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Sayonara Warsaw
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 925
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:00 am    Post subject: Sayonara Warsaw Reply with quote

After over 4 years teaching English in Warsaw, I'm leaving for a new teacher training job in Tokyo, Japan in May.

Anyone have a recommendation about where to get a decent quality suit made in Warsaw? I'll need one for formal ceremonial gatherings in Japan and I have a feeling it will be cheaper to get one made here than over there. Wink
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 882
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best of Luck Eric!

I have one friend in Japan right now and two others who have put in their time there. All enjoyed it.
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Richfilth



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 225
Location: Warszawa

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't say I blame you. As of the start of this year I'm moving out of the Warsaw teaching game as well (thanks to a lucrative offer from a business contact). With the ever-increasing language skills of university graduates here, I think now's just about the right time to check out of Polish EFL, before the place becomes a grind.

Good luck in Japan!
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 925
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Business in my neck of the woods in Warsaw is going well and there's plenty of work. I don't predict this will change any time in the near future, tho who can say for sure?

Honestly tho, teaching the same classes/levels year after has become a bit of a grind. I find myself tearing up my old lesson plans and starting over from scratch because I can stand hearing them do the same 'Find Someone Who...' activity for the umpteenth time.

Hopefully, Japan will offer a welcome change of pace.
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Didah



Joined: 25 Jul 2009
Posts: 59
Location: Planet Tralfamador.... and so it goes

PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations Master Shake!

You broke into the elusive Japanese ESL market and from the sounds of it you are not going the language school or ALT route. From what I read, you are heading for Tokyo. It is a great town. Despite the fact that it is expensive, it is still possible to live decently when you get the hang of things -- especially where the Japanese shop and eat. While Tokyo is a big city, it is comprised of neighborhoods. I spent a decade in Japan and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I have tried to get back to Japan but not even a nibble. Probably my age. As for suits, don's know about Warsaw but it is still a little difficult finding big and tall clothes in Japan. If your size is under 48 regular, you may want to try the Men's Wearhouse website. Their suits are reasonable and they are always having sales. One more thing to look out for is that tailors from Hong Kong and Thailand come to Japan and make custom suits. Not cheap but less than name brands in department stores. They advertise in the Japan Times and Daily Yomiuri. They now offer free shipping to some destinations in Europe. Worth a look (and no I do not work nor shill for them). Like you, I am leaving Eastern Europe for a pretty good job in Guangzhou, China. Not far from Japan or Hong Kong. By the way, you said "Sayonara" Poland. That word usually means goodby forever. With a Polish girlfriend, I'm sure it is just Ja ne -- which means you will be back.
Best of luck, or as they say in old Dai Nippon: Gambatte!
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TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 271
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tokyo was my first stop on my great EFL trek around the world, and Warsaw was the last.

There are some amusing similarities between the two I think. Both cities (countries) have the same build and style of housing prevalent, both cultures are reserved and stand-offish, but warming to you when they get to know you, both cultures are proud and insular with strong patriotism at times, both can be weary of foreigners, expats in both cities struggle to fit in with local life due to the language/culture. Both countries value uniformity. Both cities are kinder to exapt men than expat women (dating etc). Okay, maybe you can say all of the above about anywhere, but it has played on my mind a bit.

Being more positive, I think the food and eating out in Tokyo is bar-none, fantastic...I really miss that, a night out in Tokyo is an amazing experience, you never get tired of the city - always places to visit. Finally, you can literally find any group of people you want in Tokyo - you could be a hard core Amish in 19th century attire and meet like-minded people with little effort.

You'll enjoy it! Good luck and have fun.
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dynow



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 1024

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shake,

You obviously chose Japan for a reason, so besides "something different", why did you choose to leave Poland and go to Japan?
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 925
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been keeping my eyes peeled for teacher-training and DoS type jobs for well over a year now. I've applied for ones in Thailand, Bahrain, Vietnam, Malaysia etc...

I've really not been too picky about where I go, provided the job was something more challenging than 'just teaching.' I'm really happy to have found something in Japan cuz it's a country I've wanted to live in since I started teaching in '06.

As Didah pointed out, I probably will return to Poland eventually. I've left Poland a few times before with no plans to return and something (usually someone) influenced me to come back.

TwinCentre, I think those similarities do describe many countries - not just Poland and Japan. There are some vast, fundamental differences between Poland and Japan. For example, do you think the Japanese have the same kombinowac mentality Poles have when it comes to dealing with laws and regulations? I doubt it.
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TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 271
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:

do you think the Japanese have the same kombinowac mentality Poles have when it comes to dealing with laws and regulations? I doubt it.


Some do have that mentality, they just use slightly different tactics, they tend to collude as a group. And, if I remember right, they have a word for it: 'koningu'.

