My boyfriend might be English!


Dear Ciocia Halinka,

I’m worried my boyfriend might be English!

Alfie speaks English, but he always told me he was an American from Memphis. The other day I came home early from work and caught him drinking beer and shouting “Bloody plonker!” at the TV. My friend Monika says this is what English men do a lot and she known ‘cus she was living in Wolverhampton and Bridlington.

Please help me, how can I find out if my boyfriend is really English and how can I get rid of him if he is?


Magda from Konin

Dear Magda,

Oh dear, we have been a silly girl haven’t we. You know you shouldn’t have boys in your house, even to watch your television, until you are engaged, and even then you should have two or three aunts present. You really must be more careful or people will be perfectly justified in thinking that you are probably kissing and holding hands as well.

I can see you have a very serious problem here and this makes me happy, because I can help of course. The English are a Godless race and English men are cunning devils, often adopting disguises to hide their true identity, but there are ways to see through their evil lies. There are some things they just can’t hide.

Have you ever been to a restaurant and he’s offered to pay half the bill?

Have you ever had to open a door or put your coat on without help?

Do you find him reluctant to go with you to church?

Have you ever found your male “friend” lying face down outside the door of his flat muttering something about “bad beer.”

Has he ever displayed an interest in football, rugby, or cricket?

Have you ever seen him laughing hysterically at grown men wearing sparkly suits dancing on tv?

Have you ever heard him use any of the following words or phrases:

I say old thing!
Stone me!
Apples and pears
Off side!

If you find your “friend” really is English I advise discussing it with your priest, calling the police or informing some of your hairiest and toughest aunts. And always remember – “Bad company corrupts good morals” (Joshua 23:1-16)

God bless you my child,

Ciocia Halina

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24 thoughts on “My boyfriend might be English!

  1. lala says:

    Ha, ha, that’s very funny!

    You should add: “Has he ever refused dancing with you saying it is too gay?”

  2. Sylwia says:

    You know you shouldn’t have boys in your house, even to watch your television, until you are engaged, and even then you should have two or three aunts present. You really must be more careful or people will be perfectly justified in thinking that you are probably kissing and holding hands as well.

    Are you sure she’s ciocia Halina, and not aunt Helen? Not an advice I ever heard, not even from my aunt the nun!

  3. michael farris says:

    Okay, this is my version of advice from a Polish aunt (we shall call her ….. Pelagia, Pela, Pelusia or Pelucha to her friends and relatives)

    ahem ….. (method acting getting in character)

    “Oh dear, that’s what you get for not listening to me. You always were a gullible child and now look what you’ve gotten yourself into!
    It was bad enough when you thought he was American. I don’t have anything against Americans, they seem like nice enough people, my Jacek had some family over there, where is it? Vancouver? and they came by a few times and brought us underwear and some awful chocolate and kept using funny words, I could hardly understand them sometimes…. Oh! and they’re also gullible. Leokadia’s sisters’ daughter, the one studying chemistry in Łódź, remember, she said her college hired an American to teach them American or English or something and everyone got A’s, I bet the girls just smiled at him and he gave them all A’s or he just didn’t know how to put his foot down.
    And my Jacek’s American cousins from Toronto got taken by a conman on the street? Who was changing money on the street in 1993? But they left here in the 80’s and they seemed kind of lost here when they came back. I think things are too easy there.
    So, back to this boyfriend of yours, English you say? Nothing good’ll come of that, mark my words! You know I’m always right about this kind of thing. I was talking with your mother and she said he kind of slouches and doesn’t even know how to sit normally! What kind of boyfriend is that? Your kids’ll all be hunchbacks? Is that what you want? A bunch of little hunchbacks? Sit up straight while I’m talking to you! And how many times has he brought your mother flowers? Not once! I asked her and she was embarrassed but you know me, I don’t take no for an answer and she had to tell me that the didn’t.
    And I hear funny stories about these English types, my neighbor’s sister-in-law was in Cracow visiting people and there were a bunch of these English guys and some of them were wearing women’s clothes and chasing around after women on the street. I don’t know. I think it’s because they don’t eat right. Everybody knows that English people eat any old kind of muck. And they’re cold, Englishwomen don’t even like their kids and don’t give them enough affection. Between that and the bad food they’re not quite right in the head.
    If you listen to me for once (And I’m always right, you know that, aren’t I? aren’t I? Of course I am!) you’ll dump this guy and find a man with some money because lord knows you’re not going to make any. You need to find a man with his own business, importing or exporting something then you won’t have to work you can just take care of the kids. You need to think of you mother, she wants grandkids, you always were selfish like that….”

