This article was originally published in February 2020. It has been actualized in August 2022.
After reading my article, about 10 things I love about Poland, you may have an impression that we live in a perfect country… but that would be far from the truth.
Having lived in Poland since 2006, I grew very fond of this country and it was a great choice to start my business and family here. Still from today’s perspective I think it was the best country I could have chosen.
But to be fair I will also share with you the things I simply don’t like about our country. In this article you will find out what are Poland’s 10 main shortcomings from my perspective.
- Winter and switching the time twice a year
Don’t get me wrong – there are times with sun and snow during Polish winter when it’s really beautiful outside. But on majority of days between November and March the weather is rainy and the skies are grey. It gets dark very early and it is simply depressing. In my opinion we should stop switching time from winter to summer twice a year and keep the latter during the whole year.
- Polish drivers and their lack of respect
In Poland, and especially in Warsaw, drivers are quite often aggressive and show lack of respect towards other drivers. They are rarely so kind to let you overtake them or let you in when you’re trying to join the traffic.
- Polish architecture (partially)
It is often grey, sad and lacks charm. In particular residential buildings built during communism are generally ugly (except the Palace of Culture: I like the architecture of this building). But also buildings made with cheap materials during the 70s, 80s & 90s, which are often called ‘grey blocks’ for a reason.
I understand that money can be a challenge. Majority of Poles can’t afford exclusive properties built with elegant materials. But beautiful and elegant buildings can be made with affordable materials as well. In my opinion there is not enough focus on architecture – how it looks and how it makes people feel.
However sometimes it is quite the opposite. Some Poles, especially those who became wealthy recently, build houses which cost a fortune, but are in bad taste to show off – flashy, with a lot of marble, silver and gold (Trump style), not elegant and beautiful. But of course they have the right to do it and it is always good to have some diversity (it would be boring if all houses and people looked the same. I love diversity!).
- Lack of automatization and digitalization
Recently the European Union has published a report on the Digital Economy and Society Index. Unfortunately Poland is still significantly below the EU average in all 4 categories: Human Capital, Digital Infrastructure, Integration of digital technology and Digital public services.
There are many examples of what could be improved in the area of digitalization in Poland. One of them is signing the employment contracts, which can’t be signed electronically. This hasn’t changed even despite the pandemic, which was an excellent opportunity to start honouring documents signed using well-recognized and reliable tools, such as Adobe Sign.
Another example is the Polish national postal service – a state-owned enterprise, where the majority of documentation is hand-written, the local branches are often open only within hours, during which majority of people spend at work, while most of the correspondence from public institutions has to be picked up in person instead of being delivered digitally.
Even solutions successfully functioning in other countries for many years, such as decent internet service on trains, often do not work in Poland. We’ve had Pendolino trains since 2014 and there are still many places, in which there’s no or barely any service. Within the topic of transportation are also the tolls on motorways, which should be fully automatized. Meanwhile, the majority of booths are serviced by humans, who collect the tolls in cash and by card.
On a high note, we are digital transformation is progressing each year. Moreover, young Poles are more and more present in tech innovations and many universities provide scholarships and grants for students to develop their ground-breaking ideas.
- The level of Polish football clubs and the behaviour of some football fans
Poland is a rich European country. We should have at least 2 or 3 strong football clubs, which could rival with European leaders from England, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, The Netherlands, Czech Republic or Ukraine. Currently there aren’t Polish clubs who could represent us in the Champion’s League.
I myself have taken on a mission to build such a club. For that reason, I have bought Polonia Warszawa and hope to bring it back to its former glory (you can read more about why I decided to invest in this historic football club and how I plan to develop it in the coming years).
Also I don’t like the behaviour of some Polish football fans: some of them are intolerant and dangerous. I am a football fan myself and I love this game. It is normal to strongly support a team and to cry or get angry when it loses. But at the same time we should respect our opponents, being happy to drink beer with them after the match instead of having fights. We share the same passion with them. This friendly attitude and mutual respect between supporters of different clubs is often missing in Poland.
- Wasting the beautiful Polish nature
Unfortunately, I often see plenty of cigarettes, plastic bottles or even large garbage thrown away in the most beautiful forests, mountains, rivers and lakes, or in the street. Polish people should care more about their natural habitat and ecology.
Dustbins should be available everywhere, especially in parks and forests. We should provide better education about ecology in schools and public media. Children should be obliged to regularly pick up garbage in the streets and forests. With such actions, young people would become more careful and educate their parents to be more aware of ecology.
Another thing related to ecology, that bothers me, is smog, which often casts over Polish cities due to a lot of pollution and the wide use of coal.
- Polish bureaucracy and civil servants’ attitude
At Sii we frequently experience examples of absurd Polish bureaucracy with accounting and tax rules, VAT, CIT, PFRON, ZUS, etc.
Moreover, in public offices civil servants are sometimes not pleasant and they have little knowledge about proper customer service. It seems like they don’t care about citizens although they are nothing less, than their customers.
Civil servants, like US (Urząd Skarbowy) or ZUS employees, are often arrogant towards companies like Sii. They have poor understanding of the business perspective and often treat companies like their enemies. They are unpleasant both face to face as well as on the phone. Moreover, there is no SLA (Service Level Agreement) and public institutions are not bound by any deadlines. For that reason it takes months or even years to solve simple matters or to conclude a case in court.
While it should be just the opposite – we should be treated as customers, being provided with the best quality of service, support, help and professionalism. The civil servants should be happy and thankful that we pay high taxes and social contribution in Poland. (Civil servants seem not to be aware that they receive their salaries thanks to taxes paid by Poles and by companies present in Poland, like Sii).
Moreover public institutions in Poland are ineffective not only when dealing with large companies, but also small businesses or even regular citizens. Apart from Sii, I also own Tawerna Kaszubska, a small guesthouse in the heart of Kashubia. We have been waiting for 3 years for a construction permit and I have been in a court battle over 2 apartments placed on the land I own for over 5 years.
