24 mar 2014

2014!

I am so happy that my old posts are useful for you, thank you for visiting!
I continue to have my favourite job as a teacher of Polish. I am still a volunteer in a NGO and a political party.
I put news about Poland both in Polish and English on facebook, I hope you also find it interesting. If there's something that you would like to know about Polish and Poland, please write me, I will answer with pleasure.

29 lut 2012

My writing

Today it’s the 29th of February and I feel ashamed for not writing for such a long time. I can excuse myself only to some extent. I write a lot: articles about sexuality for the portal of the magazine “Zwierciadło” (you will find me here), different things in my political party and more.


Recently I had short holidays. The ticket price was decent and I decided to fly with LOT Polish Airlines. I’ve always liked their inflight magazine “Kaleidoscope”. This time I was impressed reading about paleontological discoveries in Poland. Immediately it came to my mind that I would like to share this article with you. Surprisingly the magazine has no website and it’s rather impossible to find old copies online. It’s great for everybody who’s learning Polish because it’s always in Polish and English and articles about Poland are always interesting. I would like to see “Kaleidoscope” (BTW “kalejdoskop” in Polish) in pdf!

UPDATE: Now you can read it online here :-)




23 gru 2011

15 gru 2011

Andrzejki - st. Andrew's Day

It’s almost Christmas but I would like to come back to November because it’s worth to write about an interesting tradition from the Central and Eastern Europe, still popular in Poland, especially at schools. On the 30th of November we celebrate st. Andrew's Day. Not many people know who was it and that it’s the last day of the year in the Catholic Church, but everybody knows that it’s a good occasion to learn something about your future ;)


On the previous day (night) young people gather and perform magic rituals. Now it’s usually organized by schools only for fun, nobody really believes in the results of the future telling. Even 6-year-olds can get to know the name of her/his future husband or wife. I have all good memories from my primary school :)


What do we do? Most customs are connected with love and marriage, for example:

- whose shoe will be first at the door, this person will marry as first
- you peel an apple and throw the skin – it will form the first letter of the name of your future wife or husband
- you write names of potential candidates on the small papers and put in under the pillow. In the morning you choose one and it will be this person.

The most popular and complicated is pouring hot wax through a key to water. Then you interpret its shape. The shadow on the wall pictures something that will happen next year.

It’s better to watch than to read, so I recommend you 2 short films: here and here.


For teenagers and older Andrzejki is a good opportunity to organize a party, dance and drink. Maybe you will also try it in 2012?

4 gru 2011

Polish sexuality 2011

As maybe some of you know I’m a volunteer sex educator (no practice, just the theory!) and I work for young people. I’m very interested in human sexuality and today I would like to comment the recent study on Polish sexuality done by a famous professor Zbigniew Izdebski and TNS OBOP. It’s a big project and many results are not published yet. I also wrote a short article about this report in Polish.


Professor asked 3206 people (mostly heterosexual) about their sexual behaviour. In all poles like this most people (68%) are happy with their sex life. We should ask what exactly does it mean for them, especially when for 63% of men and 50% of women sex is important. 71% have sex at least once a week – not so bad!


Do people lie? Especially in this kind of poll they probably tell what they think they are expected to. On average Poles have 4,5 sexual partner in the whole life. Really? Only 30% of women declare that they masturbate – it’s still a huge taboo in Poland. For sure the one reason is Church which considers masturbation as pure evil. But Poles are not so religious as you may think. The Church is present everywhere but only 4% of people connect sex with sin.


52% tried oral sex (more than before) and 15% anal sex.


21% of men and 12% of women admit they cheated. What is interesting the relationship remained the same. According to the report Polish women look for something else because they feel bored with their partners.


51% of men i 31% of women think that a woman HAS TO satisfy her partner. Patriarchal patterns persist!


Only 9% of Poles have ever done a HIV test. HIV isn’t VERY dangerous in Poland but for sure the situation will be worse. In Eastern Europe and Middle Asia the number of infected is growing very fast!


