Crossposted from Sumeruh blog
It was by the end of the August 2010 I flew to Poland. The long hours of flight ended into the exotic land in Central Europe. It was chilling and I was shaking because of lack to adaption to this exotic weather. It was 30 degrees back home and suddenly I was experiencing weather of 8-9 degrees. The temperature was cold but the hospitability of the University of Warsaw’s faculty and the staffs was really warm. They did not let us feel alone rather they were trying every time to help us cope with the surrounding and new environment organizing different interaction programs. Then I realized they are professional and this is how the works in Poland is carried on.
The food for the first time was really hard for me to adopt with but I must say that there are varieties of Polish cuisine which is extremely delicious. The first time I saw “Pierogi”, I remembered similar dish called “momo” back in my country. I started bridging Poland and Nepal to some context then. I tried comparing the dressing pattern of people here, especially of ladies. The people wear the dresses they prefer and they are not stared on. If I were suppose to wear skirts and socks back in my home country then people would embarrass me now and then by staring at me. I enjoyed the people’s positive attitude towards other people in this regard too.
I had imagined Warsaw as a concrete jungle but I was surprised to see the place is still environmentally and culturally protected. University building, Vistula River, parks and artistic palaces in Old town gave specific examples of this fact. When I heard the Polish language for the first time then I felt they are singing some kind of song to me. Also, to my surprise Polish have particular name for every objects and kinds in their own language which depicted their linguistic richness.
The most noticeable thing for me also was the people here love to read a lot. I could see most of the people reading in the tram and metro even standing or just leaning to pole. This too fascinated me a lot as I have never seen people reading stuffs even when they are travelling for the distance of few minutes. The respect for the elderly citizen was well demonstrated where the young people often offered seat to them in the public transportation. This demonstrated the strong cultural and moral values of the Polish people.
There are many things yet to explore but these were the first impressions of Poland and Poles on me. I must confess that the initial cultural shocks are not shocks any more. I am getting used to it and enjoying. I know the memories spent here will be preferred and treasured throughout my life time.