Polish government should get inspired by countries like Singapore, where public institutions and public services are more efficient. Of course, they must control if we respect and execute the regulations, but at the same time they should also serve with a positive, helpful and respectful attitude.
Another example of a much more efficient and flexible public service is Sweden, where we opened a subsidiary a few years ago. In the Nordics public servants are much more customer-oriented, all procedures, like setting up a company, are much faster and easier to understand. Moreover, public services are also much more digitalized and thanks to that there’s no need to do every single thing in person.
Heavy bureaucracy is also visible when we do business with the public sector (small business for us, less than 4% of our revenue). Instead of agility and flexibility, we face huge bureaucracy but I may write later an entire article dedicated to this subject.
There are positive aspects to 500+. This program helped some Polish families to have a better life. I am also a strong defender of the idea that society must support women with young children. It is a huge challenge to be both a mother and have a successful professional career.
But I am personally against 500+. Giving money for nothing is never a good idea and it is also very expensive. Even public services should not be free for citizens. We should always pay something to use them, even a symbolic amount.
Polish people love 500+ because getting money for nothing is great! This populist law contributed to PiS winning the last election. But this rule is bad for several reasons in my opinion shared by many economy experts.
First of all it motivates people to become or remain unemployed (hundreds of thousands of women stopped working because of 500+). 500 PLN should be given for a specific purpose, for example for the education of children from poor families on condition that they go to school and get good grades. If a kid does not go to school, does not do any effort, their parents shouldn’t receive 500+.
Too many social benefits may kill a country’s competitiveness, like in Greece or Italy. Poland should be very careful not to become a socialist country, like France. The many social benefits are extremely expensive for the society, especially the middle class, in terms of taxes. The problem is that it is easy to give social benefits to the citizens. But it is almost impossible to take them away (the political party, which will stop 500+, will lose the election following such decision).
500+ costs us – taxpayers – PLN 25 billion a year. It’s a huge amount of money and there are better ways in which the government could spend it by helping families with children through:
- education – increasing the salaries of teachers for example, building more schools and nurseries, hiring more and teachers with better qualifications, lowering the number of kids per class, implementing more efficient education system in general, with less bureaucracy.
- investing in our health system for kids, especially hospitals or special schools for mentally or physically impaired children.
- supporting certain activities for kids, like sports or cultural associations or investing in sporting equipment for schools.
- Lack of tolerance (towards LGBT, different race, etc.), an unhealthy atmosphere of hatred and oversensitivity
A minority of Polish people have too extreme views, such as fundamentalists, nationalists, racists, anti-LGBT, anti-Muslims, anti-Jews, anti-EU, etc. They are not open-minded and not tolerant towards other values, cultures, sexual orientations, nationalities and religions. In my view it is scandalous not to consider all people equal. Those extremist and fundamentalist ideas are always dangerous to the human kind. They cause terrorism and were the reason why the II World War started.
An unhealthy atmosphere of hatred is visibly present in Poland. There is for example a lot of viciousness between PiS and PO, PSL or SDL defenders. Those feelings are encouraged by public media, like TVP, and by fake news published by thousands of nationalists and populists on social media every day. It results in bad atmosphere present in the entire country.
For example I don’t understand why PiS hates Donald Tusk? I am not a Tusk fan either. But despite different opinions, PiS should be proud that a Pole was the president of the EU. The fact that we differ greatly in many ways does not mean that we should hate each other. Despite those different opinions, we should respect each other, even like each other, avoiding this unhealthy feeling of hatred. A PiS fan can be friends with a PO fan. A Catholic can love an Atheist, a Protestant, a Muslim, a Hindu or a Jew.
Moreover, many Poles are too proud, oversensitive, and as a result they don’t accept any critics. They don’t want to hear anything negative about their country or their behaviour. It is great that Poles are proud of their great and wonderful country, culture and of Poland’s long history, but they must accept some critics and also be able to laugh at themselves.
Some Poles are also quite cold and unwelcoming to strangers. They rarely say ‘hello’, even when met in the street or a corridor. They use curtains everywhere so that nobody can see them, even during the day. French people are warmer, especially when met for the first time.
It is great to defend our opinions and values, being engaged and passionate, but at the same time we must listen to other points of view, tolerate people, who think differently and always be respectful to everybody.
- What I hate the most about Poland – Polish public media, especially TVP
Private media have the right to defend their ideas. For exampIe I don’t share the opinions of Radio Maryja, but they can spread them however they please. The same rules apply to Gazeta Wyborcza, TVN or any other private media (newspapers, radio, TV stations, websites and blogs, like this one).
But no government should ever use public media, like TVP, as a tool for political propaganda. Public media is financed with our taxes and therefore should be politically neutral. Moreover the management should be chosen autonomously (like in France, where independent CSA authorities – not the French government – appoint French Television’s CEO). Currently TVP is a tool in the hands of PiS, feeding the nation with political propaganda. Similar power is owned by Putin in Russia or any other dictator party.
I always feel bad after watching news on TVP presenting all those fake news, trying to bias Polish citizens against EU for example. Poland shouldn’t accept the fact that the public television is serving naive people propaganda and manipulating them, all of it being paid for with our taxes. Especially since it puts in danger our liberty and freedom, which guarantee independent press and media, who can and should criticize the government.
I also feel bad when I visit PKN Orlen, the state-owned oil company’s petrol stations. Why only the pro-PiS newspapers are displayed? It’s simply disgusting. PKN Orlen is an oil company and should not be used as a means of propaganda by the ruling party.
Another important point is that we should never avoid critics. Constructive criticism and feedback are necessary to improve and grow. Media liberty and impartiality is strategic to proper development of all countries worldwide, i.e. having TV stations, newspapers, radios and websites, which defend different opposite opinions, and media, which regularly criticize public authorities. Without it, most countries would become dictatorships, like in Russia, China, North Korea, Belarus, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia or many African countries… Democracy is not possible in those countries, because the opposition can’t defend their opinions and criticize the ruling party, which has the ability to manipulate the citizens according to their needs. Polish people should never accept that. They should always defend press liberty and separation of public authorities from justice. Otherwise Poland will become a dictatorship.
