Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Fall-A memory with each leaf drop!

I love the fall-it reminds me of my wedding and the 16 months I spent in Poland.  My blog's name is a tad unconventional-partially because the first word is Polish.  Rekami means "by the means of hands", so recreation by the means of hands-hand made fun...crafting. 

Thinking on Poland, there are a few things you might want to know when you go (some I learned the hard way...)

-The Polish language is set up much more formal than the English language is.  They use ma'am and sir a lot more and actually address older people in the third person (i.e. How is the ma'am doing today?)  Just tossing out a "you" is offensive-way too personal unless they've indicated you can address them by their first name/"you". 

-Watch where and how you shake hands.  Poles do not like to shakes hands through doorways or crossing other peoples' arms (i.e. you have 4 people shaking hands).  When your hands shaking form a cross with a doorway or other arms, you will actually see most Poles recoil.

-A woman's age is not such a secret in Poland.  You don't go around just asking strangers, but surprisingly they often ask you to guess and then will proudly tell you.

-Only ask how someone is doing if you sincerely want to know.  I heard an American joke once about how Americans just say they're fine, even if their house burned down and spouse left.  If you ask a Pole about how they are, you will genuinely hear about every muscle and joint ache.  I don't mean it in a rude way, it's just different.  I didn't think about how "fake" Americans are when we ask how others are doing until it was pointed out to me.   

-Eating doesn't have any drastic different traditions that I can think of.  Of course you see less cow intestines in American grocery stores, but differences in cuisines are expected.  Make sure to not waste food, and if you're learning the language, be cautious about asking for the pepper...if you say it wrong, you're swearing...

Anyway, those are some fun memories and tips.  If you plan to head to this slightly obscure yet close-to-my-heart country, take heed to these tips and save some room in your luggage to take me please :D