Tag Archives: Alternatywy 4

Polish Entry, Working Girls and Knocking

Where there’s a gun, there’s a way. The uniformed men in Poland stood for authorities. Alien authorities, often. German Gestapo, Soviet NKVD, PRL secret police officers could raid into a Polish flat without a warrant. Needless to say, the men in uniformed power were not as polite as this Monty Python’s constable:

Members of the military, police, militia, forest inspectorate, postal service, gas works, electricity works, firemen, doctors, priests, anyone in outwardly authority-marking clothes would always have the hand upper than the hand of a ‘regular’ plain clothes or plain pyjamas Pole’s. Especially when it could carry a gun, a baton, a court summons. Media (such as TV) were power, too – a journalist could enter places where mortals dared not. Clerks used to be (and sometimes still feel to be) in power to, apparently more important than citizens.

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Still, you will easily find politeness in Poland wherever it is needed – in a shabby-clad burglar, for example. Start watching this piece of “Alternatywy 4” [from 02:10] A burglar named Balcerek is requested to break into a flat of one of his neighbours. He has his principles: it is professionally unethical to go burglarise your own homestead. Assured it’s a matter of life and death, Balcerek agrees to break in, accompanied to the target door by the neighbours. What should a burglar do before he starts his job? He KNOCKS.

Or, note that men of the Polish resistance knock. Only then they can break into a rendez-vous (watch first 50 secs)].

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One comment below the post about the English exit was about a water–meter inspectoress, allegedly rude. Her iconic precedent is Kobieta Pracująca (the Working Woman), a jill of all trades, mistress of just as many.

See her walk in bravely as a gas / electricity works collector, demand a place to seat, wanting the mess on the table removed. Don’t dismiss her rudeness too hastily: she pays back with many a piece of advice on a variety of subjects, free of charge, not even for a cuppie. In another episode she says “excuse me” to offer insurance policy instantly in the middle of the household under marital argumentation. Both episodes merged below:

See her as a saleswoman, offering veal, turning into a plague-fighter since the need be. See that not only Polish home is not a castle, but a bedridden man’s bed does not stand within any area of unpeeped-in privacy. See the lady toss “good evening” and barge in to offer pants-sewing service. Two episodes in one tube again:

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The times they are a-changin’. There can be less arrogance and more pleasure in life. So, I’ll leave you with a gas detector inspector and a morgue representative paying their visits to a damsel (in distress?).



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No woman working here.

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