I was only a gnat in my dad's sack then I can't comment on it.
  4. There is a lot of investment in Poland. I know that sounds like a bit of a crap reason to like Poland, but what I mean by it is that when you walk, drive or go anywhere you can't help noticing the new buildings going up, the new roads being built or the pavements getting a much needed refurbishment. Whether I am alone on this I don't know (please comment!) but it gives me a sense of excitement about how things will be here in the medium to long term. It also reaffirms my decision to move here that Poland is indeed on the up after being unjustly held back for so many decades.
  5. There are some beautiful places to visit. I thought Gdańsk was just a bombed-out ship yard until I visited it - UNBELIEVABLE! I couldn't have been more wrong. Well worth a visit if you haven't been there before. Poland has a choice of miles of sandy beach along the northern coastline or stunning scenery and skiing in the mountains in the south. Plus there are loads of places to visit in between.


island1 said...

The pace of change is exciting. Things were in a bad way for a long time and the flood of new investment is making obvious changes very rapidly. Also this money goes a hell of a lot further here.

Anonymous said...


I have found your blog very very randomly and I must say it is very nice to read all the pleasant comments about how much you like to live in Poland. I am a polish citizen although I have lived in the States for many, many years. I am not finishing med school here in Poland and I have applied to England for a job. I have a few questions, and I would be sooo glad if you could help me out with them! I don't know anyone there so I have no one else to ask. My first question is about my car.... if I drive my Polish car from Poland there and after six months I will have to register it, do you know if there is any trouble to register the car if the steering wheel is on the left?? Must it be on the right to register the car? I don't know what else to worry about with the car so If you know there is anything else I will appreciate if you can let me know. And my second question is: do you know if someone with a US license is allowed to drive in GB??
Thank you so much in advance for your help!! I hope you continue to enjoy your stay here in Poland. I love to live here myself but I just wouldn't be able to pay off my student loans with the money I would earn here as a beginning doctor. If it wasn't for the money I don't think I would leave so quickly.
Wish you and your family a great day

BritInPoland said...

You are supposed to register your car in the UK if it is here for more than 12 months, but they can't check how long you've been here anyway, plus even if they could, each time you leave the UK (e.g. if you go home for a visit) then your 12 months starts again.

You can register LHD vehicles in the UK no problem.

I know lots of people in the UK who have had vehicles in London for years on French number plates. I don't condone doing this, but by doing so they avoid car tax (£160/year) and aren't paying incredibly expensive UK car insurance. Also they are more likely to avoid parking tickets and the dreaded London congestion charge, although that one I hear they pursue across the EU.

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