  4. Sylwia says:

    LOL It’d be ciocia Pelasia!

    I was with you nearly to the end, but I think you overestimate our ciocias’ benevolence towards women staying at home with kids. They worked all their life, their nieces can too!

    It’s rather something like ciocia Pelasia speaking to Magda who works as an executive manager, earning five times more than Maciek, ciocia’s son:

    CP: Maciek says they are looking for a new secretary in his company.

    Magda: Thank you, ciocia, but I already have a job.

    CP: But don’t you even want to ask?

    Magda: No, thank you. I’m fine, really.

    CP: It never harms to ask.

    Magda: Why would I ask if I’m not looking for a job?

    CP: You don’t even know what they’d tell you.

    Magda (a bit frustrated): I already have a better job than that.

    CP: Maciek says that they have it very well there.

    Magda: I do too!

    CP (a bit offended): Do you?

    Magda nods with a faint smile, not sure whether it’s over.

    CP: You will do as you wish, of course.

    Magda looks down, trying not to provoke her ciocia any further.

    CP: So you don’t want to ask?

    Magda: No, there’s really no need.

    CP: And that boyfriend of yours, what is he doing?

    Magda: He’s a journalist.

    CP: Huh?! Your mother told me he has two left hands.

    Magda: He has not.

    CP: He couldn’t fix the sink!

    Magda: He tried, but there was a loosen piece and we had to call a plumber.

    CP: A plumber?! To a sink?!!!!!!!!

    Magda: Well, yes…

    CP, her mind made up: My Maciuś can fix anything, the other day he even changed the bulb.

    Magda: My boyfriend can change a bulb.

    CP, never to be convinced: Can he?

    Magda: Yes, and…

    CP: Well, Magda, you know I wish only the best for you… Don’t their sockets differ?

    Magda: Why, they do…

    CP, triumphantly: That’s what I meant!

    Magda looks at her aunt doubtfully, not sure what point she wanted to make.

    CP approaches a closet: I’ve found this old jacked, it should be good for you.

    Magda, in a faint voice: A jacket?

    CP: Yes, yes, try it on.

    Magda doesn’t even try to argue the point, and after a long discussion about buttons leaves ciocia’s home with the jacket.

    Ciocia is considerably happy. She proved herself useful enough to have topics for conversation with family, friends and neighbours for weeks to come.

  5. scatts says:

    Looks like we need to draft in some ghost writers for the ciocia series!! :-)

  6. Twoja Ciocia Pelasia says:

    Sylwia, kochana, you never were too quick to understand anything that wasn’t completely obvious to everyone else but …. I meant that you should stay home with the kids because, honestly, ….what kind of work could you find?

    It’s not like in my day when the schools still taught you something after all. I know you’re busy at your university with ….. whatever it is you’re doing there but who’s going to hire you when you’re done? I’m just letting you know for your own good, you know that, don’t you? Just … don’t get your hopes up. And why aren’t you wearing that jacket I gave you? It’s perfectly good and the color goes with your complexion better than that …. whatever it is that you’re wearing now.

  7. Jacek Wesołowski says:

    Sylwia, you sound as if you knew some of my older relatives personally. My “ciocia” literally has a jacket that she wants me to wear.

