The internet nowadays is full of people who are happy to tell you how to have a good life. One group urges you to join them in leaving the rat race, drop everything and retire to some exotic country where life is cheap and beaches are beautiful. Another group includes motivational speakers who urge you […]
I’m dreaming of a Polish Christmas, not those from Coca-Cola ads.
In the last days of November, I switch my British radio off for good after hearing the voice of George Michael for the first time. The fact that a heartbreak song became a Christmas anthem says a lot about how shallow Christmas became in Anglo-American culture. In Britain you want it all, and you want […]
Losing a friend helped me find my roots in Scotland
Western customs and traditions usually settle well in Poland. Especially fresh after the fall of the Iron Curtain, we were thirsty for all that we could so far only see in American movies. But while Valentine’s Day and other commercial holidays took root almost instantly, there is one tradition that is having a rough path […]
What has happened to the Olympic ideal?
Another leap year, another Olympic Games. The whole world is watching closely as athletes compete in noble rivalry. All discord is put aside and amateur sportsmen from all over the planet face each other in a friendly contest to prove yet again that we are all one people. It’s a wonderful, worldwide fete of peace […]
Is Brexit yet another outgrowth of British throwaway culture?
The dust after Brexit is slowly settling down. Of course, though, everyone still discusses it. My pro-Brexit friends still use every opportunity to point out the flaws in the European Union. It’s usually just a few things — mostly about migration and limiting sovereignty. Some, when pushed, admit that “actually the European Union is not […]
Brexit: Are Poles in the UK really the ones who should worry?
With Brexit becoming a reality, there is a lot of talk about Poles needing to worry about their future. But are we really the ones who should be afraid of things to come? The first thing that came to my mind on Friday morning was that frame from an old French comic book in which […]
What has happened to ‘better together’ suddenly?
When it comes to Europe, Poland and Britain in 2016 have one thing in common: Attitudes to Europe. It’s not “we Europeans”. It’s “We, the greatest nation ever, versus THEM”. If you read the right-wing media of both countries, you might get the feeling that the European Union is some kind of enemy. They send […]
Brits claim to be music lovers but dance only to the beat of their own drum
Don’t get me wrong. Britain is one of the most important places in the history of the popular music. Everyone will find a British band to their taste — from The Beatles to Macc Lads. If you find Iron Maiden too noisy, Capercaillie is there to calm your nerves. But Britain is not the only […]
Poles at the polls: Voting on two passports
Scotland is preparing for new elections to the Holyrood parliament. You might think that just a while ago, we voted for Westminster MPs and that was just after the dust had settled on the independence referendum. That seems a tight election calendar. But if you are a Pole living in the UK, this is only […]
Invisible Poles: How the Polish community in Scotland is changing
After the first huge wave of arrivals from Poland in 2004, Eastern Europeans never really stopped coming to the UK. The Polish language nowadays can be heard everywhere from the Isles of Scilly to the Outer Hebrides. It makes Nigel Farage very uncomfortable during his daily commute. I have to say I do understand […]