Monday, 22 November 2010

Blogger Meeting in Warsaw

It was good to meet you all on Saturday: thank you, Michael.

I was a bit apprehensive beforehand as I can't remember when I last sat and chatted to another foreigner, let alone been in a room with so many; people living abroad can be consciously 'ex-pats' and a bit strange; and I always find it difficult merging into a crowd of people. You all made it an enjoyable time anyway. Thanks.

Aren't Polish women wonderful? Sorry if you noticed that I tried to chat up your partners, but that's just me. The waitress was lovely as well. Apart from that I was especially pleased to meet Paddy, as we have a linked background. Also special thanks to Brad for patiently reacting to and answering my question. My only excuse is that this is a part of Polish mentality that fascinates me: you may be interested to know that all I had to do was mention your surname later and the reaction was immediate.

My time outside the group meeting - I wandered into the smoking room - was also fascinating. There was a couple of the type of brash, colourfully spoken young Londoners - one with a Polish girlfriend - of which I have never met a Polish equivalent. I have particular affection for the London accent in its many forms, so it was nice just listening to it: I noticed my 'th' slipping to 'f' a couple of times, as it can after a few beers. One of them was a linguistic expert, as he was described: his capability demonstrated by his identifying a town where I had lived and near where I was born - third guess to be fair, but still not bad. He described a difference in the way English and Polish people speak: the English move their mouth from side to side, whilst the Polish move it forward. During discussion, we moved more towards the idea that it was as much head movement as mouth, whilst I floated the idea that Polish body language in general is much more restrained than the English. Simply looking at the two of them made it virtually unquestionable. I have also been asked why I move my body so much. Maybe we are extreme, but extremes define the median. I also consider that the use of voice modulation is very different.

I next spoke to a Polish guy, who had come back to Poland with his English boyfriend. They were in Poland because that's where his boyfriend wanted to be, but he would have preferred to be in England. Although he didn't directly answer my question, he seemed, as one might expect, to be nervous about Polish negative attitudes to homosexuality. Maybe the English guy was just a bit naive, but its an interesting pointer to the increasing acceptance of Poland as a place to move to.


Paddy Ney said...

Really good to meet you finally and chat to you Steve. I hope you got home ok and weren't in too much trouble for being a bit late?!

Ana Bee said...


Pan Steeva said...

Love to know what 'pfffff' means.