I hope you think about packing your suitcases after the first and the second article, but before you go please still read these final remarks.
The valuable advises below were given by Robert, with his permission. Robert also participated of our discussion in the Polish Forum and visited also recently Poland. These remarks are very interesting since Robert grew up outside Poland so his point of view is just like a traveler who sees Poland the first time.
First, when planning your trip, pack lightly! Do your packing now, then take a walk around the block with all your luggage. Now you'll have a better idea what you can get by without. Clothes are cheap there, if you need something. NO ONE there will offer to heft your bags for you. I would also like to mention that if a person insists on renting a car, be sure to have navigator, a partner to read the map. And do not return the car after dark unless you are certain of location. Why? Because street names are on placards on the side of building. Which is unlit at night!
Also, Poles as all Europeans use a lot of abbreviations. Don't let them intimidate you:
- avenue [Aleja] (Al.)
- street [ulica] (ul.)
- saint [Swiete] (Sw.)
- square [Plac] (Pl.)
- suburb [osiedle] (os.)
To survive traffic as a pedestrian in the cities, you must learn to:
- make quick decisions.
- cross only at zebra crossings.
- don't second guess yourself.
Wait for at least a tiny break in traffic and step out and keep going!
Don't pause, stop or deviate from your line! This allows the drivers to gouge your position in relationship to their weaving, and avoid a collision with you. As it was explained to me, it is like walking through a flock of pigeons. None will ever hit you if you keep walking straight!
If you get carried away while shopping, mail your plunder home instead of carrying it with you. Be sure to use the little blue airmail stickers, even with postcards.
Milk bars [Bar mleczny] are good for a quick and cheap lunch, and concerts in the evening are wonderful.
You may enjoy visiting the little villages as much or more than the big cities. Although much less English is spoken, the people are genuine and want you to be comfortable. Just say please [prosze] and thank you [dziekuje bardzo] a lot. You'll get by.
Let things happen, don't force them to happen.
I recommend Berlitz Polish Phrase Book
You can also try a book (teaches language by Pimsleur Language Programs) written by Anna Baranczak, Christopher J. Gainty, entitled: Polish