@Mr Kaczyński, Morawiecki, Duda, Ziobro, Kurski and other PiS politicians:
I understand your ambitions to win the elections and keep the power over Poland. Congratulations on having won them in 2019. I respect you and I admire your engagement, but I really hope you will lose the next ones.
But no matter what the voters decide, please respect the fact that we may have different opinions and values, than yours. Always fight for liberty and freedom in Poland. Accept critics. Never come back to the dark times of communism. Never make people scared to criticize ruling party in Poland again.
Be happy and proud that some media criticize your government and ideas, even encourage such critics. Accept and respect them. Free media prove that Poland is a healthy, democratic and free country, with fundamental rights, such as liberty.
Also always keep the legislature, executive and judiciary powers separate. Never let Poland become a dictatorship, like Russia, where all media supports Putin and there is no counter power. It is absolutely necessary to the well-being of Poland and Polish people that the opposition has the possibility to criticize you.
Last but not least, please keep in mind that we have different opinions, but in fact we share exactly the same objective: we want Poland and Polish people to win, being the best country in the world and despite our differences, we all love our great country and want to make it even better!
I didn’t find this topic pleasant, but a necessary one. It was really important to me to share my thoughts on that with you. Do you agree with me? Or do you think differently? Either way, let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Also do not hesitate to suggest any other topics you would like me to write about in the future.
- <Your idea>
Do you agree with me? What is missing in your opinion? I am waiting for your opinions in the comments!
Architecture! I couldn’t agree more… Look at Gdańsk and Wyspa Spichrzów – a space that should be truly special and deserved a buildings on the level of the late Zaha Hadid turned into a cheap (meaning architecture quality, not prices for investors who will buy apartments there and rent them for tourists, of course haha), fortgettable and disgusting set of equally ugly and unimpressive blocks that completely ruin the potential of the place. What a sad picture to see 🙁
Bartek, of course there are good examples as Wyspa Spichrzów, but most of the new building are disaster, cheapest material and no urban planning, effect is visible in every polish town
I love how you Triggered that many of my countrymen!!!
Keep up the good work!
Popisu people are nit the nicest nation in Europe,far from it. They try to steal and trick you all the time.And country is so cold.When they come to Croatia always find a way not to pay as muču as they should to.Low culture leavel. Always talking bad about forigners but they are living all over the world and want to be treated well. My opinion Hrvatska.
Absolutely agree. Also with the author. Ofcourse one cannot generalise but the few Polish people I met were so (wrongly) arrogant. So critical of everyone and everything and feeling better than anyone else. It was quite a bad experience. Racist too, while there is a lot of them working all over the world. Not a pleasant experience!
Hi Zrinka, maybe a little to much generalization? All Poles are such that you described? Or maybe you chose the wrong ones? Try to find nice people, they exist.
At least you can have the first look to see some rubbish and trash everywhere in england and lots of other countries. Not only poland because due to the fact that there are fake news around about poland, not a lot of people decided to experience it but get along with it.
Poles are generally far up their own arses. Far too precious.
I think they get the politics / politicians they deserve. It says a lot about Poles that they will sell their freedom for hard cash from a ruling party.
They are not so much “proud” as “racist” ( i mean Ignorant).
I have met many Poles in my home country and have always treated them well.
I cannot say the same for the Poles in Poland.
I speak ‘generally’ of course but my overall take of Polish people is Negative
From when Poland is a rich country??
From GDP stats muppet, 16th in the world.
To zdanie nie ma sensu xddd
From 1000 years
Can you blame them? It would be a waste since they could just get invaded again and then it would be destroyed
1941. You were invaded- we were there for you, and even by admission of sir Winston Churchill, we’ve saved your precious island…but were have you been 01.09 1939 when our country got slaughtered by Germany, and just 3 weeks later biggest country in the world attacked us from the other side. Abandoned but not broken we’ve carried on fighting still honouring treaties we’ve signed. Can you say that about your country? Sometimes it’s good to stop and think where certain things had originated…..
i worked with polish omg so rude people i never seen something like this terrible
Hi Jane, have worked with ALL Polish people?
Have a nice day!
I would have to disagree with you on this. I’m not a rude person or disrespectful to others.
but you’re polish yourself- doest mean you are rude too.
I worked with english…such a 2 faced… lack of any recpect for other nationality people treats polish like animals…
Oh, yeah, we just need an opinion from such a woke westerner XD
Please do not forget that the major cities you are referring to were completely destroyed by Nazists and were rebuild from a scratch (with help of Polands lovely neighbors – at least some of them) hence the grayish modest architecture
In 50 years Poland will reach Western Europe mentalny to and in 90 anglosaxon world.
As a Polish citizen, I would like to thank you for the article. In general I agree with your view.
But please, do not write things like this “French people are warmer, especially when met for the first time”.
I have been working in a multinational environment , I deal with customers from Western Europe,
and I cannot agree with your statement. French customers are the worst I have ever had an opportunity to work with.
Rude, impolite, self-centered, convinced that they belong to the best nation of the world, looking down on people of Slavic origins, showing a lack of respect because you do not speak French…
Sorry to say that but I have no other experience regarding French citizens.
Yeah man, and all Croats I know are Neo-Nazis who want to put Serbs and Jews back to Jasenovac.
Look at your homeland, France, what a mess there is, your native country is away, that France, as we knew it, doesn’t exist any more, only because of people like you, so “tolerant” and “mutlicultural”. Thums up to the Poles, protect your country!
Actually, the first and the second “Rzeczpospolita” was a pot of nations, religions, and cultures, therefore was so powerful among EE countries. Listen to our history, dear Vojtech:)
It WAS. It is HISTORY. The author is right. Homophobia and xenophobia including antisemitism are rampant.
Hi Kazimierz, you are right, Poland was a pot o nations, religions and cultures.
