Life in Poland

Capital of Culture – Stolica Kultury

Sitting at a particularly long traffic light (90 seconds red, 45 seconds green and another 90 seconds red before I could go), I switched over from my usual talk radio station to the other station, the station I don’t often listen to. My talk radio station was turning over the same topic that they have been turning over for a while now – Why do we have enough money for a new fountain and stadium, but we don’t have enough money for preschools? In this city, that’s the eternal question. It hits pretty close to home, and I am sick of hearing about it actually because the fountain is built, the stadium is under construction and my Rosie will not go to preschool next year.

But anyhow, where was I?

Oh, the radio station.

On the radio station that I usually don’t listen to, they are going through their usual banter, putting stars and politicians in their place. I stick to this station until the number of fat, fart, sex and stupid blond jokes reaches a saturation point and then I switch back to my talk radio station. All the while, I’ve got my eye on the traffic lights and on the 2 young boys who are trying to persuade the drivers trapped at the light to have their windows washed for the small price of some spare change.

The boys are very polite.

Ma’am, may I wash your window please? Just for some spare change? Or even for a nice smile?

I decline just as nicely – I have no spare change and I am all smiled out – and this time they move on to the next car with no arguments.

Sir, may I wash your window please? For some spare change or maybe a cigarette?

The gentleman agrees and pays in tobacco. He even offers the boy a light.

How very civilized.

A commercial comes on my talk radio station. The City is a candidate to be the European Capital of Culture (2016) –Europejska Stolica Kultury.


As the boys walk back to the front of the line of cars, I overhear from one of them…

Tak, kurwa, słyszałeś co powiedziała? Ja pierdolę, następny raz dostanie w łeb. (Fuck, did you hear what she said? Holy shit, next time she gets it in the head.)

How very cultured we can be when we want to be.

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No Comments

  • Reply
    June 17, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Is the \”dostanie w leb\” slang?Interesting post!

  • Reply
    Marek Cyzio
    June 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    No reason to complain, if this was Detroit, you would be already dead for refusing to have your window washed 😉

  • Reply
    June 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Może gdyby dostali zamiast uśmiechu strzał paralizatorem, to byliby grzeczniejsi :)Nie namawiam. Tylko się rozmarzyłam…..

  • Reply
    June 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I am delighted to find this blog. I am Polish American born in Krakow, but spent my adult life in DC. It will be great to \”see\” my home country through the eyes of the American.

  • Reply
    Lois B
    June 20, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Yeah, sometimes, I think I'm better off because I don't understand Polish.

  • Reply
    June 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Paddy – It's not really slang exactly. Łeb is just another word for head. And anyhow it was the \”cleanest\” phrase that came out of that boy's mouth!Marek – You should know something about that…Isn't the official motto of Florida \”Come to Florida. Maybe you won't get shot.\”? (Sorry, I couldn't resist)małgośka – We should have known from your picture that you are a little anarchist 🙂 robin – Hi. Welcome. I am still debating what to do with our other project. Do you think it makes sense to write here and there?Lois B- I agree. I never tune out 100% (for safety reasons) but sometimes I just turn down my Polish cognition to the bare minimum.

  • Reply
    June 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Robin —> ChrisYes, definietly yes. \”There\” will be different than \”here\”. Read more about in My Way 🙂 tomorrow asd i can't deal with another project right now.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I was getting married in your city few months ago and one of those \”boys\” tried washing our windows! The car has just been washed and was decorated with ribbons and flowers, and this idiot started \”washing\” the windows with his dirty sponge. He didn't even ask if he's allowed :/ You should have seen his face when my then-fiance jumped out on him in A KILT and with a KNIFE in his sock 😀 (yes, my husband is Scottish).

  • Reply
    September 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Mmmmm. That is so cool, it is delicious. I would have loved to see that. The next time your husband is in town with his kilt and knife, send him by. I have a few neighbors I'd like to put a scare into!!!

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