Author Archives: Pawel

Concerns over sanitary standards in Kraków’s oriental bars

Sanepid, the institution protecting sanitary conditions, informed yesterday about results of an inspection that was carried in 40 Kraków’s oriental fast-food bars. Half of the establishments have failed to fulfill basic standards: inspectors encountered general mess and filth, serious malpractices in food storage, and bad waste management.

One of the bars was found to constitute an immediate public health hazard, and has been closed. It will be able to reopen, after having complied with inspectors demands.

Inquired by the journalists about the gossip: Sanepid officials assure the public, however, that no pigeon, dog or cat meat was found in any of the establishments.

Having learned that, every dog and cat in Kraków may now feel relieved and resume with their everyday business.

Meow, said a local cat

'Meow,' said a local cat

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Kochaj i tańcz (Love And Dance): Movie Review

If you live in Poland, and you’re not somewhere in a remote village without a TV or the internet (like Colin), you can’t have missed the huge marketing campaign for the new movie “Kochaj i tańcz”. The billboards, the TV ads, the trams and buses, the posters on the Warsaw underground, trailers on street screens etc. TVN, one of the largest Polish media corporations has outdone itself to promote its newest creation.

The film, as the title suggests, is a mix of romantic (or rather melodramatic) comedy with dance. The dance part inspired by the recent wave of – very popular – television dance shows such as “Strictly Come Dancing” (featuring stars performing ballroom), and “So You Think You Can Dance” devoted to contemporary forms of dance.

Fast-paced trailers take viewers by surprise and promise some good entertainment. However, mixed (if not mostly negative) reviews make the viewer conscious of what to expect.

I expected it to be another episode in a wave of films (like “Nigdy w życiu”, “Lejdis”) that recreate the manner and style of Polish tv soap operas. Superficial, and distorting the Polish reality making it more fairytale than it usually is.

Bruce Parramore, the director, was granted a lot of trust with such a huge project. He is well known for directing commercials and music videos. This is his debut with film, where he transferred his method of working with storyboards. And as some members of the crew commented astonished, the whole script, scene by scene, was drawn before first shot was made.

There seems to be a good balance between the time devoted to dance, and to the storyline. The plot develops naturally. It is not very complicated – but this is not something such a film needs. It is simple but well written and natural. There are two protagonists in love, and there are some obstacles in their way. The sub-plot involves the older generation and their reconciliation. The world here is very simplified and stereotyped. There are clear distinctions between good and bad, the interesting and the boring. The film doesn’t go beyond its genre, doesn’t discover new grounds. Don’t expect this film to make you think. But it does entertain, and it will make you hum and shake your feet as you sit.

The music (mainly by Polish band Afromental) surprises with how well it fits certain scenes. Together with some dance, great set design, professional camera shots – the film does not fail to impress. In terms of quality it could be compared to “Love Actually” only more up-beat.

I was particularly positively surprised with the acting, about which several film critics have complained. Mateusz Damięcki and Izabela Miko – playing the leading characters – are natural in their roles. Mrs Miko, who is a stunningly beautiful and successful Polish actress in Hollywood, makes a great debut in a Polish production, while her partner Mr Damięcki surprises with his toned body and impressive dancing. Sometimes, however, they are overshadowed by the performances of the supporting characters: especially Katarzyna Herman, who plays a haughty (but secretly good-natured) partner of an acclaimed choreographer. It is also worth mentioning the performance of Katarzyna Figura (the Mother), Jacek Koman (choreographer; well known actor in Australia where he has lived since 1982) and Anna Bosak (over-ambitious dancer).

Several dance scenes in the film represent different styles. A few group performances feature the popular dancers already known to the Polish viewers from televison.

To sum up: This film is not art, it is a product. As such it is well prepared and served. It is few steps ahead of the “Nigdy w życiu” likes. I would say it is the best film of its genre made in Poland (or even Europe) in the noughties. It did very well at the box office attracting nearly 400,000 viewers in its first weekend.  It is also a hint to the direction of Polish cinema. Unlike other Central-European schools (like the Czech) which seem to prefer intimate and quirky films Polish cinema seems to be going big, bold and mainstream.

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The Hottest Polish Politician vote extended!

Pleased with the interest our little contest has gathered we decided to extend the vote for the Hottest Polish Politician until the end of March.

You can find out more about the female contestants here and about male contestants here.

VOTE NOW (IF YOU HAVEN’T VOTED YET)

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The Hottest Polish Politician Contest – the Men

We’re back with the all-male finals of our Hottest Polish Politician contest. We are looking for one guy and one gal to become the Hottest Polish Polish Politician of the year.  We will send the lucky winner a bilingual diploma they can hang in their office and show off to their friends.