And I do not agree with your diagnosis.
Don’t you remember?
– Civil wars with Kozaks
– Treason of eastern Magnats (not Polish origin) looking for a support in Russia against Polish king
Where was the power, you mentioned, when
– there was a partitions of Poland in XVIII century – Prussia, Russia, Austria?
– there was a near total destruction in World War 2 – Germany?
Poland reappeared thanks to world powers. And POLISH spirit and POLISH culture.
Wow, yes protect Poland indeed,… keep those educated foreigners out so you can wallow in your self pity and arrogance, with your uneducated racist xenophobic Catholic brain washed Polish ideology. While you flock to the UK to earn ‘Bardzo zloty’ ….the Polish are the worst people ever.
I am Polish and I agree. I can’t wait to leave my country because the mentality here is really annoying. I’m just very tired with Polish people.
It’s a shame because I love Polish nature and food. But I can’t take this nonsense any more. Rudeness, agreesion, lack of customer service, every little thing is a problem. It’s just tiring.
@Paul hahah 😀 I’m laughing so hard.
I’m polish, spend 99,9999999% my life here and agree 😀
Thing is I was not badly educated, and use anglosphere media, internet extensively so I know what is going on.
But many polish people and their mentality is cancerous!!
Why does british companies flock to Poland and not pay taxes?
You just proved point nr 9 😂 hahahaha a little bit of critique and you are like: war! War! Protect the country?! Wtf 😂😂😂😂 you aggressive Poles 😂🤣
Haha totally agree here. @Vojtech – your comment was just dumb 🙁
The Poles are so keen to protect their country they flock like rats chasing Zloty to every country they can. No one cares if you want to protect your racist, homophobic, uneducated, PIs party indoctrinated country. You prove a point. Poles are the worst people in Europe, Germany invaded you because you were easy prey:))
Ignorant Scum, lol
If Poles are the worst, then what would you say about Finns or Austrians?
Polish people maybe are not best, and they have theirs disadvantages, but don’t be such narrow-minded.
Poland as a country have some better things that western countries are lacking and vice versa. Try to accept differences.
But there’s one thing which I have to aggree. Polish people can be very rude in their opinions and behaviours. Not all, but many of them. Poles don’t trust themselves and this is another point which the author should includes in his post.
Way to confirm several of his points up there 😉
Your comment just supports his point about polish people that’s cannot take criticism.
Right that France has gone too far. But it doesn’t change the fact that tolerance has nothing common with it.
Poland is different and France is different. Accepting cultural differences is a key to understand other views.
Ja lubie we francji klasę tzw old money… Najbardziej wartosciowi ludzie majacy swoje zdanie niezaleznie od panujacych trendow politycznych i spolecznych prawie zawsze nastawieni na prorozwojowy konserwatyzm w stylu zbadamy i uzyjemy modernizacji tak by nikogo nie stratowac ani nikomu nie odbila palma.. Niestety reszta francji to pelikany łykaja wszystko co im sie zaimplementuje jak fast food
Hey, nice reading for Friday. I also dream about free media although I think it will never gonna happen again (?), anytime soon, at least for TV business. I agree that TVP is biased but, sadly, it’s the same for all the others, which capital (and nation) is driving the other TV businesses? Exactly. It’s all about influence zone and social engineering.
Live long and prosper!
There’s no such thing like ‘free media’. All medias are dependent on the corporation, elites and big industries. Your ‘free media’ are nothing different than media which are applied to your political views
it’s almost funny how well you understand Poland not being a native and at the same time how many Poles don’t understand such things at all… i fully agree. bravo!
you should look on Framce in recent years..
Nie ma Pan wiedzy o systemie komunistycznym. Socjalizm to nie tylko wolna miłość i równość dla wszystkich. Francja kocha Rosję. I zawsze od klęski Napoleona sprzymierza się z władcami Rosji. Widząc w Rosji dostojeństwo, potęgę i egzotykę wschodu. Bez gułagów, paszportów schowanych przez milicję, ciężkiej pracy za półdarmo. Wykorzystania dla zysku. Gdzie są światłowody w podziemnych łączach dla konsumentów w szybkich transferach, sprawne łącza w czasie wojny? W gospodarce rynkowej – powinny być do nabycia za przystępną cenę. Gdzie energia geotermalna?
You do not know about the communist system. Socialism is not only free love and equality for everyone. France loves Russia. And always from Napoleon’s defeat, he allies with the rulers of Russia. Seeing in Russia the dignity, power and exoticism of the East. No gulags, passports hidden by the police, hard work for half-free. Use for profit. Where are fiber optics in underground links for consumers in quick transfers, efficient links during the war? In a market economy – should be available at an affordable price. Where is geothermal energy?
Popraw angielski i gramatyke zwlaszcza Present Perfect bo słaba trója z tego co napisales. Typowy polaczku co mysli ze zeżał wszystkie rozumy.
I am Pole and I hate exactly same things as you do so good spot!
I wish they all could begone forever.
Wish you could be gone forever lol
I 💯💯 agree. Everyone says Poland is the next UK. It does not compare. When I walk in the streets, everything is grey and boring. People’s faces are frowned. I have never seen anything like that before. I have arrived recently here I hope to find a better place with better opportunities in the future.
Well, I wish the same to you.
My bf is polish and he is amazing and he makes good pierogi and has nice pp
Long live the poles
If you don’t like it here get the f*** out go back to the Islamic republic of France
Yeah, you’re such a good example of the respect and acceptance of criticism the article was dealing with. Why do I live in a country where 50% of the people are idiots (just as you are)?
Does it work that only Poles can be critical of Polish society, but must be quiet about any of the other place they are living in?
Typical Polish in action
“F×ck this, f×ck that, f×ck everything, you should love me because I’m a Pole. And I shouldn’t love anybody”.
lol, you chill you dont need to swear on some person s country
Fortunately, the society show the willingness during the election.
I prefer public tv much more the private stations, just because I can’t watch “the leftis’ way of life” any more and I’m sick of it.
