Letter from Warsaw

I’ve recived a letter from Warsaw (Warszawa). Beautiful letter from a good friend of mine.

And Yes! In Warsaw and in every big city in Poland people can speak English!!! You can buy books written in English, T-shirts with  English sentences written all over… People watch Desperate Housewives, House, The Shield, Family Guy, The Flintstones, The Jetsons (actually I grew up with those two lats ones), The Simpsons, Heroes, Lost, Modern Family, The Pacific, Dexter, Bones, Mad Men, Weeds, Gleeeeee…., Supernatural, Anathomy Grace or wait… is it Gray’s Anatomy… Almost everybody in Poland know Gray’s Anatomy. I don’t anymore. I used to, though, when I had lived in Poland ;-)

So, Yes! People speak English in Poland. Why!? Maybe because it’s a mandatory subject in most of the schools. Maybe because if you want to be successful late in your life you need to speak at least two languages, and fluent Polish of course ;-) Meybe because people are very good educated in Poland. And if you want to study and get a good education it means: being able to read in a different language, go to a different country for a student exchanges, etc. Maybe because people there dream about traveling, and if you really want to enjoy it you should be able to speak at least English… English is everywhere…

Ok, back to my letter from Warsaw. There was a book, and a chocolate inside, too. A book I’ve been waiting for for a long time and the chocolate – sweet surprise. Don’t mind surprises like this one…, too bad it’s almost gone :-(

Thank You,

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20 thoughts on “Letter from Warsaw”

  1. That is so sweet! Chocolates from Poland taste so good…

    My Babcia got me a book about Wroclaw in English on our honeymoon so that my husband and (at that time) our future children could learn about where I was from.

    I don’t think people realize how well educated people are from Europe. Most of my cousins speak at least 3 languages. One cousin speaks 5, fluently, the last being Spanish. I think it’s great that now a foreign language is mandatory in our schools but think it is extremely dissappointing how depressingly underfunded schools are and that the only foreign language “option” is Spanish and no others. Why only one? I see no reason why kids can’t learn at least 3. But then, our arts, gym, music programs keep being cut.

    I know how wonderful that packet made you feel. It brings me to tears whenever I get something sent to me from Poland. My Babcia has begun sending me recipes, children’s books, movies, etc. from Poland.

    Hugs!

    1. I wish I could get a few history books about Poland in English. I’m talking about the really old history. From the begining of Poland. Mieszko, Poland Baptised and after… I want my husband to know all of that… Right now I’m waiting for some books like that, in Polish though. I’ll be reading and summarizing it to my husband :-)
      and I’m waiting for some books for my daughter from my mom :-)
      Have a great weekend!
      hugs

      1. If you’re interested in Polish history books in English, you should definitely go to Amazon and buy Norman Davies’ works! His book “God’s Playground”, which is Polish history from the very beginnings, has been greatly appraised and said to be one of the best, if not the best, Polish history books written in English. He wrote a lot more books on Poland, he’s married to a Pole and lives partly in Oxford and partly in Krakow, so I’ll say he knows what’s he writing :>

        ciao,
        Amy.

  2. The Wroclaw book Babcia got me was by Stanislaw Klimek. It’s Architecture & History. And Via Nova did it. http://www.vianova.com.pl is their site. I don’t know if that can help you but it’s a start. I’ll look at what else I have and will tell you which ones are worth looking at. Also, have you gone to your local library to see what they have? That way you can read through, see if you like, before you buy a copy for yourself?

  3. I wen to Poland a few years back during Christmas. Poland was devastated during WW2. And it was a country with women far exceeding the no of men as most of the men were killed. I could meet many old women who was on their own. One such women in her late seventies knowing some english offered her services as a guide. She stayed with me for the entire trip. The old city is still there and the silent monuments still speak of the horror this little country faced. Its a lovely place though I spent most of my time at the Villa where Chopin once lived. Every year Pianist’s fly down from various parts of the world to celebrate his birthday and playing his compositions.

    Best!

    1. You know, my home town in Silesia was destroyed in 90%. In the City Hall or in some books about this town you can see the pictures of ruins. Ruins, ruins, ruins everywehere… You won’t be able to say that had happend looking at this town today. It’s beautiful and very well maintained.
      This story about left woman remained me a story of my dad’s family. He is the yougest child of family of 14… and… his dad was killed by his own villagers because he had different political views than the rest of them. It was right after the WW2. He left the entire family mostly girls with one men (my dad age 3). Imagin. I can imagin how hard that had to be for all those families withouth fathers, brothers, husbands!

    2. I don’t know if you know, but the Old City in Warsaw isn’t actually that old. Warsaw was leveled by the German bombing and the Old City was rebulit after the war, architects basing on the plans of the real Old City made by some students just prior to the beginning of the war. So the Old City that’s now standing in arsaw, all along the royal palace etc., is really a great mock-up! The only thing that actually survived is Łazienki Park.

      Something similar happened to me, only in Paris and the woman I met was Polish who lived in New York and taught French x) We wre standing in the line to vote (it was 2010 presidential election) and started talking and as a result, she showed me Louvre in the way I never expected that it can be seen! :)

      ciao,
      Amy.

    1. You’ll be just fine! There is so many people in Poland speaking English that when I went to Warsaw and to Cracov (Kraków) two years ago I thought I’m still in America. I heard English everywhere. It was very weird experience. Poland is in EU (European Union) and the borders are open to the countries that are in EU… it increased turism from all over the World. Not only turism but it brought foreign investors, too. People speak foreign languages in every sectors of public life. There is many Polish people like me – married to foreigner but living in Poland.
      So, you should be more than just fine going to Poland and not speaking Polish!
      Hugs

    2. Sure, you’ll be fine! Just remember to ask younger people, because older ones tend to know Russian, not English ;) (because during the communism era it was Russian that was taught in schools). I’m a Pole living in Poland and I speak English quite well, I hope ;)
      Also, in most of bigger cities, there are tourist’s information spots everywhere, so you can ask there about many things that ordinary Poles, even speaking English, won’t be able to tell you, such as where is American Embassy or Consulate (Embassy is in Warsaw and Consulate is in Cracow) etc. :)

      Actually more Poles speak decent English than, for example, the French do ;)

      BTW, if anyone would liek to come to either Cracow or Upper Silesia, they can always contact me, as I’m in place and can help with organizing the stay, recommending things or even giving a tour ;)

      ciao,
      Amy.

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