Today we’ve been in Poland for one month and six days. Without the support of our families making an international move would have been much harder. I can’t imagine people doing this for business anywhere in the world. I mean selling almost all your belongings and moving half way across the world.
The experience has been stressful and took a hard toll on our animals, BUT it has been worth it on so many levels. I love Poland. I love learning about where my husband comes from. True the constant staring takes some getting use to (I’m Black), but I have learned it is more curiosity. I have taken to waving and smiling at people that stare. 90% of the time I receive a wave and a smile back (#waveandsmilewhentheystare).
Poland is a beautiful country, but it is very different from the United States. We have traveled here on vacation five times in the last ten years and I have slowly been introduced to customs and norms. A list below of some custom and norms that you may or may not be use to. I can only recommend it from my point of view on what my Polish family does and it might not be the same for all families.
Family Culture 101
Shoes off when entering a home – Completely understandable. Your home is your clean sanctuary. You’ve been walking around all day in those shoes… Bathrooms… Office spaces… Dog poo? Take your shoes off and let your feet breath.
Women’s role / Man’s role – There is a clear line in what is expected of both sides. However, where some feminist may find it offensive, I love it! Sure no problem I can clear the dishes off the table and clean and put them away, but you can go outside and pick up the dog poo, mow the lawn, and vacuum the stairs.
Fast Meal – I learned this the hard way. It is always a good idea to keep bread, cheese, or fruits and veggies on hand to whip up a fast meal for expected and unexpected guest. Along with the meal make sure you have plenty of tea and coffee to offer as well. Don’t be rude offer guest in your home refreshments.
Tipping – Tipping is very popular in the United States. For the most part you’re expected to tip your servers, carpet cleaners, maids, etc. as a show of appreciation for the service given. In Poland and Germany (because that is the only other country we’ve visited) it isn’t normal. The amount on your receipt is what is expected. Giving a tip is appreciated but don’t feel that it is necessary.