Poland the Hollywood of Europe
Many Poles are puzzled why I am living in Poland. Poles love Poland. Poland is a great country. But why would a foofy American from Boston live in Poland? Some Poles, but certainly not all, dream of the converse, to live in NYC, Boston or Hollywood.
Besides having a Polish family connection, wanting to learn Polish, among other reasons, I live in Poland because to me this is like living in Hollywood for them. Yes living in Krakow is like living in Hollywood. Its far away from what I know, exotic, and a different culture experience. Do we have Nowa Huta in Boston? No. Do we have ‘milk bars’ in Boston no. Living is in Poland is very different from Boston. All the things the Poles take for granted is something fascinating and exotic and outside the ordinary for me. It would be like for them to move to Hollywood.
Polish people often imagine America as a country where everybody’s rich or at least richer than Poles and more sophisticated – take any TV show where an average family lives in a nice, spacious house and for 16-th birthday kids get their cars. Now when I am back in Florida I like to take day trips with my wife and daughter. When we were driving through Clay County I told my Polish spouse that it’s pretty nice out there to which she replied :”Oh Mark please don’t make me move here just to prove how much I love you”. She said that not because the place is off the beach or it’s a country side, she said that because the place is far from civilization, houses are often mobile and if you don’t have a car there is no way to go anywhere.
Polish girls and guys sometimes criticize one another over some wardrobe trifle – sure thing I do see Polish man waking in sandals and socks or girls wrapping themselves in scarfs or wearing calves – it is appealing for female but not male part of the population, but apart from this observation, let me tell you, Polish people dress very well. It’s not only when you walk through big city but even in the country side any day you see that most people do pay attention to their look – younger, older, they put thought into it. When Polish people come to America they imagine that Americans look like Hollywood actors in photos seen on tabloids – stylish handbags, perfect hair, oversized sunglasses, and although dressed in regular t-shirt and jeans, carrying around they nonfat non sugar latte, everybody knows that certain amount of money is behind that outfit. Well let me tell you how wrong you are. In the middle of a day without any distinct reason you will see girls shopping in whatever pajamas. And it’s not because it’s late in the evening or early in the morning and they run out of some crucial item, it’s because they don’t care. Rarely, even in crowded Disney you will see well dressed Americans – most people are size L+. I understand that buying stylish clothes can be difficult but you don’t have to give up on yourself because of the size. What do however wonders me, is the amount of people using wheel chairs, one would think that we have a major percentage of disable people in this country but the truth is they are nothing more but overweight . It is a puzzle to me why do people use this wheel chairs instead of just take their chance to move – in theme parks you do have to walk a lot, so if you stay for few days it would be a great opportunity to exercise and lose some pounds. In Poland when you see disable people you will notice that their problems don’t come from uncontrollable but socially approved eating.
Every country has its problems and its advantages. When you are an outsider though, I assure – you will have some fun identifying both.