Everything what you and some of guys here don’t like, more than 40% of Polish nation do like. 🙂
Read more about concept of “fake consensus” method in politics. PiS election campaign is just perfect example.
Gee whiz, so your rightis hate leftists but at the same time you have no problem in taking tax money from leftists to fund rightis TVP propaganda. Far-right hypocritcal geniuses hahahahaha……no wonder poland is such a sh*thole.
The statement about the Church is very sad and unfair. I do not know where the inspiration comes from (I hope it is not from news). In this case we have to crticize ourselves as we are part of the Church (if we are baptised at least).
His statement about the Church (Roman Catholic) is very true… Unfortunately!
I would add one major thing like : ‘rude Polish’ and ‘no existing customer service’. Each time I am back here in Poland I get a quick reminder straight to way on the plane that this country is still way behind and why I had to leave this country. Not because of beautiful Poland as a country but because of rude people!
Ha yes I find myself muttering to staff in shops ” if you had no customers you would not have a job’. They are 90 % of the time rude and unhelpful. I think it may be changing in the big stores though. We have a new Obi store nearby and I shop there all the time because the staff are nice. Being nice works.
wow some world we live in
I wouldn’t really judge a country by it’s capital, all capitals are high in population and it is usually the reason people are rude to each other from stress. If you lived in different parts of Poland then ok but from what I see you are saying all the info from staying in Warsaw. Then I can say I know Russia because I lived in Moscow. People in smaller towns are nicer usually. I feel the Polish are always stressed, just the energy I feel but to stay “bad people” I disagree fully.
Come to Szczecin. Much smaller and even more rude than Warszawa.
Hi. I agree with you in every single aspect. Especially when it comes to the point 1, 2, 4 and 6. I’m interested in architecture, and must admit that nowhere in Europe, even in poorer countries than Poland I haven’t seen anything similar. I mean about the various types of billboards, commercial advertising etc. that covers whole beautiful tenement houses in polish towns and cities. For example Głogowska street in Poznań. It looks horrible. There are plenty of streets like this outside Poznań. The exception are Gdańsk and old market in every town/city.
Thank you for sharing Grégoire. This is important to know how people with different perspectives see us, Poles. Now we need to work hard to fix all the problems you identified. I have some doubts if this is possible, but also believe that new generation of young Polish people will be able to make it 🙂
Poles are like virus. We are getting everywhere and We are destroying other countries without war. That’s what I’m proud of Poles. I’m not a fan of any political party and I’m not nationalist, but I’m social Darwinist for sure and Poles together as nation are just perfect parasite. That’s why I’m proud of every burned Polish flag and every copied stereotype: because it means We are winning with World without war
Polish people are liars, thieves, anti social, rude and into gossips.
and Austrians/Bavarians or many WEestern Ukrainians are even wars you very arogant French Belgian otr Italian arogant snob…
still better than being polish 🙂
I am Polish myself and I couldn’t agree more. Maybe not the liar part, I don’t think lying is a part of the national character, but certainly the thievery, gossip and anti-social behaviour, especially overseas. I cannot stand going on holiday anywhere near other Poles, nor did I want anything to do with them when I lived in the Netherlands. I would say that up to 60% of the country are worthless, pathological scum.
Full agreement of all
-MK . First learn something about the country , instead of sharing stereotypes
Been living in Warsaw for almost a year now, Poles are boring people indeed. And why is it that once they get married their social life if practically over? Also, the rudeness, seriously guys you need to change that, it looks not very good!
you mean Poles from North and west with german background or from southern Tatry region or Bialystok region the rest is quite normal..
What are you trying to say about Tatry?
All are abnormal…
Don’t you get started about Bialystok. I’m not from there I’m from a village that’s not on a map. But, I am from around there.
“And why is it that once they get married their social life if practically over?”
Because polish wives are selfish and overzealous and only see their husbands to go around her, her kids, family and house. Any exception from this they immediately consider as he flirts with some other woman and adultery.
This is result of catholic past.
Because the stupid catholic church and idiotic Polish family tradition teach us that the familt unit is holy and that any life you may have had before is to be forgotten and you are to live in your big house with your spouse and kids until you die. I am not even exaggerating.
Living a year and u are an expert? Probably noone want to talk to u cos ure judmental and rude…
Hello, I am Polish and this article is on point. I agree with you 100% and though I love my country, I also believe we have our faults, and instead of being vulgar about them (like most of comments here) – we should work on them and become better society. And it is obvious that every country has pros and cons but this article is particularly about Poland so I don’t know why some people in comments are offended that other countries are these or that. The author is giving his views on Poland. If you also look further in the blog – same author is writing about 10 things he loves about Poland. Stop hating people, nobody is perfect, including our country. Sending very warm regards to all readers, Kate 🙂
thumbs up Dear.. looking forward to experience the greatness of POLAND ..will be relocating soon from Asia
Sneaky, ugly men with some pretty women, ignorant, suspicious, greedy are just a few words to describe Europe’s most despicable people.
hey King, you dropped your crown
Hey, Great observations. I could not agree more 🙂
Pretty biased opinion.
1. You’re not Polish, so it’s quite obvous you don;t know our history.
2. If you don’t know why people hate Tusk, then start learning our history.
3. You hate TVP because it’s not fake news? Wow. That’s really “objective”. All media should say same thing? That is:
4. If I comapre Poland and France I see Poland – homogenous country, proud of itself and Islamastan, not France.
And those yellow vests. xD Yeah. PiS is so bad. But it was PO who was beating Polish nationalists = patriots, when
they marched in Independance Day march.
5. Tip. Don’t use google. It’s definition of nationalism describes chauvinism. And those two things are quite different.
6. Well. I rather be that rude Polish, grey person, then Vichy traitor. 😉 Thanks for helping us when Hitler started Blitzkrieg.
You full if a snit.Polska 🐍👎👎👎👎👎👎 the truth from Croatia
people like you are reason why i don’t like poland (as a pole)
Scooby, You seem very angry and uneducated.