66% of Poles use condoms. Hormonal contraception is still not very popular. 21% think that a withdrawal is a contraception method!


Only 25% of Poles consider homosexuality as normal. 35% would like to cure it!

31 paź 2011

Polish wedding

I was asked to write about the Polish wedding traditions. I must say that it’s a big topic because they are in a process of change. I will put it from my point of view which means a person living in a big city.

Firstly, a dictionary:

ślub – wedding

wesele – party after wedding

pan młody – groom

panna/pani młoda - bride

młoda para/nowożeńcy - newly-weds

goście – guests

świadek/świadkowa – best man, one from the bride’s side and one from the groom’s

wieczór panieński/kawalerski – hen/stag night

For many people ślub is an extremely important moment, planned even 2 years ahead. If you want a special place for wesele, you should book it very early. Still mostly women take care of wedding preparations but hopefully it’s also changing.


Before a wedding there are wieczór panieński and wieczór kawalerski. The idea of these parties depends on the engaged couple, can be quieter or more crazy. Usually best men organize this evening at home or in a club, so it’s a surprise. Some people are happy to receive erotic gadgets from sex shop and some aren’t so please take it into consideration if you are a guest:) You can for example order tort (a cake) like this:



There are 2 kinds of ślub: cywilny and kościelny (Catholic as most Poles are TRADITIONALLY Catholics).

a) Ślub cywilny takes place in Urząd Stanu Cywilnego – a public institution. It lasts 15 minutes. Here there’s an example of przysięga małżeńska (wedding vow). Then newly-weds exchange obrączki (rings) and are free to go.

b) Ślub kościelny – a special mass that lasts about 50 minutes. You can watch it here. Ślub kościelny requires a lot more preparations – you must attend to nauki przedmałżeńskie – a course of the Catholic version of preparation for family life (including family planning). A confession is also obligatory. Poles are good in avoiding all kinds of regulations, there are some way-outs if you don’t want to do this;)


After the wedding in front of a church or Urząd Stanu Cywilnego guests give flowers and presents to newly-weds. Now many people prefer to avoid flowers and ask for books, wine or a donation to charity. What main gift should you give? The best idea is to ask, money (in envelopes;) is very popular. The amount depends on how close you’re to the newly-weds and if you’re invited to wesele.


If you are, then you go to a place of wesele – can be far away from the church. Wesele starts with welcoming newly-weds by their parents. Usually there’s a music band that plays all sort of Polish and international music. Can be fine, can be a total kitsch. DJs are more and more popular because newly-weds like to decide about the music on their party. The two most important songs are "100 lat" and "Gorzka wódka" (bitter vodka) after which newly-weds should kiss to make it sweeter.

The first dance is important, bride and groom often prepare something special.



On wesele you should have fun, so eat, drink, dance and take part in competitions. If there’s a good konferansjer (master of the ceremony), it can be really a great party. Don’t feel obliged to drink a lot of wódka – I never do this and nobody forces me. You can drink wine or water, it doesn’t matter. More and more people drink less and don’t end under the table;)


I would like to write you about the Polish wedding traditions. What part is the most interesting or different for you? What should I explain better?

17 paź 2011

New Sejm and Senat

The election’s results were not so easy to predict, everything could have happened. Fortunately they appeared to be great (naturally from my point of view):

Platforma Obywatelska 39,18%
Prawo i Sprawiedliwość 29,89%
RUCH PALIKOTA 10,02%
Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe 8,36%
Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej 8,24%

Voted 48,92%

In fact my party Ruch Palikota is the biggest winner! We expected this amazing result but our opponents did everything to convince the public opinion that we should lose. Media also tried to diminish our political impact but voters trusted us. Our hard work this year gave us marvellous satisfaction. We have 40 MPs and will introduce different topics to parliamentary debates.


