New Years’ Resolutions the Polish way

Even us foreigners make New Years’ resolutions, but being a foreigner adds certain complications. Here are the top five New Years’ resolutions made by foreigners living in Poland and the reasons why they don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of being kept.

Lose weight

Why you might want to do this?
You’ve decided that standing up is overrated. You don’t need to look for the TV remote because you have a gravity field that attracts small objects. You can cross Polish roads safely because drivers are too scared to run into you.

Chances of success: Slim to none
It’s January, there are about 45 minutes of daylight per week, it’s cold enough outside to panic a polar bear, and you’ve just remembered that you wont be seeing the sun for another four months. Buttered potatoes, soup drenched in cream, and half a fried pig is clearly the only way forward in these circumstances.

Your only hope

Amputation is always an option. Do you really need two legs, those things are heavy? And remember, hoping is good exercise.

Learn something new

Why you might want to do this?
You’re the same idiot you were 12 months ago. Knowledge keeps getting bigger and your brain keeps getting smaller. There are still 192 other countries out there that you know nothing about. If you’re Polish the temptation to say “I’d really like to learn Russian again” is just overwhelming.

Chances of success: High
For example, this time last year I didn’t know it was possible to drink Polish beer without gasping in horror. Also, I didn’t know that writing a blog about Poland could make me rich and famous… no wait that’s not right.

Your only hope
Life, apparently, is just one damn thing after another and you can’t help but remember some of it. This is called experience and it may have some use at some point, or so I’m told.

Drink less

Why you might want to do this?
You only just realized it’s 2009 already. Your job is interfering with your drinking. You can drink Polish beer without gasping in horror.

Chances of success: Minimal
Walk anywhere outside for more than five minutes and nipping into the nearest bar for a hot wine seems like the only possible salvation. This is also the only time of year when it is possible to buy hot beer; the addition of fruit juice and various herbs makes the stuff more or less drinkable.

Your only hope
Marry a born-again Catholic, the desire to drink will still be there but the tongue lashings and the guilt will force you to do it more quickly and in secret thereby saving valuable time for smoking and eating pork.


Why you might want to do this?
You’ve just been out of the country for Christmas and it reminded you there’s a whole world out there where it’s sometimes possible to shop without being treated like Adolf Eichmann at a bris. You dimly remember a time when your passport was for something other than booking InterCity seat reservations. You start looking at non-white people in a funny way.

Chances of success: Negligible
Nobody but a Mongolian yak herder would describe Poland as a transport hub. To get anywhere remotely interesting you have to fly to Frankfurt or London first. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if Frankfurt airport wasn’t the fifth gateway to hell or if London wasn’t the greatest city on god’s earth but, unfortunately, neither of these are the case.

Your only hope

Sell yourself as a white slave or become a Human trafficker. The hours are terrible but the time spent sealed in an airless freight container are a nice change from Galeria Krakowska, plus you get to meet or mercilessly embezzle people who’ve never heard of Doda.

Find love

Why you might want to do this?
Your inflatable latex friend has developed terminal puncture fatigue. Walking down the street and leering at girls on your own got old. You suddenly realized it may not be possible to get through the whole of life on charm and looks alone.

Chances of success: Stratospheric
Foreign males who have spent more than six minutes in Poland without attracting the attention of MIss World-grade talent are doing something seriously wrong. The problem is weeding out the extremely attractive basket cases from the extremely attractive good ones. Most men are very, very bad at this. I, however, am a flipping genius.

Your only hope
It’s good… I said that already, do try and pay attention.


28 thoughts on “New Years’ Resolutions the Polish way

  1. scatts says:

    Here’s my take on your resolutions:

    Lose weight – agreed. Would be nice.

    Learn something new – already achieved! If your patyk is too thick, the kiełbasa breaks in two and falls into the bonfire!

    Drink less – if I drink less, I’ll be not drinking at all! Unnecessary in my case.

    Travel – planned! This summer holiday will be a 3 week “road trip” family adventure.

    Find love – achieved! Thank goodness.

    So, only the weight for me to worry about then! ;)

  2. Bible Translator says:

    I’m trying to find out: who is “Transubstantiation” @
    Any ideas?

  3. island1 says:

    ooooh, incinerated kiełbasa. nasty.

    Bible Translator: No idea I’m afraid, why did you think we might know?

  4. guest says:

    “Transubstantiation” = Trans-Siberian Railway / Транссибирская магистраль , Транссиб

  5. MaterialGirl says:

    Fall in bad/unfortunate love

    (you can’t eat)


    lose your weight.

    You start drink more,


    you are going to be a member of

    AA (anonymous alcoholics),


    you meet a woman/man with

    the same problem.

    You have a topic to conversation and you discover that guy/bird understood me perfectly.

    You fall in good love

    you travel (honeymoon)

    you less drink (for 1 year).


    You start to drink more before your divorce. ;-)))
    But you can repeat all again and again!

  6. MaterialGirl says:

    I forgot:

    the last thing teach you sth new.

    To learn ther is good to repeat! :-)))

  7. island1 says:

    MaterialGirl: Is this the story of your life or a screenplay you are pitching?

  8. DC says:

    You Varsovians might wish to get your travel on sooner than later. If they really close Etiuda in April, you may lose some of the low fare carriers or routes.

  9. MaterialGirl says:

    Unfortunately not mine. ;-)

    So I pitching. I like piec ciasta, ciastka i ciasteczka. :-)

  10. Steven Woodruff says:

    I can’t understand all the conotations about Polish beer, I love the stuff. Is it really that bad to you Brits? Or is American beer so bad, that it makes Polish beer seem like heaven to me? I really love the beer……alot.

  11. Boguslaw says:


    Polish beer seems to haven to me as well, especially when we compare it with british one ;)

    I was never able to understand why someone could ever possible preffer “Larger” to “Pilsner”.