1. Selfish and arrogant comment. One doesn’t need to be Polish to know history history. Books and reputable sources are widely available.
2. People like PIS extremists hate Tusk because they hate everyone who is not in their party. Extreme fundamentalists like PIS can’t think in terms of wellbeing for everyone, they just think of themselves.
3. TVP is funded from taxes of ALL people, so it must present objective news. Currently it is far-right propaganda tube. If you want TVP to be for far-right people only you have to stop taking tax from left-wing people because they don’t want to fund it.
4. On Poland thousands more die yearly on polish roads from polish fundamentalists and from polish deadly smog than from Muslims in France. That makes Poland more dangerous and unsafe country.
5. Tip. Don’t use russia today and far-right cesspole fascist media. It’s definition of nationalism describes chauvinism. And those two things are quite different.
6. Well. I rather be that Vichy traitor than rude Polish, 😉 at least France got Paris in full piece and beautiful today than obliterated Warsaw because some nervous poles decided to do useless and damaging uprising.
Thank you, for actually saying something true.
I can not believe the fact that katolic Church is basically running the country where not many are “Actually” religious was not mentioned…
I can not believe there was no mention of racism and homophobia… Perhaps because pols are told they whole life that that Poland is a extremely tolerant country… Which is highly incorrect!
Stupid, boring, lazy, coward, aggresive until you beat them.
I couldn’t agree more, you covered most important areas in which Poland sucks. I am a Pole myself but I haven’t lived in Poland for 3 years now and I am happy about it, I confirm, there is so much hate, envy, negativeness, complaining attitude, racism, discriminatation, etc.
everyone in Poland thinks: I am right!
and they think they’re grumpy because of 2nd world war. hundreds of other countries suffered in the past because of war. Not only Poland 😂 so it doesn’t mean they can’t smile because of that.
I was born here and I agree with all the bad points…with good I have a problem with. The poles are the biggest thefts in Europe! Even next door neighbor can steal from you… I wont comment other coz you are a foreigner and things look different for locals.
I find poles the worst nation in eastern Europe…they have no honor or dignity of western people. Poles overseas fight,steal between them selfs often and they lack basic good attitudes all around. poles see another pole as a treat and enemy. This country will never succeed because all they can do is fighting between them selfs. After the war they have destroyed all major industry due reason mentioned above…so now they can only be a cheap manufacture country who produce foreign goods for export.
Oh, even a voice from distant Moscow is heard here!
I wholeheartedly agree. Poles are literally the most miserable people I ever met, by far. I am honestly not exaggerating. The experiences I have had with them were mindblowingly negative. It’s as if they do their best to make the other person feel bad, which is in contrast to western principles. Poland belongs back in the CCCP.
poolish people is the biggest scum of europe
I personally find Polish people to be very stressed, impatient and argumentative.The most petty of things can turn into a huge problem!
There is always drama in their lives and usually this is about money. Poles usually think they are better than the next person and everyone else is perceived as an idiot.
All this is amplified in the way they drive as well.
Poles are always going on about their solidarity but actually they couldn’t give a #@%* about any of their country men!
i worked with them they are horrible so rude
That pretty much sums it up very well. Very impressed my these! Completely agree as a Pole.
My point exactly!
I’m a Pole and an immigrant. I couldn’t agree more on all point about Poland. As an immigrant I see that patriotism is often blind and people lose perspective and are unable to objectively criticize their own country. Thank you for sharing. I really appreciate it.
Heh, some people still talk about war..YEah, i think poles should hate all those nations for what they did to us.
kate please can you throw in more light on what Poland looks like..
I guess that you are a left-wing and you are completely brainwashed by the Bolshevik propaganda from GW and TVN. And of course you loved pre-2016 TVPO and TVSLD.. That explains a lot.
I don’t know where you meet all those petty polish people? Like I meet them on internet feeds, but rarely in real life.
ye, Greg, totally agree about the 500+; it’s just enough to stop eat meat, honey, vodka and pottery to see the truth about that propaganda named ‘500+!
I bloody love FRANCE… a country who stands for human values: liberty, equality, brotherhood. Not getting played like a mindless capitalist shill or a hypersensitive overly nationalist pile of horse dung. Hello Poland, the 21st century is calling… you seem to have missed the call). Jan Paweł II is dead, it’s time to join the modern world before you are left behind…. again. The only thing Poland is really excels at is obstinance.
The most retarded country in Europe.
the Poles are screwed, average IQ is about to be 10 maybe, I live in London and unfortunately, I meet many of these scums
You would fit in nicely
You are so ignorant, and only think about yourself.
As a native Pole, I don’t think that Poland in this state really is a wealthy country. From State point of view it might be, but the average and what’s worse minimal wage are just pathetic compared to other Europian Countries. Also, the new onslaught of taxes(speculated to have a huge alcohol beverage tax increase) doesn’t help at all. Don’t get me wrong, the people are very friendly, but the country seems like devolving. I won’t even start about the new media tax which may shut down a huge amount of native media(TVP won’t be affected by the tax of course)and now taking away more women rights(refusing to give abortions to fatally sick children).
Naah, media tax did only made them rise the costs of commercials or place more of the commercials to get same amount of money for shareholders 😛
I live in America, but I was born in Poland. My whole family is there and I want to go back. Here in America, you get discriminated very easily. Reading the comments makes me feel like we’re the reason for all the problems in the world. Why don’t you take fix yourself or country first. We are a very patriotic country and most things that you use today are made in Poland. For example, we made the bulletproof vest, the mine detector, walkie-talkies, toothpaste and the mini computer. Not only that, we also broke the Enigma code before the English. So stop giving credit to them, they didn’t do it first. Also, not all of us are rude, mean and drunk all the time. I do agree that people that drive in Poland have no respect sometimes. And when we talk about architecture, our whole country was destroyed by war so don’t even get started on that. Some of us may fit that description, but not all of us. We are a very powerful country and we are developing faster than you think. If you hate Poland do much, don’t go there, it’s that easy. Maybe you have a job and you have to go there, well then suck it up and live on. We had to suck it up through war, and look here we are. And for your information, your country may not be any better. I don’t care what your country is, it probably has something wrong with it. And lastly, to talk about our very Catholic country. The whole freaking country was baptized. What do you think, of course Christianity is the most popular religion. Of course, there are other religions and we have to accept that no matter what. And for you do reader, I tell you next time use something called…common sense and logic.