I disagree that Kombinowac is a unique Polish trait - it has become a bit of a myth. Some do it, some don't, just like in the UK and US. Here in Blightly we have a series of words that cover various 'combinations' of the acts described by 'kombinowac' - 'blagging', 'fiddling' 'rigging' 'swindling' etc, and if you want to see classic English 'Kombinowac', just watch a few episodes of 'Only Fools and Horses'.

And if you do watch that - I wonder how anyone couldn't say it is not exactly the same? Del Boy in that great series, does it text book, in every single episode, as understood in Poland.

I did say my similarities could be said about any country myself...and I suppose my point above kind of trashes my previous post about similarities...it was all just a passing thought of things that play on your mind when comparing Tokyo with Warsaw etc.
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stasiu of liberty



Joined: 26 Sep 2010
Posts: 6
Location: Kraków

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake!

I usually never post on this site but I wanted to congratulate you on your new gig, and thank you for all the insight, advice, and positive comments you've shared over the years in Poland. I've been living and working in KRK since Dec 2010, and you provided a great sense of humor as well as a realistic spin on what's happening over here. It has been truly a pleasure to read those posts of yours that have helped and inspired me a lot.

Best of luck!

Very Happy
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 925
Location: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TwinCentre wrote:
Some do have that mentality, they just use slightly different tactics, they tend to collude as a group. And, if I remember right, they have a word for it: 'koningu'.

I disagree that Kombinowac is a unique Polish trait - it has become a bit of a myth. Some do it, some don't, just like in the UK and US. Here in Blightly we have a series of words that cover various 'combinations' of the acts described by 'kombinowac' - 'blagging', 'fiddling' 'rigging' 'swindling' etc, and if you want to see classic English 'Kombinowac', just watch a few episodes of 'Only Fools and Horses'.

And if you do watch that - I wonder how anyone couldn't say it is not exactly the same? Del Boy in that great series, does it text book, in every single episode, as understood in Poland.
TC, I'll give an example of Polish kombinowac: When the smoking ban went into effect a couple of years ago in Poland, bars clubs and restaurants were required to have a separate, ventilated non-smoking area. Rather than remodel, or make people smoke outside, many businesses curtained off a section with a window and declared this the 'smoking section,' even if the 'smoking section' was well over half the bar or restaurant. In reality, these places were just as smoky as ever but on paper the business could be said to be in compliance with the law.

Another example: A popular night club called Hustawka in Warsaw lost it's liquor license a while back because many neighbors complained about the noise. Rather than close the place down, the owners started selling 'liquor vouchers' at the door which one can then trade for booze at the bar. This has been going on for several months now. The place is as noisy as ever, but I guess for the police the problem is solved since they can tell the neighbors they've taken action and the place is no longer selling alcohol. Wink

This kind of ridiculous 'compliance' with laws would never be tolerated in the US, and I doubt in the UK either, but it's pretty commonplace here in PL.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 691
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:12 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

Turning a blind eye=backhanders.
It's in the EU but not exactly doing things straight IMHO.
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TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 271
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:36 pm    Post subject: Re: erm Reply with quote

dragonpiwo wrote:
TC, I'll give an example of Polish kombinowac: When the smoking ban went into effect a couple of years ago in Poland, bars clubs and restaurants were required to have a separate, ventilated non-smoking area. Rather than remodel, or make people smoke outside, many businesses curtained off a section with a window and declared this the 'smoking section,' even if the 'smoking section' was well over half the bar or restaurant. In reality, these places were just as smoky as ever but on paper the business could be said to be in compliance with the law.

Another example: A popular night club called Hustawka in Warsaw lost it's liquor license a while back because many neighbors complained about the noise. Rather than close the place down, the owners started selling 'liquor vouchers' at the door which one can then trade for booze at the bar. This has been going on for several months now. The place is as noisy as ever, but I guess for the police the problem is solved since they can tell the neighbors they've taken action and the place is no longer selling alcohol. Wink

This kind of ridiculous 'compliance' with laws would never be tolerated in the US, and I doubt in the UK either, but it's pretty commonplace here in PL.


I hear what you are saying, and they are classic examples, but this is exactly the kind of behaviour you see with Del Boy on 'Only Fools and Horses'. Perhaps this kind of thing doesn't go on so much in the UK nowadays, but as that sitcom/series outlines - it did in the 70s and 80s.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12164
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thin k it happens more as London continues its spiral into being a real Third World City !
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 501

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The word "kombinowac" of course means nothing more than what has already been pointed out, mainly "fiddling with something until it works." I think that the examples of trying to find ways around the laws exist everywhere, from bankers to hustlers on the street. Some are accepted, some aren't. I would definitely say that Americans are just as good as Poles at straddling the line of the law to do what they want.
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