Chopin, Frédéric François (1810-1849), Polish composer and pianist of the romantic school, regarded by some as the greatest of all composers of music for the piano. a French father and a Polish mother, he preferred to use the French name Frédéric
In 1837 he met French writer George Sand. He died in Paris of tuberculosis.
his mazurkas reflect the rhythms and melodic traits of Polish folk music, and his polonaises are marked by a heroic spirit.Chopin greatly influenced other composers, notably the Hungarian pianist and composer Franz Liszt, German composer Richard Wagner, and French composer Claude Debussy. Chopin's many published compositions include 55 mazurkas, 27 études, 24 preludes, 19 nocturnes, 13 polonaises, and 3 piano sonatas. Among his other works are the Concertos in E minor and in F minor, both for piano and orchestra, the cello sonata, and 17 songs.
Plac Zamkowy and the statue of...
Plac Zamkowy and the statue of Sigismund III... Warsaw's Old City is charming, but when I was there it was absolutely freezing! It's hard to fully enjoy the atmosphere of a place when your fingers and toes feel like blocks of ice -- so the next time around I will definitely visit during the summer... Also, I was horrified to come across a Pizza Hut right in the Old City, just a stone's throw from the Sigismund III statue. If these fastfood restaurants have to expand into Europe, couldn't (and shouldn't) they confine themselves to the modern districts of cities and leave the historical sites alone?! Anyway, that's just my opinion...
Local Embassies in Warsaw
So why should you be concerned whether the USA, or any other country for that matter, has an embassy in Warsaw?
Embassies assist their citizens with adoption procedures within Poland and provide services and information to their citizens, such as emergency assistance, passport services, notarizations, reports of birth of their citizens abroad, help with finding translators and medical services and many other services.
For a business traveler such as myself, the fear of losing or having my passport stolen is a nightmare from which I try to protect myself all the time. But there is always the possibility that it will happen to me - or to you!
But if it were to happen, it's at a time like that when those noble, nicely groomed gentlemen and women in your embassy can really come to the rescue. Of course, let's hope that we don't need to get in contact with our embassies for anything other than good reasons, but misfortunes can happen.
Embassies usually are not places that provide tourist tours. And I am not sure that it is always required, but I have been in some countries where the guards at the gate wanted to know who I had scheduled an appointment with in the Embassy when I showed up at the embassy gate. Since I didn’t have an appointment I was not allowed inside. Practical security precautions I am sure.
The following web site contains information regarding all the embassies currently residing in Warsaw.
See these little colourful cards? They called 'pokemons'. These are advertisements of ummmm... houses of fun... usually run by Polish mafia...
Many people collect those 'pokemons', just like stamps :)
English not generally, French even less
I have been to Poland twice, and visited many places, I love the country, love the people, so please, do not get me wrong. It is true that in Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, and other major cities some of the population speak English around the tourist areas, But in general I would say 10% to 15%, speak English enough to be able to hold conversation, and less than 5% do speak French. But if you travel in villages or small cities have a guide that speaks Polish with you, or do like I do bring a dictionary and a “cheat sheet”, before going learn basic words, and be prepared to do a lot of pointing.
However those younger than 25, that is about when Russian was no longer forced and they could choose other languages, can almost all understand basic English. Sadly most of them are still in school so not a great part of the workforce.