    And she writes poetry. Wartime poetry. And I have to read it.

    She also complains that I don’t visit her often enough.

  8. Anna says:

    I’m so glad I don’t have any aunts.

  9. Ania says:

    I think I loved the comments even more than the posts ;)
    Island – who has hurt you? Everyone loves an English boyfriend, especially the Hugh Grant type!

    I’m lucky that the Aunties never tell me stuff. They cannot – I talk all the time. They just give me jams. I like jams, so I think that a very beneficial practice :D

  10. yellerbelly says:

    I say old chap, you’re absolutely barking!!

    When I first came to Poland, some of my wife’s friends thought that I was “the Hugh Grant type”. Then they visited England and realised I wasn’t.


  11. MaterialGirl says:

    Before agony aunt’s agony I propose to write:

    “Farewell sonnet”.

    Who can polish start with:

    Ciocia Pelasia z Podlasia miała angielskiego kochasia…


    Shakespeare’s heirs can start with:

    Aunt Nelly with big belly had a polish lover…

    (further to my mind comes only… who was really fucking-mother) ;)

  12. Michael Farris says:

    Aunt Nelly with had a polish lover,
    who wanted to look under her covers,
    he took a peak,
    and had to shreik,
    There was Stasiek, his friend and three others.

  13. Pawel says:

    Why does ciocia Halina look like Margaret Thatcher? :>

    I loooooove Michael’s and especially Sylvia’s version:) First time I had more laugh reading comments:))

  14. Sylwia says:

    Ciociu Pelasiu, it’s Magda! You have forgotten your medicine! I’m keeping your jacket for Christmas Eve. It’s too good to wear it to work.

    Scatts, there should be one teściowa for a good measure!

    Island, what does it mean: “I say old thing!”, and “Apples and pears”?

    Jacek, every ciocia has a jacket and some prey to force it on. Your wartime sufferings are singular though.

    Island, your ciocia is hilarious! I laughed out loud.

  15. island1 says:

    Sylwia: “I say old thing” is a cliched expression that is commonly used to invoke the upper class British English of the 1920s or 30s. “I say” means something like “hey” or “did you know” or expresses mild shock; “old thing” means something like “my dear.” “Apples and pears” is a cliched example of Cockney rhyming slang.

    Sylwia and Michael: This is fabulous stuff! Come and write posts for us! I forgot to add in the whole ‘undermining’ angle – “…find a man with some money because lord knows you’re not going to make any” :D

  16. scatts says:


    1/ Teściowe scare me!

    2/ Apples & Pears = stairs

  17. […] blog, turns out to be very funny, in particular to me, since I have some Polish heritage. Check out Ciocia Halina (Auntie Halina) “your problem is my joy”–which really, really speaks to the, er, […]

  18. Henryk in Sydney says:

    Ha…..she looks a bit like Australia’s Dame Edna Everage. I would like to hear her talk darlingssss!!

  19. Sylwia says:

    Island: “Apples and pears” is a cliched example of Cockney rhyming slang.”

    I’m still trying to imagine how oranges and lemons rhymes with St. Clement’s.

    Scatts: Teściowe scare me!

    And so they should! There’s a reason why nearly every second joke on the Polish cabaret scene as about some teściowa.

  20. clare says:

    very funeeeeee…thank u for laugh

  21. Great post!!
    Well, if you ever need to verify if your boyfriend is REALLY English, come on over and have a look, us three American gals are experts on English Men…. did you know another characteristic is that English Men drive Ford Fiestas?? Hmmm….

  22. marta says:

    very nasty, inappropriate, simply mean and not true- but so bloody funny I nearly wet myself.

  23. Tom says:

    If Polish people detest the Englsh so much, why have so many choosen to come and live in England?

  24. island1 says:

    Tom: Because they can make more money there. Anyway, why does this post makes you think Poles detest the English?

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