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Vows of Poverty ?
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simon_porter00



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 433
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Why do you have to intergrate into Polish life? Many TEFLers behave is though that is obligatory, and there can be a fair amount of one-upmanship in that regard.


Obviously you don't have to integrate although to be honest if you don't make some effort then I think you're largely wasting your time travelling in the first place - simply going somewhere else to 'look' at the pretty different buildings is a little shallow IMHO.

The problem is with the teachers (mostly American in my experience) who feel that they don't have to integrate because they feel wherever they go should be home from home i.e. everywhere and everyone there should be American, with American ideas, ideals etc. I have very fleetingly known many American (and one or two Brits) who have packed up the Poland project - because the Poles are 'rude', 'cold', 'unhelpful', Poland is 'grey' etc etc without spending anything like enough time to understand why or even adapting themselves to the conditions to allow them to experience a different side of Poland - the hospitality, the charm, the welcoming atmosphere, Christmas/Easter etc - because they think it should be given to them on a plate or they shouldn't have to try.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 859
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TwinCentre wrote:
The two groups mentioned may be a generalisation and somewhat visible, but I just feel it doesn't well describe the varied cross-section of different people that I met in the Native TEFL industry during my 5 years in Warsaw. I would like to add more distinct groups to the list if I may, supplementing Master Shakes first two:

Your group 3 (transients) is basically the same as my group 1 (newbies). The other groups you mention are really just different flavors of my group 2.

The distinction that really matters is between teachers who teach at a McLanguage school for a meager salary, and those who do something which is more financially (and probably personally) rewarding.

Sure, most newbies have to put in their 1-3 years earning 2k/mo. working an entry level-job. Once that's out of the way, it is possible to more than triple this figure (at least in Warsaw). And if you take the plunge and become a QTS teacher, then you're looking at over 10k/mo.

It's also worth mentioning that even 2k/mo. will not see you starving by any means. If you're single it's a livable wage, especially if you want to try living 'like a local.' Well, minus babcia's homemade dinners.
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TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some good points above.

I still think there is every point in living abroad and still not integrating if it makes you happy, and after my many years of experience in different countries, mostly integrating - I might add, I have known plenty who had a wail of a time living just the way they want to. After all - some people like living abroad and just enjoying the expat culture - which can be interesting in itself (maybe Poland isn't the best example - thinking more of Singapore or Dubai).

Indeed, I did integrate in Poland to a fair degree after I returned the second time, but to be honest, when I first arrived there on my BC posting, I couldn't be bothered after living in really tough places in the world, Poland seemed just next door to home after North Africa and I wanted to drink a bit, party a bit, and enjoy myself without living out other expats' ideals. And I had a great time.

And now I can actually spell 'integrate'...you see, these threads can be useful.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11724
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But do you know the difference between "wail" and "whale" ?
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TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I do Scot, it can be both Wail and Whale of a time....I hope Smile

I really do hope

I used to teach English you know....lol
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11724
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And wails and whales and Wales ?
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TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You get wails and whales in Wales..

Ehm...this probably marks the death of this thread?
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 457

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you know... Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo ?
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TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You see, the thread just died....on it's feet, gone...you see...finito, alsta la vista..Next subject please? I enjoyed that one..
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 457

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But....wait....it's gasping...gasping.....clutching at the air..... looking to the light...... wait.... No! It's fighting back! Back to life! Back on it's feet! Not to go down without a fight!

It's impossible to live in Poland 5000 zl. sandals, 900 zl. hotel rooms, 700 zl. whiskey shots. Who wants to live like a child? Everyone there is skint.
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TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, could revive it I guess?

I lived on circa 6.5k net a month - in my pocket between 2005-2011 and it was ace 2005-2006, felt quite rich. But by 2011 (think I averaged 6.7 by then actually), it was not such an easy ride...and I started to feel like I was just okay.

Last time I visited Warsaw, a few months back, I thought it had got considerably more expensive - more so than here in Manchester for groceries and clothes, maybe not quiet as much for accomodation, and not for transport and utilities - I think it is soon to be reaching parity almost.

But lets not forget that living abroad often means less overheads, now I'm back in the UK, I gotta run a car, pay the mortgage blah blah.

I know plenty of Poles on 2-3k, but they have family connections to help and it doesn't cost much to go and see Mum and Dad, I know a few expats on 3-4k, but live in student type places. If they are happy doing that fine, but not sure that they are.
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the_roads_of_poland



Joined: 22 Oct 2012
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparks wrote:
Perhaps "going native" is what drags people down.


It dragged me down all the way through the gutter, down the sewers and out a stinking rusty pipe. As of now I am now very very bitter towards Poles and Poland. Before anyone gets any wrong ideas: I never had any problems in Poland, I am fluent in the language, met the girl of my dreams and have a ton of family and friends here.

But if could go back and do it again I would have stayed in that little "native speaker bubble". Unfortunately the "nice" side of Poland is obliterated by the seriously pathological behavior that permeates almost every aspect of Polish life.

While most of you are apt to criticize people like sharter and dynow for going on like a broken record at how terrible/expensive/grey/cold/windy/foggy or whatever Poland is, they just barely touched the surface of how grim Polish society really is.
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PeterParvo



Joined: 18 Dec 2011
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poland beat me down too and we left. I got married, had two kids, bought a couple apartments and I guess you could say that I speak Polish, so I feel like I did 'integrate'. However, I just couldn't get over that hump of people being so cold and unhelpful to each other.

I know lots of nice wonderful Polish people, but generally they are so distant/nasty. The woman at the kiosk who after my request in Polish to repeat what she has just said simply yells it at me, or those people working in the service industry who just look at my requests with annoyance.

I absolutely love to pieces my toothless old father-in-law and of course mother-in-law, but I have such a hard time being happy about being ignored, snapped at or taken advantage of by your average person on the street.
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 985

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PeterParvo wrote:


I absolutely love to pieces my toothless old father-in-law and of course mother-in-law, but I have such a hard time being happy about being ignored, snapped at or taken advantage of by your average person on the street.


Poland is a place where you say, "it was fun while it lasted, but yeah....I've had enough, and there is no reason to live here when I can live _______."
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delphian-domine



Joined: 11 Mar 2011
Posts: 338

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dynow wrote:
PeterParvo wrote:


I absolutely love to pieces my toothless old father-in-law and of course mother-in-law, but I have such a hard time being happy about being ignored, snapped at or taken advantage of by your average person on the street.


Poland is a place where you say, "it was fun while it lasted, but yeah....I've had enough, and there is no reason to live here when I can live _______."


Same could be said about any country.

You could live in Monaco and get fed up of the cramped space, you could live in Switzerland and get bored of the boredom, you could live in the United States and get sick of having to drive everywhere...the list is endless.
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