Report on the Polish diaspora in a corner of southern England

Having just returned from a short stay in the land of my fathers I thought I would put together a brief but rigorously scientific overview of the state of the Polish diaspora in the UK. This serves the dual purpose of making it look like I was doing something for the past week and allowing me to bore you with my holiday snaps.

First words of Polish heard (excluding airports):

10:47 AM, Day 1, Rye

“Ale schudłam!”* – 30-something woman to friend walking up street


The mean streets of Rye where Poles are wasting away from hunger

Second words of Polish heard:

4:30 PM, Day 2, Hastings

“No, no, no…”** – 20-something girl on mobile phone

Polish restaurants spotted:

1 – HAK, Hasting sea front, “Bigos” spelled “Bee gos” on menu

Polish restaurant

“Bigos? We have no bIgos… only beeeee gos!”

Most confusing conversation in Polish:

Bar of the Mermaid Inn, Rye

Mrs Island1: Good evening! It’s nice to hear Polish spoken.

Poles (confused): There are Poles everywhere.

Mrs Island1: Are you on holiday or do you live here?

Poles: We live here. Lots of Poles here. Where are you from?

Mrs Island1: From Krakow.

Poles: You are on holiday? Where are you going back to?

Mrs Island1: To Krakow.

Poles: No. I mean where are you going back to? London?

Mrs Island1: To Krakow.

Poles: (confused mutterings hinting at suspicions of insanity)

Island1: Jestem anglikiem!

Polish flags spotted:

1 – Brighton pier, along with French, Spanish, Italian, and British only.

Polish flag Brighton

Spot the Pole

Most commonly overheard-Polish false alarm:

Russian (or possibly Ukrainian, or Belorussian, or something like that)

Brighton beach

Most of these people are Russian

Incidence of Zywiec spotted in off licenses:

About 50 percent.

Incidence of Zywiec consumed by this reporter:

Exactly zero percent.

* I’ve lost weight!
** Yes, yes, yes…

Tagged , , , ,

28 thoughts on “Report on the Polish diaspora in a corner of southern England

  1. Ania says:

    Where is that beach? It’s bigger than the one in Marazion.

    Lots of Poles, indeed! We come to take you over, buhahahaha!!!

  2. Scatts says:

    Welcome back!

  3. magsymags says:

    According to some data, this year more Poles left Ireland than came to Ireland for the first time since 1995. I never believed all these numbers, I have so many polish friends that consider Ireland their home.

  4. guest says:

    They are indeed coming back.

    38.115.909 (30.7. 2008)
    38,482,919 (July 2009)

    only matter of time when we reach 40millions again…

  5. phlojd says:

    Does anyone know what happened to the Beatroot, another “anglikiem”? Did he return to jolly old England or what? Or has he just gone underground, living in the Warsaw sewers, plotting the overthrow of the Polish government?

  6. Michał says:

    I’m sorry, I don’t get the dialogue. Any hints on what is the confusion caused by? ;)

  7. island1 says:

    It was confusing because the Poles we met assumed we lived in the UK and were on holiday in the UK. They couldn’t grasp the concept that we lived in Poland all the time.

  8. island1 says:

    According to first-hand reports the beatroot has been seen walking around on his hind legs on Polish soil in the not too distant past. Apart from that I know nothing.

  9. island1 says:

    That’s Brighton beach. We definitely noticed far more Russians (or people speaking a variant of Russian) than Poles.

  10. Steven says:

    You are too much funny for me at first scan, have to stop, put down my pint, re read, and laugh my arse off properly.

  11. Nikodem says:

    Agree on the overheard-Polish false alarm. Heard lots of near-Polish on the beaches of Cannes. At first I thought they were just gorale, only to be disappointed.

  12. Ania says:

    Oh, OK, that’s good then

  13. news says:

    Maybe they were pretending there were in Brighton Beach in New York (an area known as little Odessa)!!

  14. Malaysian says:

    Yay, we have Malaysian immigrants in UK as well! At least my uncle (who used to be an illegal immigrant) and Jimmy Choo!! Haha!

  15. Bob says:

    Jamie – congrats and welcome back. Dow we expect the Island’s to begin creating an archipelago in the near future?

    scatts – my email to you bounced back again – yes, it would be great to have a meet in October

  16. Scatts says:

    Bob, don’t know why the mail is bouncing. I’ve added you to the “whitelist” although that shouldn’t be necessary. So worth trying to send again.

    Meet in Oct good for me.

  17. MaterialGirl says:

    Lots of polish women in UK are getting fat like english women. They say that there even the air is so fatten. Why I stay here! So perfect, slim and sexy! :D

  18. MaterialGirl says:

    I think Michał by this: “;)” showed you island1 that he understood it perfectly! In the other way, one of you is sorry I have to say it – imbecile!

  19. pinolona says:

    Not all English women are fat!

    It’s a gradual cultural change (and largely class-dependent): it started in the States, moved over to Britain, is beginning to show signs in France and western continental Europe. Mark my words, Miss Material Girl, your grandchildren will definitely be on the chubby side… :)

  20. Steven says:

    Always amazed, how every world problem is some how twisted into Americas fualt from WW1 to J LO butts popping up all over the EU.

  21. pinolona says:

    not America’s fault, just that things (i.e. social trends) tend to happen there first. You could say it means the US is more advanced than us…
    (ps WW1? How on earth can you pin that one on the States? That’d make an interesting pub discussion.)

  22. Steven says:

    Believe it or not, I,ve had that very discussion… a pub. I don,t blame Europeans for blaming America…just not me personally. I,m Irish I think Great Grand Mother and Father made a mistake getting on that boat. The famine was almost nearley over…..

  23. guest says:

    ha ha. must read.

    h ttp://

  24. Scatts says:

    I meant to say, Jamie, that “airports” is not a Polish word. ;)

  25. MaterialGirl says:

    My rather not. I was so slim always, that I was taken for a boy, what I hated when I was younger. Now I have tits and ass and I stop to take care about it, though sometimes my slimness? is still taken as a young man in the jacket or the coat. :D I will never be on diet. But I saw this type of fattish polish children in new generation.

  26. guest says:

    disgusting scum.

    h ttp://

  27. Graeme says:

    Sadly cafe Hak – charming Polish cafe/restaurant in Hastings – seems to have shut down. It’s a great shame as I really liked it there: the woman who ran it was friendly and the food was delcious. Another victim of the recession I suppose…

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