Before you say, we use war as an excuse, it’s not our fault it’s the German’s and the Russian’s so talk to them.
The author didn’t say he hates Poland – in fact he wrote another article on 10 things he loves about Poland. He simply wants to give his pointers on both sides, which he is entitled to. He is sharing his thoughts on Poland, there is nothing wrong or insultive about that. And the fact that us, Polish, are criticizing him for criticizing few things in Poland just proves his point.
I agree with your comments. But there is no point in criticising Poland or Polish people. They will simply become defensive and criticise your country and then it turns into an ugly shouting match with no end. As you can see from your post, the hate directed at you is quite vehement and surely you expected that.
I believe in justice (not Law and Justice, obviously) and usually in the end, people, or nations get what they deserve.
There are some very, very nice and helpful people in Poland, and they have helped me a lot. I am extremely grateful to them. They are wonderful. But for every so-called ‘good’ Pole I meet, there is another who is the opposite. So the answer to it is to just accept that there are good and bad people in every society.
There is always a point in being critical, as long as it is balanced. It’s always a sign of a weak or ignorant society if it cannot laugh at itself or criticise itself. It sounds like you have a balanced view though- there are indeed some very nice people in Poland, but also some shockingly rude and ignorant people. We need the decent, honest people of every nation to be critical and honest. This is how progress happens.
Merci Gregorie! You are a inspiration, keep this attitude forever, make Polonia W. “great again”. ;-p
Polish architecture is so gray and drab that it makes Romania and Moldova look like Dubai. A depressing place. The nature is nice though.
my father was born and raised in poland during the 60s, I live with him in canada, and although I do love him very much, he can be kind of ignorant when it comes to a lot of modern day issues involving race or whatnot, so I agree with most of these comments, it is tough when it comes to arguments but I’ll try to stick to my own morals and values and beliefs
To all those shouting about how we should as a country be more “forward” thinking, be open etc., somehow Poland ranks top in the safety of living rankings. Poles simply are afraid that this might change when the homogenity is broken.
The critics are keen to point out what’s wrong with this country, but what’s the reference point? There are so many comments about how Poles go to pointing out flaws of other countries and how it’s a bad thing. Where’s logic – you crtiicise one country, but yours can’t be put under scrutiny? Where’s the logic.
So what’s the reference? The ideal country you wan’t us to look after? There’s none, all have their flaws and don’t feel surprised when Poles call “check”.
HE IS RIGHT!!! you angry and hungry people
(not 100% since he is missing insights) but simply just take a look at your mean comments, my fellow countrymen.
Google me for more slaps and get to work
Regards from Swiss
Agree on everything, except for the tolerance thing. It is really horryfying how successfully the positive view of all these things has been imposed in the West, and if one disagrees then he is a narrow-minded retard. As an immigrant to Poland myself, the popular attitude here is probably one of those positive things that defined my choice. I don’t want to get robbed and killed on the streets by some black dindonufings sitting on a government check, don’t want to be ashamed of my religion and my ancestry to please some very sensitive guys from the Middle-east (we call you infidels and you must tolerate us), don’t want my children to be indoctrinated at school. And we all don’t want our cities to be turned into ethnic ghettos like Malmo and Goteborg.
PS. About the bureaucracy. It really depends where. In big cities, near the city center they are quite helpful (i know that it’s hard to believe). But seriously – you expect that ppl paid so badly (wages were frozen for several years after the economical crisis, so seriously – ppl in IKEA tend to earn more than in civil services) to be motivated for work. If you want competent ppl in civil service – u have to offer good salaries.
The architecture in Czechia is much more beautiful than Poland. Even before war destruction Polish architecture was mostly drab.
Czechia is also a better country than PL, we agree in that! Beer & smazeny syr!
yay, agree – mortorway tolls, TVP, footbal clubs. The other thing got a lot better in recent years.
Racism,very low tolerance for foreigners in Poland but millions of poles are living and studying abroad and want to be treated nicely and fairly.Far too proud of their country to the point that you can’t even express a thought.Very jealous of others achievements and stubborn.The recent issues with the EU is a perfect example of their way of thinking: always ready to take easy money but never willing to contribute.
Great blog ! Spot on
Poles have a lot of Imsecurity owing to their devastating history and communism.they have no choice but to be scared to death of every new challenge or change.i pity them.
so grey and polluted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!%$%%%^$%YR^$%$££
It’s a good country and there are many good things here.
But one specific problem is terrible: Poor acoustic insulation between flats.
Even the expensive ones.
Paradoxically I think polish people are mostly good and kind,
but as neighbours they are bullies.
They are dull.
Uk is dull
Westerners are dull and oversensitive.
I don’t like Poland.
i am from africa and all european countries are just ruining mine ! but not gonna lie poland is pretty dull
Try hating less and loving more
Love your honesty Greg! KR, Anna
Wow! Half Polish, my grandparents migrated to USA from Poland right before WWII – didn’t know about all this controversy!
Hey Greg, I hope you’ll read this.
And what do you think about all the people that gathered here in the comment section? Because I have to admit, I have never seen such a hateful group ever. It’s like only a people that hates Poland in the depths of their hearts are reading your articles – at least judging by the comments and likes. Honestly it’s pretty pathetic, and I feel bad for those people. So much hate and frustration…
If I were you, I would probably turn off that comment section, or at least delete some of the comments. Because there were literally wishes, for all Poles to die (with many likes under them). One thing I know for sure – I will never visit your blog again, because that was a disgusting experience. Not talking about your article, it was ok – you had some points there.
