A couple of days ago I posted a picture on Facebook showing the weather in Marbella and the weather in Brzeg.
If you didn’t catch it, it’s here.
I added a comment to the post: ‘Lovely day here in Brzeg… not so nice on the Costa del Sol,’ to which my boss replied: ‘Finally something is better here than in Spain!’
And that got me thinking.
First of all, let me make something clear: I love Poland. The countryside, the cities, the people, the pace of life; it all reminds me a little of Ireland except it’s cheaper, the Polish drink marginally more than the Irish, and the weather is… shall we say… more extreme.
It’s Brzeg that I dislike.
Now I’m not going to insult the good people of Brzeg by writing another Brzeg-bashing
blog; I’ve said quite enough already on the matter — but let me just say that the only two good things that came out of Brezg are the A4 and the A94.
But what about a comparison between Spain, my former adopted home, and Poland, my new adopted home?
So here, amigos, are ten reasons why Poland is a better place to live than Spain.
- It’s Cheaper. If you get paid purely in Zloty the cost of living is marginally cheaper than In Spain, but if you also have a Euro or Sterling income then you can’t find enough to spend your money on.
- The Beer. Spanish beer is boring. Okay, it doesn’t stop me drinking it, but there is no
choice — una cerveza will get you whatever they happen to have, usually San Miguel, which is truly dreadful. Many Polish hostelries have their own microbreweries and then there are also the tinnies; but beware, some of this stuff is rocket fuel, nudging ten percent alcohol content.
- The Driving. Spanish driving is second only to Italian driving in its aggressiveness. A Spaniard considers it a sign
of weakness to leave more than a cigarette paper’s width between his vehicle and yours, and indication is reserved for the weak and the incontinent. The fact that most Spaniards have nothing more pressing to do than sleep the afternoon away changes nothing. The Polish tend to drive like old women, and while this is exceptionally frustrating on occasions, it is at least not so life-threatening.
- The Food. Okay, I realise that this one is contentious and that I have gone on record saying that I’d rather eat my own toenails than Polish food. But if you stay away from traditional Polish restaurants, the food in the cities is very good indeed. Wroclaw restaurants are indeed excellent and offer the discerning diner a huge range of European or ‘fusion’ cuisine. This isn’t supposed to be a travel piece, but I would recommend any of these (except the pizza one, and that’s only because I don’t like pizza — which is basically cheese on toast). La Maddalena Restaurant would certainly be in my top five restaurants anywhere in the world and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I can’t think of anything to rival it in Marbella.
- The Shopping Experience. I love shopping. Yes, read that again… I love shopping.
Shops in Polish cities remain open until 11.00pm although —annoyingly — they close most Sundays. In Spain, shopping centres close every Sunday. And then there’s that bloody irritating siesta.
- Rail Transport. Now I have to be careful here and I have had a few negative experiences on Polish railways, but they have been mainly of my own making. Like the time I woke up in Katowice instead of Brzeg, and the times I woke up in Opole… in fact, this has happened so often that taxi drivers now line the streets of Opole waiting
for Him-Who-Shall-Be-Returned-To-Brzeg-At-Very-Great-Expense to arrive. Leaving my culpability aside, Polish railways are clean, comfortable, run on time, and generally serve very good beer in proper glasses. In Spain, there is no rail service other than that which connects major cities. And that is owned by the French. Enough said.
- The People. Again this is a tad
contentious, but I like to tell it as it is. I have thus far only met one total twat in Poland, whereas in Spain I have met many (frequently they are Engish). And some of them are actually women. But, incidentally, both countries score significantly higher in this unscientific demographic analysis than England. So that’s pretty much offended everybody.
- Poland is Quiet. Spain is noisy. Okay, Spain is mainly an outdoors culture but even in summer, the Polish rarely get excited to the extent that they make superfluous noise.
- Housing. This, I’ll admit, is a close call. Both countries pay very little heed to Health & Safety, but… in my opinion, Polish workmanship is marginally better than that of their Spanish counterparts, if only for the fact that they don’t go to sleep for half a day when they should be working.
- I’ll keep the best to the last — the women. There are almost certainly more good-
looking women in Spain than there are in Poland. However, good-looking Polish women easily eclipse their Spanish counterparts. Most beautiful Spanish women have similar physical attributes; you know, the tanned Mediterranean skin, dark hair and mystical eyes, and… okay… your typical ‘chica caliente’ would be curvaceous and quite an eyeful. However, Polish women tend to be taller, more sender, pale-skinned and have those delightful Eastern European facial features — high, symmetrically sculpted cheekbones and lighter eyes that give them an exotic aura of classical mystique. And good-looking Polish women look after themselves better too — they dress with more originality, frequently choosing their own fashion brands over the more traditional (and often — in my humble opinion — boring) established Western brands. And another thing… most Polish men over the age of forty don’t present themselves in a particularly good light; therefore there is absolutely no competition. Of course, this matters little to me for reasons that those of you who are aware of my circumstances will understand.
So, amigos, on the above ten criteria, Poland easily outscores Spain as a country in which to live.
I don’t think there any demographies (other than Polish women) that I have failed to offend, but if you do have cause to take offence, please remember that this blog is purely intended as a bit of light-hearted infotainment.
And I am, of course, looking forward to getting back to Spain soon.
Hasta pronto, chicos!