Poland Stories and Tips

Week 17 - Dressed Like a Jester (POLAND)

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member

Well another week has passed in Poland and I am pleased to say that the temperatures of  -20ºC are long past now and we are up to the dizzy heights of only -2ºC!!

Since I last wrote, I have fully settled into Polish life and have even been socializing with locals and have friends! What a difference a week makes! It’s been a very amusing week as well. It all started off with a fancy dress non-alcoholic ball on Saturday night, which was organized by the families of some of my students. As you can see from the photos, my fancy dress was horrendous!!

On a normal occasion being made to dress like a jester I could deal with as I could dull my senses with alcohol, but as this was a non-alcoholic party then I was left to fight it alone! As I was the only foreigner in the room, I was made to go in front of everyone and talk. I decided to say the only two sentences in Polish that I know, which were "I don’t speak any Polish and the food was delicious." For some reason this got me a standing ovation and cries of telling me to repeat what I had said! Very strange, but very good for the confidence!

After one of the greatest feasts I have eaten, it was time to dance. My dance moves can normally get me through any dance situation, but this time unfortunately they were useless as it was proper ballroom dancing action. I was able to quickly learn the most simple dance step of swaying from side to side, which just about did the trick. As you needed a lady to dance with and mine being the other side of the Atlantic, I was able to take advantage of being the token foreigner and dance with a number women! The music that we danced to was traditionally Polish, but it seemed that every song contained the words "where is Cheggars now." Maybe it was a hidden message or something, I don’t know!

I was also voted second sexiest male of the evening, although I think I was robbed of first place!! We were also fed a cream cake by a blindfolded lady and I was so close to being sick as I didn't know the Polish for' stop feeding me I’m going to be sick'!

I have also had my first taste of Polish nightlife after being invited out for a drink by one of my students. The first bar we went into I was confronted by a drunk guy who kept shouting the word 'bottle' at me over and over again until the landlady picked him up by the scruff of the neck and carried him out. I think I was more scared by the strength of the landlady than the drunken guy, but my heart beat returned to normal when I was informed that a pint of beer costs the pricey sum of 70p! You really can’t complain! I think I might have to make good use of these prices while I'm over here. I'm not quite sure that the teacher's manual says that you are allowed to socialize with your students, but I can’t see it doing any harm!!!

Teaching is going well. I have even managed to get some of my students to learn how to say "You’re having a giraffe," while in other lessons, I have somehow found myself talking about prostitutes and motels. Next on the list of bad slang to be taught must be "I’m not feeling the George!" If I can get Americans to start saying it, then I’m sure the Polish will follow suite!!! Not quite sure how I ended up on these subjects, but everyone seemed to be agreeing with what I was saying!

I also had one girl student give me two of her marathon medals. I would say that this was one of the nicest and generous acts of hospitality and kindness I have ever witnessed. I really didn’t want to accept as I felt guilty doing so, but I think she would have been more disappointed if I hadn’t of accepted them. It's occasions like this that makes me realize that it is those that do not always have the most that are always willing to give more.

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