Tag Archives: Polandian

Polandian caption competition #3

Polandian’s much-loved caption competition is back! To be honest, the reason I stopped doing them was because so many prominent Poles were killed in the Smolensk disaster that for a long time I couldn’t be sure the people in the pictures I had chosen weren’t tragically dead. At least one of the people who appeared in the last competition back in March were on the ill-fated flight. Moving forward… supply your own alternative captions for huge respect and non-existent prizes!


This much popcorn please



Want to help me get my Political Intercourse badge?



Re-enactment of the Great Patriotic Summer Holiday of 1923



We kill now…yes?



Please Miss, may I go to the little dictator’s room?



The finals of Miss Emotionally Disingenuous

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Spring Blog Meet 2010

This will be the fourth annual Blog Meet in three years—we’re not strong on counting. Last year’s bash in Warsaw, organised by our very own Scatts, was a great success. The Krakow team is now limbering up for the return match. Some of the lads are new signings but we’ve put in the hours at the bar and are confident we can take on the best the Big Smoke has to offer.

The date: Saturday 1st May

The time: From 5 pm

The place: Nostalgia Restaurant, Krakow

If you’re reading this, you’re welcome to come. Bring husband, wives, girlfriends, children and imaginary friends. Leave a comment below if you think you might pop by. There are about 14 confirmed so far.

The restaurant is one of our favourites—off the tourist trail but still five minutes from the Rynek and featuring a relaxed atmosphere, a secluded courtyard and solid, honest Polish food.

If you can’t make it at five, I’m sure we’ll be there for a few hours.

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New look Polandian

One of the inevitable results of getting all the Polandian writers together in one place and giving them beer is that they get terribly excited and start inventing Big Ideas For The Future. One of these BIFTF always involves changing the look and structure of the site. We’ve been through more makeovers than Madonna. Behold… the latest! Let me give you a quick guide:

1. Look up there! It’s a flashy, magic sliding image thing that immediately allows you to see what we’ve been blathering on about recently and also reveals our woefully inadequate photography skills (apart from the nuns, the nuns were quite good).

2. Look up there ever further… it’s a new logo! Notice how our graphic design department has cunningly crafted an image that says: ‘youth,’ ‘insight,’ ‘depth,’ and ‘fully justifiable inebriation’ just by inserting a funky capital ‘P’ and and a hilariously lower-case ‘i.’

3. Behold, just below that! A Dionysian bunch of categories including Travel Guides, Survival Guides and Reviews.

4. Look down there! The first few scintillating lines of the past 10 posts sit like juicy worms on the hooks of Google Analytics for your viewing pleasure.

5. Look right down there… no, lower… that’s it! Random nuggets of purest foreigner chat about Poland, a list of pages no less and our side-splitting self-justification.

Please show you appreciation by commenting loudly below or writing to your nearest sovereign parliament.


10 reasons why you should be a Polandian writer

Polandian has been going for two years now. Over this epic span of time the original band of seven Polandian writers has been whittled down to just two. Some have dropped out to spend more time in the real world, whatever that is, some have succumbed to internet fame and checked into rehab and some I have simply had shot. Now we need fresh talent. Here are ten reasons why you should write for a website that has been viewed 937,202 times in the past 24 months.

1. Knowledge
You know something about Poland, or at least where it is on a map. This may be the result of having lived in Poland, spending time with other people who have lived in Poland or simply being in possession of a map and too much free time.

2. Let your talent shine!
You know how to write and have a dark secret desire to have other people read what you write and make poorly-reasoned comments about it.

3. Sheer bloody mindedness
You have read Polandian in the past and are secure in the certain knowledge that you could do it better. You’re almost certainly right.

4. Spiritual enrichment
It’s January and you are looking for that life-changing challenge that will kick start your plan for the new you. Web-based fame in Poland is a place to start. Not a particularly good place, but have you seen the state of yourself recently.

5. Stress relief
Nine out of ten doctors who have been bribed to appear on television say you are stressed. This is, in itself, a huge source of stress that can only be alleviated by writing a blog post about it. I suggest “How writing for Polandian made me a stress free and happy person.” See how easy it is?

6. Meet interesting and influential people
If this ever happens to you write to us here at Polandian and tell us what it’s like.