Przemek, what you proposed is simply censorship! Censorship is disgusting in my opinion and does not allow to progress. Feedback loop is necessary. Each hateful comment makes me smile, actually 🙂 From my experience (I am a Pole living in Poland) and experience of my foreign friends, people in Poland are generally very friendly. When a foreign person has a different opinion then possibly they just had a tough luck meeting some odd individuals.
If you visit a blog only to have a pleasant experience and are not ready to face any criticism, about which Gregoire also mentioned, then there is a problem with you and not with the blog.
I like the comment section very much. Keep it up!
Of course the article, as well, was a very good read. I can relate to many of the points.
Every time when I return from the west, or south of Europe, I see those ugly, grey and dirty builldings and streets. Everything built without any plan, vision or taste. And often seemingly totally left without any care and renovation. But when I asked some my acquaintances why all of the houses, buildings, etc. is so dirty, neglected or broken-down they didn’t understand it. They just doesn’t see it.
Most of you people who responded to this article are idiots.
Polish schools are one of the best in Europe.
I finished high school in Poland and college in USA.
High school in Poland was harder than college in USA.
I hate England. I visited many countries in Europe.
England is the only country in Europe that I have no desire to visit.
Even my husband who is a second generation American (some of his ancestors came from England) doesn’t want
to go to England. He said that England is a very depressing country. The people are prejudiced and strange.
Also the food is terrible.
I didn’t care for Paris. The buildings are old, a lot of graffiti.
My husband was in Poland. He said that the people are polite and friendly.
He also said that the Polish girls are the most beautiful in Europe.
Polish food is one of the best in Europe.
I wonder if you realize that you made the point of others with your reply.
Probably not which is even more ironically funny.
Also sorry but a second generation American is just an American. And he hasn’t been to England, so how would he know what England is like?
You also say you hate it but you haven’t been there.
Makes a lot of sense.
Also graffiti and boring buildings? Okay, clearly now I’m suspecting your experience in Poland too, because while you can have opinions about food, talking about “old buildings” and then raving about Poland is ironic since it has some pretty old and rustic buildings and the new buildings are just mostly concrete block.
Im not sure you’re capable of making objective remarks.
Yes, it’s in polish culture to be extremely polite. And from comments, I can say they are westerners who don’t know anything about other countries outside their perfect view of western countries. We don’t talk to everyone on the streets, because we don’t know them!! It’s normal thing, and y’all want to be friendly and stuff but are actually annoying af. So don’t be shocked that you will be told to f off. And also this article is made by woke westerner who thinks the only way that country can function is in western values. WE AREN’T WESTERN COUNTRY, SO GET OVER YOURSELF. Sensitive af.
THANK YOU SO MUCH. Western European and Eastern European countries are not the same. Both have different cultures and views so of course it is going to be different.
mobile data is the worst
I’ve lived in Poland for about a year and I have to say so far you hit everything on the head. I’m leaving soon and unfortunately or fortunately, I don’t plan to come back.
Poland is doing fine if you compare it to the eastern countries. But if you compare it to the west it’s quite behind.
I’m not talking about things like innovation or tech. I’m talking about culturally. And many poles I know even agree. Which is weird because then you would think if enough knew and agree they’d change the country….
But I think people who can, leave. And that’s the issue. I spent time with a family that was nice, but incredibly nationalist. Similar to stereotypical American families. Which is what I’ve noticed. The stereotypes people have about Americans apply here in many cases. And I haven’t noticed them nearly as strong in the US.
If you compare culture in Poland to Northern Europe, it’s so far apart it’s almost funny.
Yes I’ve met many great individual polish people, but the average or baseline of the country is just lower than most other places that I’d consider “developed.”
I came here for business and the obstacles of government offices but also other private businesses have been insane. Poland would be a majorly wealthy country if it could just solve this culture problem. But it’s almost impossible to do business here and I would say over half of the people I’ve tried to do business with have turned out to be borderline criminals. You have this everywhere yes, like bad drivers, but the percentage or frequency of encountering this is higher in Poland than most places I’ve been.
I think especially with the pull of PiS and the blind patriotism and growing nationalism Poland is in for a tough future, unless it can cut out the cancer and heal.
I’ll be watching from afar, I have no interest in subjecting myself to this any further.
And lastly don’t blame Poles for leaving. I would leave if I could also. Just blame them if they’re egotistical and rude. There’s rude crappy people everywhere and nice people too.
Since your post was done a while ago, how are you feeling about the decision to leave? How do you see things retrospectively?
(i am Polish)
Bureaucracy is alsio the problem in Croatia, incapable and too sliw courts, hostile relation toward honest enterpreneurs…
The rest is OK.
Regardung media, compare sutuation witg Croatia: alienated governments, imposed by West, sold national goods to powerful Western countries for a value that is way below the real value, not to mention that there was no need to sell them.
Media in Croatia are in full control of libtards and leftards, who act in full force against Croatian cause. The media that are patriotic are poor, companies and small enterprises are afraid to place ads there bcs of libtard/leftard vendetta.
Gregoire, You have to understand, You are in the Slavic world.
You are in a strong Catholic country that is a forewall if Christianity. They are not xenophobes, its a long national memory, lasting for generations, that any bigger influx and rise of influence if foreigners meant / was a sign of foreign invasion, occupation and deprivation of human rights to the Poles in their own country, subjugation.
Also, they have strong Catholic moral; they don’t hate others, they feel intruded by something that does not belong to them. Why those “others” and “different ones” (LGBT) have to impose their way if living? Why don’t they accept Polish, Catholic way of living? They came on Polish soil, they are guests, why should majority be terrorizwd by minority?
I wholeheartedly agree. Poles are literally the most miserable people I ever met, by far. I am not exaggerating. The experiences I have had with them were mindblowingly negative. It’s as if they do their best to make the other person feel bad, which is in contrast to western, or even eastern, principles. Poles apparently belong in gulags by default.