Last week the women’s final was featured on the national nightly news programe TVN Fakty. We’re too scared to imagine where this week’s contest might end up… 80% of the 460 Members of the Sejm are men – if this balance was recreated in out contest, we would have 40 male contestants.

Both contests will last one more week and then we announce the winners! Yay!

Contestant number 1

Sławomir Nowak is a 34-year-old MP from Gdańsk representing the Civic Platform party (centre-right) since 2004. Currently he holds the position of Secretary of State at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland. He is also the head of Prime-Minister’s political cabinet. He graduated from international relations at Gdańsk University and from management at Gdynia Maritime University. He has worked in advertising. Politically he was involved in liberal youth movement.

The Baltic Sea attracts windsufers from all over the Sejm
When you’re ready Mr Nowak we’ll try it on the water shall we?
Jak to na wojence ładnie
On his way to the Madonna concert

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Contestant number 2

Paweł Olszewski is a 30-year-old lawyer from Bydgoszcz, who also happens to be Civic Platform MP (centre-right). He manages exports for a furniture manufacturer. He was a spokesman for his party in the Kuyavia-Pomerania region and for three years he was a member of Bydgoszcz City Council.

In his own words: “My participation in socio-political life are a result of the wonderful years I spent in the Young Democrats association. There we learned how to successfully fight for our rights and take an active part in local political life.”

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Okay, so I hit the yellow ball with the stick, right?
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At the More Rights for Gingers rally

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Contestant number 3

Dawid Jackiewicz is a 36-year-old MP from Wrocław. He represents the Law and Justice party in the Sejm. During the Kaczynski era he held the post of Deputy Minister for the Treasury.

He should relaunch his website so that we could write something more about him.

Law and Order
Law and Order
Caught by tabloid photographer in a shopping centre with his friend during an important parliament debat! Naughty... but who wouldn't understand a passion for shoes?
Caught by a tabloid photographer in a shopping centre during an important parliamentary debate! Naughty… but who doesn’t understand a passion for shoes?

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Contestant number 4

Michał Jaros is a 28-year-old  MP from Wrocław. Born in Aleksandrów Kujawski (Kuyavia-Pomerania) he moved south to study at the Wrocław University of Economics. There he became an active member of a student’s union. Local Civic Platform noticed him, and offered a place on Wrocław City Council lists. He was elected, and after two years he was offered a good place on parliamentary election list.

His campaign became famous when he used a picture of a woman’s bum in tight jeans on his leaflet, coupled with the slogan “satisfaction guaranteed”.

Young MP donates blood
DNA tests to prove he’s old enough to be an MP
Elegant and friendly
At the student’s union bash

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Contestant number 5

Michał Marcinkiewicz is, at 25, the youngest MP in the Polish Sejm. He represents Civic Platform and his home town of Szczecin. From 2002–04 he worked in the European Parliament. He is the president of Morze Bałtyk Szczecin volleyball team.

In his own words: “I can honestly say – Szczecin is my city. I was born and raised here. Here I got my education and my first professional experiences. Here I met many good and interesting people. I feel a strong emotional bond with this city, and since I remember I wanted Szczecin to be the place to live comfortably.”

Voulez-vous (aha!) Take it now or leave it (aha!) Now is all we get (aha!) .... Nothing promised, no regrets Voulez-vous (aha!) Ain't no big decision (aha!) You know what to do (aha!) La question c'est voulez-vous
♫ Voulez-vous (aha!) Take it now or leave it (aha!) Now is all we get (aha!) …. Nothing promised, no regrets …. Voulez-vous (aha!) Ain’t no big decision (aha!) You know what to do (aha!) La question c’est voulez-vous ♫

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A Ku-Ku!

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Contestant number 6:

Łukasz Zbonikowski from Toruń is a 31-year-old lawyer and an MP representing the Law and Justice party in the Sejm. He is a professional politician: after experiences with the students’ union he began a career in the City Council of Włocławek in 1998, and was assigned to several political posts. He is the chairman of the Polish-Irish Parliament Group.

A Cypriot hotel accused Mr Zbonikowski of destroying a golf cart. The Speaker of the Sejm suspended his right to represent the Polish Parliament at the Council of Europe.

Mr Zbonikowski is a basketball enthusiast
Mr Zbonikowski is a basketball enthusiast
With children who came to see the very building where all the silly laws are being created
With children who came to see the very building where all the silly laws are being created

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Contestant number 7:

Donald Tusk from Gdańsk is a 51-year-old history graduate, an MP and the current Prime Minister of Poland. His Platforma Obywatelska party (centre-right) won the 2007 election. During the communist period he was actively enganed in opposition, for which he was fired from his job. For seven years had been doing physical work in a co-coperative society. After the collapse of  communism he was active in politics in liberal movements. He is one of the co-founders of Platforma Obywatelska.

He plays football every Thursday evening.

