Polish Money: Zloty
Although Poland joined the European Union (EU) on the 1st of May 2004, they don't have the Euro as currency. Poland's currency is still the Zloty. 1 Zloty is divided into 100 Grosz.
There are plans that Poland might introduce the Euro as official currency in 2013.
- Budget Travel
It is customary in Poland that ladies toilets show a circle or the words "dla pan", whereas gents toilets show a triangle or the words "dla panow".
This can be quite confusing when only the signs are shown on the toilet doors, which sometimes happens especially in restaurants.
Public toilets usually charge anything between 1 and 2 Zloty, so just make sure you have some small change available when looking for a toilet.
- Budget Travel
Poland is famous for a vodka-drinking tradition. Nevertheless, there are some really tasty Polish beers.
The most popular beer in Poznan seems to be the locally brewed Lech beer. The history of beer production in the Poznan area dates back to the 15th century, although the brand name "Lech" was only established in 1992.
Another well know beer brand in Poland is Tyskie beer, which is brewed in Tychy, where a brewery was mentioned in the early 17th century for the first time.
Since 1999 both Lech and Tychy beer belong to the Polish Kompania Piwowarska, which is majority-owned by SABMiller.
- Budget Travel
Right outside the town hall is a replica whipping post which dates from 1535, the original being in a local museum. It was here that criminals, trouble-makers, and hooligans were whipped, executed or led to the city boundaries before being banished from Poznan. The figure standing on top of the post depicts the executioner of Poznan. I have seen these whipping posts in other Polish towns that have survived too today. The funds for the statue were raised from fines.
Whilst I’m on my travels I love to find signs that have a normal meaning in their original language but mean something totally different in another language in this case English. One that springs to mind is the Austrian town called Fu**ing that is just a town name in German but has a different meaning in English. Whilst wandering around Poznan I found these 2 signs that brought a smile to my face.
Pols are very good mechanics
It was impossible until recently to pass Poznan without waiting in automobile jams. As a rule cars and lorries were stopping in huge jams near Poznan. Such a jam in 2000 spoiled the whole day.
First cars were slowly moving, but when they finally stood still, my wife Irina who was driving muffled the motor. At the attempt to start the car, she found out, that it was not get started. We rolled away the car manually on a roadside trying to understand what had happened. The starter and the system of electronic ignition were suspected in fail.
Later we came to conclusion, that we couldn't manage such malfunction without any help and consult. Poles who were driving by told us that somewhere nearby there was a repair station.
I went to search it and found a small workshop. I explained the owner our unfortunate circumstances, fortunately he understood in Russian. He promised to repair our car and together with his assistant (as it appeared, with his son-in-law) on a minibus we went to a place of breakage. The malfunction was defined - the starter had given up. By country roads, passing the damned jam, we arrived to the workshop.
The owner of the workshop removed the starter and began the repair. We were waiting in a room at the workshop, drank coffee and relaxed a little. Under any circumstances it's rather badly when the car brakes down. In another country - it's absolutely unpleasantly. I went to look at the process. The Pole showed me the starter with the charred brushes and asked even an hour to arrange them somehow. Soon the repair came to its end, and I was convinced of working capacity of the starter.
In comparison with the importance of our problem, the price of repair seemed symbolical - a hundred zlotys (twenty five dollars). The Pole assured us, that the starter would precisely work two weeks, and returning home, he advised to replace it nevertheless.
We were very grateful to this Pole who could repair the Russian car by improvised means.
- Road Trip
Young people in Poznan's churches
My following supervision in a church of Poznan concerns probably more customs of Russia than customs of Poland.
For Polish Catholics it is no wonder a plenty of youth in church. For Russian orthodox it is surprising to see so many youth as we saw in Poznan's church.
Older persons go to Russian churches as a rule. Schoolboys, schoolgirls and students can be seen only on great church holidays. In Poznan we saw the church filled by students in an usual week-day.
- Religious Travel
There is a pillory nearby to the building of the Town Hall and trading houses. Criminals were punished there and they were exposed to everybody. Iron circuits were attached to the stone column and swindlers were put there. They were publicly punished and executed.
In 1592 authorities made such a decision: it was necessary to beat a whip at a pillory gamblers who swindled during game then they were cut off an ear... It is curious, that the column was constructed on the penalties collected from dandies who liked to dress up more magnificently, than their public position them allowed.
- Historical Travel
A kiss on the hand may be quite Continental
Poznan's men and boys (including small ones), still kiss women's hands. This can be, but isn't necessarily, an integral part of flirting. The dashing young man nuzzling your fingers could just be signalling that he thinks you old and respectable rather than fanciable. (I've passed my learning curve here - I know it's respect!!)
They also hold doors open, light cigarettes, carry bags and generally behave in a way that we are told the English gentleman behaved before the feminists got to him. It is, of course, Poznan's women who ensure their men remain gentlemen, by the scruff of the neck if necessary. Poznan New Man must wash dishes and push the pram, as well as all the foregoing.
The men may flirt outrageously, but the women are just as skilled; in fact, both sexes young and old, consider it an art to be practiced on all social occasions.
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