7 Things That Poland Does Better than the U.S.
Disclaimer: this is not a political post.
I’ll tell you straight up: we did not move to Poland because of Trump. Despite the fact that “Are you moving to Poland because of Trump?” was the first question everyone asked us, he wasn’t even a consideration.
However, now that President Trump is a reality, for those of you who want to jump on the emigration bandwagon, here are a few reasons why Poland may not be a bad choice (despite the fact that Poland’s own nationalist ruling party that recently rose to power here is making emigrating out of Poland a fashionable topic of discussion here as well…). In the spirit of the listicle that American media is so fond of, here are:
7 Things That Poland Does Better Than the U.S.
They may not speak perfect English, but they sure know what they’re doing. It took a doctor here in Warsaw 20 minutes and $40 to diagnose a condition I’ve had that several American doctors with fancy degrees routinely ignored for the last two years (not to mention countless $$ spent on useless visits and magic potions).
In Poland, there is a bakery on every corner seducing the diet-conscious with an impressive variety of freshly baked bread, all for pennies (literally). Here, you can find bread of regular white flour, rye, sunflower, barley and sourdough, shaped into round loafs, rectangular bricks, bagels or rolls. And if regular bread doesn’t excite you, don’t worry because there is a horde of delicious pastries on the nearby shelf. But don’t think it’s only the fancy bakeries that offer fresh bread. You can also find it at train stations, in tunnels under intersections and even in crappy corner stores.
Once you move to Poland, you’ll find yourself walking a lot more than you ever did in the U.S. (unless you lived in New York City). There are trams and buses and metro and trains of all sorts, but here it somehow seems normal – appealing even – to walk to your next destination. Even in winter and even in Warsaw, which is not exactly the best-looking city on earth. There is just something inherently pleasant and normal about walking on the streets, which is sadly absent from the overwhelming majority of American life.
4. Glamour shots
Poles love Photoshop. Most people in Eastern Europe do actually. And while normally, I’d scoff at this plebeian obsession with stripping images of their raw beauty, I’m all for it when it comes to my passport photo. Because have you ever had a GOOD document photo taken at the DMV, Walgreens or one of those independent passport photo-taking studios buried in some shabby building? Have you ever had a passport photo that you wouldn’t mind framing or passing onto your grandchildren? Like these glamour shots, courtesy of one of those shabby Polish studios:
5. You’re in Europe!
Poland is in Europe (we must state this because it’s not obvious – at least it wasn’t to us). You sort of expect it to be more like Soviet Union. But when you get here, you realize it actually isn’t. It is very European: fancy supermarkets, old buildings, good transportation system, nice hotels, museums with paintings of dead kings, fashion boutiques, and cute cafes galore. But what makes it even more European is that you can get on a train or a plane and be at the Louvre or the Trevi Fountain $50 later. So by moving to Poland, you really get the whole Old World bang for your buck.
6. Cell Phone Plans
Our Polish cell phone - with full internet - costs us $6 a month. Enough said.
7. All Things Kid-Friendly
Poland is seriously the most kid-friendly country I've ever seen. You go to the restroom at a restaurant and there is a changing table and a kid-sized toilet cover. Playgrounds are everywhere. And it's not unusual to see a coffee shop right in the busy city center entirely taken over by tots on a Sunday.
Are you sold on moving to Poland yet? Hold on just one second. First, you might want to read 7 Things We Miss About America.