Scarf, 29.99
Scarf, 29.99, winning the election 29,000,000.00, seeing your opponents defeat live: priceless
Happy birthday mister president
Mr Tusk at Mme Tussaud’s

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Contestant number 8:

Paweł Poncyliusz from Warsaw is a 40-year-old MP (since 2001) representing the Law and Justice party in the Sejm. Since childhood he has been involved with the scouting movement. He studies history at the Warsaw University. For 8 years he was running his own business. He became famous when he agreed to a tabloid Fakt proposal to live for just 500 zł (120 euro) a month – the amount equivalent to what is left from a minimum wage after paying bills. The most popular Polish paper reported on his adventures everyday for a month.

In his own words: “Recently I became interested in impressionist paintings and Flemish painters”.

The White Party
The White Party
Always make sure there is no farting pillow on your seat when in public
Always make sure there is no farting pillow on your seat when in public

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Contestant number 9:

Damian Raczkowski is a 34-year-old law graduate and an MP from Białystok. He represents the Civic Platform party (centre-right) in the Sejm. He worked as a labour inspector (for a government institution controlling how businesses observe workers’ rights), and a realty manager for a local branch of Polish Rail.

Mr Raczkowski loves martial arts and has been training in taekwon-do for many years and holds a black belt. He also enjoys swimming, bicycle riding, tennis and snowboarding.

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Hanging out at the Alma Mater
Artistic shot pregnant wife - would make great Gala cover
Artistic shot with pregnant wife – would make great Gala cover

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Contestant number 10:

Jakub Rutnicki from Szamotuły is a 30-year-old political science graduate and an MP representing the Civic Platform party. He was one of the finalists in the Polish edition of Pop Idol. Mr Rutnicki is a sports enthusiast and plays football and volley ball. He also completed water rescue training. In his region of Wielkopolska he organises a beach volley ball cup bearing his name.

In his own words: “The Poland of my dreams is a country where people are proud of their homeland”.

I asked for a latte, not a cappucino
I asked for a latte, not a cappucino
Oooops... If there are top secret government papers, where are the beach volleyball results?
Oooops… If these are the top secret government papers, where are the beach volleyball results?

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Due to popupar demand from our regular readers the following contestants have been added in the last moment:

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Contestant number 11:

Radosław Sikorski from Bydgoszcz is a 46-year-old PPE graduate of Oxford University, an MP and the the current Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs. Previously involved with the Kaczynski brothers’ Law and Justice party, acted as Minister of Defence in their government. Before the 2007 election he joined the Civic Platform party.

Between 1981-1989 he lived in the United Kingdom as an asylum seeker due to his involvement in Polish anti-communist opposition. During that time he worked as a correspondent for such British newspapers as The Sunday Telegrph, or The Spectator.

He is married to a well known American journalist Anne Applebaum.

At Milan Fashion Week
Bacstage at Milan Fashion Week

See me in my room
– Would you be so kind and join our war? Pleaaase? – Oh… I don’t know…

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Contestant number 12:

Wojciech Olejniczak is a 35-year-old MP (since 2001) from Łódź representing the Democratic Left Alliance (social-democrats, heirs to the communist party). He is a farming market graduate and management graduate at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, holding a PhD degree in economics.  Between 1999 and 2000 he was the president of Peasant Youth Association. From 2005-2008 he was the chairman of his party. During the Leszek Miller government he acted as the Minister of Agriculture.

Inteviewed by Joan Rivers - live from the red carpet

Inteviewed by Joan Rivers - live from the red carpet

Mr Olejniczak and his drag performance

Mr Olejniczak and his drag performance

Vote now!

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The Hottest Polish Politician Contest

THERE’S MORE LIKE THIS ON OUR NEW SITE – POLANDIAN.COM

Don’t watch the news?! – See what you’ve been missing! Polandian presents the best looking and sexiest lads and lasses in Polish politics… We are looking for one guy and one gal to become the Hottest Polish Polish Politician of the year.  We will send the lucky winner a bilingual diploma they can hang in their office and show off to their friends.

This week we’re voting for the sexiest female politician. Come back next week to vote for the men!

Contestant number 1

Iwona Guzowska is a 33-year-old multiple World Championship medalist in kick-boxing and boxing from Gdańsk and has been an MP since 2007. She represents the Civic Platform Party (PO, centre-right).

She is involved in charities that aid sick children.

Diplomatic mission
Diplomatic mission
Working on political power
Strong-arm tactics

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Contestant number 2:

Iwona Arent from Olsztyn – this 41-year-old member of Law and Justice party (PiS; conservative/social-right) has been an MP since 2006. She is a political scientist.

In her own words: “I got my patriotism from my grandparents, my grandfather was a Home Army soldier sent to Siberia after the war. The tales I heard from my grandfather, grandmother and parents shaped my love for Poland.”