The coalition remains the same: PO with PSL. I hope that the prime minister Donald Tusk will be braver and do more. For sure it’s his success to be elected the second time (unusual in Poland) but his main opponent Jarosław Kaczyński is so dangerous for Poland that many people voted against him. Last 4 years were quite calm but on the other hand idle, very few things have changed to the better. 10% for Ruch Palikota shows it perfectly – people want faster progress both in social and economical matters.


I would like to thank everybody who voted for me! 456 votes is a wonderful result, 55 from abroad really surprised me! This is just a beginning! I will still be a volunteer in my party but this blog won’t become political;) You can always ask me about the current matters in Poland and send me your opinions.

25 wrz 2011

Polish parliamentary election 2011

On the 9th of October we will vote for 460 new posłowie i posłanki (members of Sejm - the lower chamber) and 100 senatorowie and senatorki (members of Senat). For me this is the most important election ever because I'm running for office! For a few months I’ve been a volunteer in a new party Ruch Palikota and I became one of the candidates on the Warsaw’s list (list number 4, me on the 8th place). What I do every day during the campaign you will find on my website, there’s also my political programme. My party receives more and more support and I’m very optimistic.

More in English about me and Ruch Palikota on Cogo - a portal on Central and Eastern European Matters.

I encourage all Poles living abroad to vote! You all choose candidates from Warsaw’s lists.

Check Ruch Palikota.



13 sie 2011

Holidays on the Polish seaside


This year I decided to spend my summer holidays in Poland. For a few years I’d gone abroad looking for 100% perfect weather and a warm sea. These two reasons can spoil holidays on the Polish seaside. And they do ;) During my holidays the temperature was around 15 degrees C, water – maybe a bit more. Because of the rain you can’t lay on the beach (Polish beaches are beautiful and wide!), so people go sightseeing or eat/drink. The first option is very positive but the second one not exactly...


Usually people from Warsaw go to województwo pomorskie (with cities like Gdańsk, Sopot, Władysławowo, Jastrzębia Góra or Łeba – all nice) because it’s closer. I wanted to see new places, so I’d chosen województwo zachodniopomorskie. I went to very small Bobolin near Darłowo.


I prefer to avoid crowds and I hate shops with kitsch souvenirs (these in Poland are really kitsch) so the smaller place the better for me. I only wanted to relax and enjoy the severe beauty of the Baltic Sea...


Because of the constant rain it wasn’t possible to read on the beach. I visited Ustka, Kołobrzeg, Koszalin, Mielno, Darłowo, Słupsk... I wasn't overwhelmed by the beauty of these places. My winner is USTKA with renovated Prussian rustic architecture. In Kołobrzeg you will find some old urban architecture but unfortunately buildings from the PRL period and from the 90’s spoil the view.




Only the last day of my holidays was really sunny and I could get a tan.



The key word on the Polish beach isn’t PARASOL. It’s PARAWAN! Usually it’s windy so you should protect yourself. You can have 1, 2 or 3... BTW I’m always astonished how people really like to be in a crowd.



What can you eat on the Polish seaside? Of course kebab and pizza! Don’t! Try Baltic fish! My favourite and the cheapest is FLĄDRA. DORSZ is also recommendable. Below no flądra – a big mistake!



But on the main square in Darłowo you can find... :)




About the accommodation – next time...

12 lip 2011

Polish Presidency

So many topics to write about! But recently I've been involved (and I am involved) in my political activities and unfortunately I’ve abandoned my blog for a while.


From the 1st of July until the 31st of December Poland is a head of the Council of the European Union. It’s a rotating presidency. I encourage you to read what are the Polish goals for this period:

Pl 2011

There are also several films on youtube about the presidency. Do you like these ideas for gadgets from Poland? For me krzemień pasiasty (stripped flint) seems to be the most interesting. It’s a stone that can be found only in Poland, only near Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski.


Hopefully I will come back here soon my dear readers!