Now into my second year living in Poland (and indeed my first ever year living in Eastern Europe) and I get emotional, sentimental and very spiritual these days. Before I had shared my craziest moments from my first year, my top 5 things to respect about Polish culture, my top 9 reasons why I love living here and my first 8 PRL bars in Poland. Today I want to share my My Five Favourite Facts About Poland, just for starters – later I may write more about some facts from life in Poland and unusual things about the country, but here goes…
1.All Polish girls names end in the letter “a”. Always!
Have you ever met a Polish girl? If you have, her name ended with the letter “a”, even when she shortened it!! Have you ever met a Polish girl whose name didn’t end in “a”? No – because if you did, she isn’t Polish! ALL Polish girls names end in the letter A. FACT!
(and the list goes on)
If the name doesn’t end in A, you are not a female! My favourite Polish girls names are Marta, Agata, Ola, Aleksandra and Zuza.
2.Poland is the safest country in Europe
Below is a map of the terrorist attacks in Europe since September 2001. As you can see Poland has had ZERO. In contrast, Basque Country, Crimea, Western Ukraine, Northern Ireland and Corsica have the worst and highest numbers. You can feel safe and happy in Poland. I also included this in my top 9 reasons to live in Poland post. Poland is the safest country in Europe! FACT!
3.Poland Twice Finished THIRD in the World Cup and twice WON the Football Olympics
People seem to stick to the so called big 8 when it comes to the football World Cup – Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Italy, Germany (or the FROG), Spain, England, France as they are the only 8 teams to have EVER won the World Cup. Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Netherlands all ran them close, but what about Poland??? They were the best team in the 1974 World Cup, yet came third. They also came third in 1982 and won the Olympics twice! FACT! Providing both Lato and Boniek to the highest scorer at World Cups lists. Robert Lewandowski (Lewy) could well spur them to the title in Russia in 2018.
In the 1974 World Cup, Poland beat Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Yugoslavia, Sweden and Haiti yet still didn’t win the tournament!! In fact, Poland finished THIRD but had a better record in the tournament than West Germany (who won it) and Netherlands (who finished second!). Seriously!!! An incredible achievement considering that Poland had not qualified for 36 years previously. FACT!
|Eliminated in the second group stage|
|Eliminated in the first group stage|
Deyna’s 70th birthday match in Starogard Gdański
Watching Klub Piłkarski Starogard in Starogard Gdański
Top 27 sights in Starogard Gdański
In the 2018 World Cup, I’ll be hoping to see Northern Ireland join Poland in the tournament and maybe even play each other again – or probably best we avoid them now with Lewy on fire!
4.In Polish, your name changes depending on the sentence!
In English, my name Jonny only takes two real forms:
1. Jonny and
2. Jonny’s (i.e. belonging to Jonny, of Jonny)
or 1. Jonny Blair and 2. Jonny Blair’s (i.e. belonging to Jonny Blair, of Jonny Blair)
But here in Poland, your name can take many forms depending on how it is used or how it appears in the sentence so you can legitimately use your name in different ways. FACT! I loved reading my first ever appearance in a Polish newspaper as they had used different forms of my name. I pick up some of these also while learning Polish in Warszawa and in Gdansk.
and of course the endearing changes from big to small or normal to cute like żaba (frog) to żabka (baby frog) can also happen. I also make my own ones up with are not legit – Jonnego Blairowski sounds good but it’s not real Polish.
5.Poland Invented the Bullet Proof Jacket
I hate buck eejits (idiots) who glorify those who invented things such as the sword, the gun, the bomb etc. Devices that should never ever have been invented. To be more cool about things, Poland invented something to counteract all these things, even the bullet. Poland invented the bullet proof jacket! FACT!
Sticks and stones will break my bones, lie will depress me, truth will never hurt me, but bullets will not kill me!!
Joining a long list of things invented by the Polish, or that you didn’t know were Polish is the bullet proof jacket. Hats off to Kazimierz Żegleń with Jan Szczepanik who invented it back in 1897. It was made mainly of silk (which was one of the most durable materials at the time). The vest famously saved the life of Alfonso XIII, King of Spain in 1906, during an assassination attempt in Paris. The person shooting hadn’t a clue why it wasn’t killing him!
Miłego weekendu – Have a good weekend!