Have you ever dreamt about buying a one-way ticket to a new destination? I do and I did it!
Thanks to my willing to disappear a little in the world, I applied to Erasmus+ Programme, a scholarship at a foreign university. Where? At the University of Łódź. A university in the city with the same name and in the country with a lot of rain, Poland.
Łódź is one of the biggest city in Poland with a lot of international students. Like most of the people say, it’s a student city.
As I arrived in this city, I couldn’t realize that I am going to live there 4 months. Not a city break, not a week, a full university semester. Now I understand and I really enjoy being independent in a foreign country, making my own decisions and learning how to grow up.
Łódź for me is a temporary home where I share my dreams and hopes with new people, go on adventures alone or with people who now I can call them, friends.
The main tourist attraction in this city is Piotrkowska Street, which between 1939 and 1944 was called Adolf Hitler Street. Today, this about 5 kilometres long street comprises lots of restaurants, bars, nightlife and street art.
On Piotrkowska, every year at the end of September it’s the Light Move Festival. Three days in a row the street it’s covered by art made by colourful lights. I will let the photos talk for myself.
Second largest see sight is represented by the Manufaktura mall. Once an old factory, now a big complex with shops, cinema, food court and everything you need on a rainy day.
I discovered that Łódź has many artists. When you walk through street it’s impossible to miss a mural or a monument. I think this makes this city special. The life that the art gives on an old building which carries a dreadful history.
Things I’ve learned about Polish people
I am living in Poland for a month now so I got to know the Polish people, their culture and beliefs.
1. How to drink a beer
So I found that they have a weird way to drink beer. I went to a restaurant to eat and I ordered the most Polish beer they had. The waitress came with a glass of beer with a straw in it. I looked strange at my drink and then look at the other tables. That’s right. I’m the alien here who drinks beer without a straw.
2. How not to talk in my own language in public transport
Polish people don’t know English or any other language besides theirs (maybe a little bit of Russian). The thing is that very few people took the chance to learn to communicate with foreigners. So, even though every year, here in Poland come hundreds and thousands of international students, they still don’t speak an international language. For me, this month was very bad in this matter.
Besides casual things, where you communicate with your hands and gestures, in public transport people who listen to you and realize that you are not the same nationality as them, they give you a bad look and they are checking you like a completely alien or freak.
It is really disturbing to shut down your voice for the reason that someone might be aggressive with you.
3. How to always be kind to older people
This is a thing that I admire at Polish people. They are always kind to older persons and they really respect the principle of giving their seat in tram or bus to them. No one is arguing about the seat, no one begging for a place to stay, it is just a simple and quiet gesture that everyone makes.
4. How to Kurwa!
Here you will always hear the word “Kurwa”. This means “Fucking” or “What the hell?”. But these are the most common ways to use it. You can use this word as a compliment or when you are happy or anything you want. In Poland, “Kurwa” it’s universal. (Click here to see these guy explaining it 🙂 )
5. How to Vodka
For lovers of Vodka, here it’s heaven. I never thought that I would find so much flavoured vodka than here. They have Vodka with hazelnuts, lemon, plum, cherry, quince, blueberries, strawberries and of course with no flavour. What can I say more? Na Zdrowie!
By now, this is all I have learned about Poland and Łódź. I hope you enjoyed a little bit of introduction to Polish culture in the eyes of a foreigner.
To be continued…