Style and grace... is that Jennifer Aniston hairdo?
Style and grace… is that a Jennifer Aniston hairdo?
Obligatory Sejm photo
Obligatory Sejm photo

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Contestant number 3

Magda Gąsior-Marek is a 26-year-old banking graduate and an MP from Lublin. She joined the Civic Platform party in 2005 and her political star launched soon after. She soon won a Lublin City Council seat and then made it into the Sejm.  She promotes blood donation and good manners on the roads.

Her political idols are: Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, Margaret Thatcher, Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. Maximillian Maria Kolbe, Milton Friedman and Adam Smith.

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Look mum, I’m in the Sejm!
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Likes to spend time around men with big choppers

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Contestant number 4

Małgorzata Tkacz-Janik is a 44-year-old member of the Zieloni 2004 Party (The Greens) in Gliwice. She’s an academic and social activist and a specialist in the theory of literature and marketing communication. She organises conferences about sustainable development in her home town of Gliwice and motivational trainings for unemployed women.

In her own words: “Three issues are most important for me in my political and life plan: the rights of women, the quality of life where one lives, and social and cultural education of children, youth and adults.”

The sultry, flyaway look
Mhmmmmm...
Put it away dear, you’re impressing nobody

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Contestant number 5

Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg is a 50-year-old painter and journalist from Wrocław and has been a member of the European Parliament since 2004. She is a member of the Democratic Left Alliance (social-democrats, heirs of the communist party). In the European Parliament she represents the Party of European Socialists. She graduated from Wrocław University of Economics. For ten years she worked as a general manager of the international classical music festival Vratislavia Cantans. For four years she held the post of Director of the Witold Lutosławski Philharmonic of Wrocław.

Yes. I do know what you're thinking
Yes. I do know what you’re thinking

Some people love to work after hours
Some people love to work after hours

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Contestant number 6:

Joanna Mucha is a 33-year-old academic and MP from Lublin, a city she has represented since 2007. She works as an economics lecturer (specialising in the economics of healthcare) at the Catholic University of Lublin. She represents the Civic Platform party (centre-right).

In her own words: “For me politics means service to the people – this will never change. I have been interested in national matters since I was very young, and I always wanted to participate in politics because I know I am an honest, trustworthy and hardworking person. Now I also have a large knowledge, which I would like to use for the benefit of our country”.

Come over here and say that punk
Come over here and say that punk

Stepping out in style
Stepping out in style

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Contestant number 7:

Elżbieta Łukacijewska is a 42-year-old MP from Sanok (since 2001). Holding a Masters in business administration she worked as an accountant. In 1998 she was voted village administrator of Cisna (podkarpacie region). She represents the Civic Platform party (centre-right). She is the former president of the Sejm Commmision for Equal Status of Men and Women.

In her own words: “From my parents I learned to respect other people and their work. I observed their everyday effort, honesty and attachment to the land. Their struggles and difficulties taught me a lot.”

Friendly and elegant
Friendly and elegant
Mental note: don't give speeches when you're hungry
Mental note: don’t give speeches when you’re hungry

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Contestant number 8:

Katarzyna Matusik-Lipiec is a 33-year-old Civic Platform MP from Kraków, a city she has represented since 2007. After graduating from political science at the Jagiellonian University, she started working in an association promoting knowledge about the EU. For five years she was engaged in local government of the City of Kraków.

In her own words: “To deal with everyday duties I always try to find time for sports: skiing, swimming, roller skating. Less actively, but just as passionately, I am a fan of the Polish volleyball team”.

I always like to sign with a kiss
I always like to sign with a kiss

Better three hours early than a minute too late
Better three hours early than a minute too late

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Contestant number 9:

Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska is a 52-year-old sociologist, film producer and an MP from Warsaw. For several years she represented the liberal-democratic Unia Wolności party in the Warsaw City Council. Currently she is a member of centre-right Platforma Obywatelska.

She takes special pride in being the grand-daughter of important Polish politicians: Stanisław Wojciechowski (President of Poland 1922-26) and Władysław Grabski (Prime Minister of Poland in 1920 and from 1923-25; architect of currency reformer – creator of the złoty).

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Vogue
Why do they always put the salt sticks on your side?!
Why do they always put the salt sticks on your side?!

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Contestant number 10:

Marzena Okła-Drewnowicz is a 36-year-old sociologist, social activist and an MP from Skarżysko-Kamienna. Since 2007 she has represented the Civic Platform party.  She has worked as a manager for social services in the Świętokrzyskie region and as a facilitator of trainings for social workers. She was actively engaged in numerous local non-governmental initiatives. Her best achievement is probably a charity organising free time for children from underprivileged backgrounds – which flourished when she took lead there.

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The Cheri Blair of a new generation

Explaining the Dutch delegation why they should adopt the Polish values
If this guy gives me one more flower I’m going to slap him

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Vote now!

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