The 3 biggest disadvantages of living in Poland

Since I left Poland, the thought to come back was always with me. Recently I’m thinking about it even more because I have my final school year ahead of me and I could start studies at a university in Poland. However, there are a few reasons which come back each time I’m in Poland and successfully demotivate for a long, long time.



It’s sad to say but the biggest disadvantage of this country consists in us – Poles! Poles gossip, bully, are envious, don’t trust others, and one can only dream of tolerance. You enter a store, the lady behind the counter looks at you in an unpleasant manner, and after saying ‘have a good day’you won’t even hear ‘bye’. People don’t smile and rather gossip, saying that you look awful to your friend, who will only confirm that. Poles are known for their attitude all over the world. Despite a significant change, I still have a problem with smiling. Recently I was asked by a complete stranger –“Are you Polish?” – “Yes why?” “I can see your face”. In Poland if you want to accomplish something and stand out from the society then you have to be a real hard-ass. You have to be ready for a wave of hate, unpleasant looks, and untrue gossip, only because you don’t want to be like the rest. Just look at the story of Michał Szpak. Instead of doing something with their lives, making them better, people rather want to destroy those who try because they themselves are too lazy and don’t have the courage. You can buy a new car, afford to go on vacation, are building a house, or you are happy? Great, but not here. Here everyone wants what’s best for you, but not to have it better than they do, remember that. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that every Pole is an envious jerk but all of the above applies to the majority of the society.

The prices are not adequate to the earnings!

Every Polish person knows what I’m talking about. If someone comes from abroad and exchanges Euro for Polish zloty then that person can have quite a blast. However, ¾ of people working in Poland won’t say the same. The prices are inadequate when it comes to earnings! let’s give an example, the ordinary Michael earns PLN 14/hour (some earn even less) and wants to purchase PLN 300 Nike shoes, so he must work 21 hours to get them. In Ireland (and probably other Euro countries) the same shoes cost 80 so an average person earning  10/hour can afford them after 8h, so one working day. This applies to most situations.

A bit unfair right?

Complex formal procedures

I visit Poland once every few months. When I want to take care of some business, even some official issue, there is always a problem. Either there is a signature missing, or there’s one more page, something here and something there, on and on. The same goes for the health system. I wanted to do one examination in Poland. ONE. And as usual here – “what for?” “Do you have a referral?” – no I don’t but I want to pay and do the examination – “unfortunately that’s impossible, please get a referral”, yeah right, look at me go. Even complaints are difficult here. If you don’t have a receipt then the case is over. And even if you have one the case will still be difficult because you are going to be under a fire of questions and in the end your complaint won’t be accepted either way. In Poland everything has to be on paper while in Ireland you go to a store to file a complaint without a receipt showing a screen of your bank account (confirming that you’ve purchased the item) and it’s ok. Sometimes your complaint gets accepted without even that, if you have a bit of luck. I remember a situation when my friend’s watch, purchased in Ukraine, broke down. We went together to file a complaint in Ireland, having a receipt which no one could read (cyrillic script) and we still heard “it’s alright”.

Well, everything has two sides so I am going to describe the advantages of living in Poland in the next post 🙂



Written by Izabela Kania