18 Nov 2006

the transformation of culture

A few days i had a realization. "...Poland is not the same country as it was when i moved here 4 years ago..."

It's odd that this thought crossed my mind while walking through a new, rather western mall in the center of Katowice. As i was hurrying to finish my shopping and get to my next meeting, i realized... "there is ice in my pop!" I had just bought a chicken combo at KFC and hadn't finished my pepsi yet... This may seem trivial and odd to many, but this is the first time anyone in Poland has EVER given me ice in my drink without me asking!!

You see Poles have this theory that ice gives one a sore throat. So they simply don't use ice in drinks... ever. I love ice in my pop, not only because it's fun to eat after, but because IT ACTUALLY KEEPS YOUR DRINK COLD!!

So i was pleasantly amused to find that... they are finally getting it!! It is quite interesting and amusing to watch a culture being transformed from post-communism to capitalism almost daily. I realize that i don't feel like a stranger here anymore at all. This really feels like home. And i think it is a 2-way street. It doesn't hurt that i can communicate now in Polish with ease, that i live with a Polish girl and spend at least half of my life in the Polish language... but with that being said i feel that Poland has also come to meet me, at least half way. There are now many new malls, western ways of shopping (ie. being able to return something if you don't need it), new forms of customer service that completely didn't exist when i moved here 4 years ago.