7. Help the community
There is nothing that brings a glow to the innocent cheek of a Polish child more quickly than the sight of a bad-tempered foreigner locking himself away in his bedroom to write for Polandian. Do your community a favor, get the hell off the streets and write for Polandian.

8. Become attractive to women and/or men
If there’s anything more sexy than a famous internet writer then I’ve yet to hear about it. If Scatts and myself weren’t married men we’d almost certainly be playing the field in a country renowned as the babe capital of the world. Hang on… I just made myself sad.

9. Gain respect
Just the other day I was stopped on the street by a Krakow gentleman asking for money. He didn’t say it was because he recognized me as a fabulously successful and wealthy Polandian writer, but I could see it in his good eye.

10. Cleaner, stronger hair
Okay, I’m getting a little desperate towards the end of the list but I do have compelling apocryphal evidence that my hair is 27 percent stronger than it was two years ago. Also, there’s less of it but I’m using the same amount of shampoo so it must be cleaner, right?

If you found this as compelling as I did and are now straining at the leash to become a contributor to Polandian get in touch with us quickly before the mood wears off.

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Poland's English-language blogosphere

Next month a breathless nation will learn the results of the fifth annual Polish blog awards, known as Blog Roku 2009. Neither Polandian nor any other English-language blog about Poland will be among the winners because rule number 5 states quite emphatically that in order to qualify a blog must be written in Polish. I think this is exceptionally unfair and a little bit stupid. I can understand why the overall winner can’t sensibly be an English-language blog but couldn’t us poor benighted foreigners writing in the language of international communication about our adopted home country at least have our own category?

The English-language blogging community in Poland is small but beautifully formed and accounts for tens or hundreds of thousands of page views a month. Somebody is reading us and it’s not just lonely English teachers. Excuse me while I indulge in a spot of own-trumpet blowing but Polandian is creeping towards a million page views over the two years it has been online. The Beatroot is, I suspect, in the same territory. I’m willing to bet there are not many Polish-language blogs that can boast those kind of numbers. I don’t care about the prizes and I doubt Polandian would win one anyway but it seems perverse that us English-language bloggers are not even allowed in the running.


A graphic representation of Poland’s English-language blogosphere (click for larger version) showing one-way and two-way links (some people are not good at returning links). Polandian is in the center just because that’s where I began clicking links. I’ve excluded commercial sites (such as Anna’s Polish Blog) and those who no longer focus on Poland (such as Expateek) but left in Pinolona because we like her and she might move back to Poland at any moment. There’s a lot of great stuff out there people.

A quick review of notable English-language blogs about Poland:

W-wa Jeziorki
The first time I looked at Michael Dembinski’s blog I was convinced it would be the last time. Why would I want to read about the minutiae of life in a small flat suburb of Warsaw I asked myself? Two years later I never miss a post. Why is it fascinating? I have no idea, but it is.
By the way you have to watch Mr. Dembinski, he starts new blogs without warning. Grey Jumper’d Childhood, a blog about growing up in 1960s England, and Flyingoko, a blog about an Anglo-Pole’s perspective on the UK, have already arrived amongst us.

20 East
Written by my one remaining Polandian stablemate Ian Scattergood. better known as Scatts, 20 east is a shotgun-style personal blog that might at any given moment assault you with tales of misbehaving cats, urban regeneration, or record-breaking bird-watching moments. Fortunately, since Ian is a natural writer, the whole thing remains utterly readable.

Politics, Economy, Society
Written by a more-or-less anonymous Polish student, PES can be a daunting read for the generally attention-deficient blog reader, but it’s worth the effort. The bloke refuses to compromise and will hit you with 2,000 words about Polish corruption if he feels it’s needed. The fact that he makes the effort to do all this in English leaves me in awe.

Our Man in Gdansk
Written by the, presumably, fictitious H. Grodsk Monkey OMG has been going since 2005 and covers every Polish thing under the sun in a pleasantly amusing style. OMG is an older style English-language blog about Poland in that its author remains strictly anonymous despite clearly being involved in Poland’s rather small English-language journalism industry. I find this odd.

The Beatroot
The grandaddy of popular English-language blogging about Poland the author of the Beatroot also scrupulously maintains his anonymity. All we know is that he knows his Polish current affairs and knows how to write about them in an amusing and engaging way. He may also be a vegetable.

There are many others (see the graphic) but I’m out of time this Sunday night.

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