With the help of some of my Instagram followers and a few comments on my Facebook page, I have created a short list of five things Polish people find a bit odd about the UK. Let me know if you have any more!
(1) Two taps
Maybe it is not so common anymore, but traditionally in the UK, kitchens and bathrooms had two taps. That's right; one hot tap and one cold tap. I'm sure there is a reason for this but I don't have a clue what it is. Polish people find this so strange! They are so used to having mixer taps where the water can be mixed to get the water to the temperature they want. It is something I had never even considered before I met Kinga - it was just normal to have two taps. The Poles are correct though right? A mixer tap is far more practical!
(2) Windows that open outwards
Poles just don't get it - and now I understand them. Again, before visiting Poland, I had never even considered why windows should open inwards. Practically though, it makes so much sense. If we need to clean our windows in England, we have to pay a window cleaner or climb a ladder to clean the upstairs windows. Not in Poland! - Our flat in Poland has the windows so they open inwards - so practical. This means the inside and outside of the window can be cleaned. Easy!
(3) Crisp sandwiches
I am partial to a crisp sandwich. As someone mentioned on The Super Commuting Dad Facebook page, each sandwich filling has a specific crisp flavour that tastes best with it too. My favourites are: prawn and mayonnaise with salt and vinegar crisps & Cheese sandwich with cheese and onion crisps. There is nothing wrong with a plain bread and butter sandwich with crisps in too. Lovely!
(4) Strangers smiling and saying hello
My friend Magda mentioned this one and I think it is very true. In the UK it is quite normal to smile at a stranger and greet them 'good morning' if you see them on your morning walk for example. I took my son, Oliver, Fishing last week. We said hello to every person who walked past us and they returned the gesture. It is quite normal here. Do this in Poland though and people will stare at you as if you are crazy! Polish people do not generally say hello to strangers and if you smile at one, they'll wonder what is wrong with you.
(5) Chip butties
It seems we are quite fond of a carbohydrate sandwich here in the UK. A chip butty is basically a chip (or french fry) sandwich or soft bread roll. We are famous for our fish and chips here in England and when I was a kid, you could actually buy a chip butty from the local fish and chip shop. I love a chip butty - plenty of salt and lots of butter. Sometimes with ketchup and sometimes with salad cream. I also like a bit of cheddar on mine. I have been with Kinga for fifteen years and married for eleven (eleven years today actually) and she still cannot understand why I would eat a chip butty - it's an easy answer, they're delicious. Just try it!
I hope you enjoyed this short post, next one will be what Brits think is strange about Poland. If you have any ideas for either of these topics, feel free to drop me a message either via the website or the Facebook page.