  12. scatts says:

    Stephen – the answer is B.

    Boguslaw – we’ve had this before on here but pilsner IS lager. So the question is about preferring good lager to bad lager. Nothing to do with proper beer at all! ;)

  13. MaterialGirl says:

    For me, Pilsner Urquell is in its origin German.

    But it comes to Poland from Czech(oslovakia).

    I prefered Zlaty Bazant – Golden Pheasant.

  14. island1 says:

    Steven, Boguslaw, MaterialGirl: I keep hearing rumors about good Polish beers (or lagers) and I’m willing to believe they do exist, but I can never find them. Where can I buy this Zlaty Bazant of which you speak? For me the standard Polish beers (or lagers), by which I mean the brands you see all the time—Zywiec, Okocim, Tyskie etc—are pretty bad. They’re very artificial tasting and generally of poor quality.

  15. Boguslaw says:


    lol You got me, i have alway thought that Larger and Pilsner are two seperate kinds of beer.


    I am affraid that Zlaty Bazant is a Slovak beer and thats why it is taste so good ;)

    To be frank, i really like Zywiec, and find Okocim to be some kind of a mistake, but propably you should check some Checz&Slovak beers like Zlaty Bazant and Pilsner Urquell. Most Poles (including me) believe that they are some kind of uberbeers.

  16. Steven Woodruff says:

    The best beer I ever had was in a pub called “The Irishman” in Stavanger, Norway. Unfortunatley, I was so smashed I don’t recall the name. But, I’m certain it was English or Irish. I guess Polish beer is only good to me as the result of being raised on Budwieser, Miller, and other American beer that I have sworn to never drink again.

  17. MaterialGirl says:


    I will not tell you when you can find Zlaty Bazant, because you haven’t yet answered my question above. But last time I bought it in bottle even in hipermarket.

    Urquell in German means protospring “praźródło” and sounds like name of the orc/ork/urk (not these who are dolphins) these from “the Lord of the Rings”.

    By the way: who knew, that J.R.R. Tolkien had polish grandma? To win: supper (without breakfast) in Kraków.

  18. pinolona says:

    I don’t think Zlaty Bazant is very different to Tyskie and its ilk. From what I heard in Bratislava, Slovak beers aren’t that great and lots of the locals drink Czech beer anyway…
    (*braces self for huge backlash from patriotic Slovak beer-lovers*)

  19. island1 says:

    MaterialGirl: J.R.R. Tolkien, really? That’s a good one. I only accept supper invitations I can bring my girlfriend to.

    Pino: Relax, you may be overestimating our Slovak readership.

  20. MaterialGirl says:


    don’t you see that it was a little joke (with dinner). I gave the answer in the same time, so it couldn’t be a real competition with real prize!

  21. Datblog says:

    Island – you need those 2 legs to help get you on your way so start walking more, you will lose weight, travel, see things, apprecite things, feel healthy, have an opportunity to meet people

    and here’s a tool to help you

    and, NO don’t just use it to find a pub in walking distance :-)

  22. island1 says:

    MaterialGirl: Fair enough.

  23. island1 says:

    Datblog: Jumping Jehosophat, dat you Dat!? Not a word in almost a year and suddenly you’re all over us like a rash. Welcome back!

    Thanks for the advice, but up until now I’ve found myself quite capable of walking about the place without the aid of a website. In fact I’m an inveterate walker, can’t stand cars. In fact a lot of people have misread these resolutions as my resolutions, which they aren’t. Are you calling me fat?

  24. MaterialGirl says:


    but if you really love so much your girlfriend, and she is so sweet, that you wants to eat her (citation from you: “I can bring my girlfriend”, so I understand – she must be suitable for f.e. starters ;-))), I leave you heart and I would like liver. There’s only 1 condition: she have to be VIRGIN! I am saying that as descendant of The Wawel’s Dragon).
    Always opened to new challenge and degustation:

    your servant

    Dragoness from the Wawel (chocolate)

  25. Colin says:

    Hi Island1 – I’ve just discovered how to read follow-ups to comments, well I never looked into it before – Jumping Jehosophat you can say. I’ve spent the best part of a year helping people and now have a month or so to help myself so what better way than to spend it in Warsaw (yeah well – its home).

    I’m really glad that you guys have achieved a modicum of success in the bloggingsphere well done….really great job.

    I knew you were a walker I remmber some post you once did about walking and people stopping in front of you, made me laugh my …. off. Fat you – no just a bear belly:-)

  26. Colin says:

    shit never could spell beer

  27. Colin says:

    Steven – it sure as hell could not have been Norwegian beer. Noggin beer is brain damaging disgusting stuff – especially Rignes, not even the Moose like it.

    MaterialGirl – why should you be concerned if Island’s lady is a virgin or not?

  28. MaterialGirl says:


    your 2 above sentence/post (without comma) sounds like “shit” can/could speak, but had some problems with spelling!!! :D

    Neither heat me nor chill me is Jamie’s girlfriend virgin or not.

    But The Wawel’s Dragon had to had every morning 1 virgin to devour* her. So, I – as his great-great-great-granddaughter ;) should not eat sth/sb else!
    Happily the Szewc Dratewka = shoemaker twine/shoemaker’s end kill him by stuffing the ram with sulphur. Dragon ate that ram (apparently that morning virgin was very thin or had to wrench of his claws and paws to be free and he lost more energy than usually. :D

    *That’s ambiguity, because in the whole in the rock under the wawel’s Castle where had to live dragon in XiX century was so called “zamtuz” = suspicious joint/pub with black market and easy girls.

    Interesting that in some west or northern legends about dragons – virgin (as the walking purity of heart and intention) is the only person who can tame the dragon.

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