Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What’s Polish for: Can I fondle your buttocks?


"Proszę, czy mogę pogładzić twój miękki tyłeczek"?

Just one of the lines in a small ‘tourist glossary’ thought up by an Irishman who is a frequent visitor to the weekend tourist hotspot of Krakow.

The phrases in the little dictionary are written out in English phonetics, so the above sentence I suppose would read:

‘Proshe, che moge pogwaghich tfoy mienki tewechek?

The phrase book also includes other chat up lines (all bound to fail, of course) such as: "Jestem twoim niewolnikiem". (I am your slave’).

There have been many stories in the press about Brits on stag party weekends in Krakow, Wroclaw, etc getting stinking drunk and upsetting the delicate sensibilities of the oh, so cultured inhabitants of the city. This is just the latest of them.

The Super Express tabloid even reported in the oh so supiorior tone of the most snobbish of Krakovian – “The locals are disgusted’….’They [drunken British - Irish] deserve a punch in the nose…’. Blah, blah…

They seem to miss the point that the phrasebook is obviously a silly joke.

They also seem to forget that there are well over half a million Poles in Britain and Ireland and many of them are going out nighttime and getting completely hammered.

And long may they do so.

Being a half Brit/Irish myself, I find some of the antics of the British and Irish in Poland slightly embarrassing. But let’s get this in perspective: a few hundred lads having a good time in Krakow should be met with as much tolerance as a few hundred thousand Poles should be welcomed in the UK and Ireland.

The Super Express tabloid – which when reporting the story adopts a high condescending tone (in amongst pictures of topless women and other tabloid trash) is merely reproducing some of the rubbish journalism that has appeared in the British press about Poles since they arrived in high numbers three years ago.

Super Express deserves a punch on the nose.

Update: I can reveal (as the hacks would say) that the origin of this ‘phrase book’ is actually TWO YEARS OLD - that's before the cheap airlines started flying over the British stag parties. This dumb Polish tabloid story is not even fresh news! Dumb, gets dumber. Cheap journalism gets cheaper still. See online phrase book here.

47 comments:

Pawel said...

Alweiz when A read ya posts A'm havin a laff:>

Pawel said...

obtw "bum" is so much cuter than "bottom"

LOL

beatroot said...

I did procrastinate on 'bum'....it had to be sweet for arse...innit?

opamp said...

a few hundred lads having a good time in Krakow should be met with as much tolerance as a few hundred thousand Poles should be welcomed in the UK and Ireland.

Try talking a walk along Vaci Utca in Budapest in the evening. You don't walk along the street, you zigzag between prostitutes (unless you have too much money on you). On the effing main shopping street in the city.

That is what the policy of "meeting with tolerance a few hundred lads having a good time" leads to. And Kraków is moving in that direction very quickly.

(Not that I have something against prostitution, but I find trying to sell me something I am not interested in on the street irritating).

beatroot said...

Have you been to London? Dublin? Poles - very welcome always - also have a minority which get drunk then go driving, like they do in Poland...and end up killing someone. It happens.

What Poles can't take is suddenly foreign tourists are coming here. Good. Very good. OK, you are going to get some anti-social elements.

But if all that tourism stopped, even more young people would be denied jobs and would be....heading for UK and Ireland.

beatroot said...

I have just noticed that Pawel's phonetic spelling is in Scotish!

nemeczek said...

‘Proshe, che moge pogwaghich tfoy mienki tewechek?'

I just like the contrast between 'proshe' and the rest of the sentence. Besides, it probably should be 'psheprasham' instead of 'proshe'. Is 'pogwaghich' supposed to mean 'to caress' or 'to rape'? I guess, either, depending on circumstances...

geez said...

I can understand why Poles, Brits, and Irish aren't pleased with obnoxious drunks (and drunks who drive)from any national background including their own. Friendly, kindly and respectful drunks should be welcome anywhere as long as they clean up after any mess they might unintendedly leave.

Harry said...

I'm fed up with dickhead Brits on the piss plaguing Warsaw, acting like scum and pissing everybody off. The good news is that the city authorities in Krakow and Wroclaw have started cracking down: all bars have been told that if they let groups of foreign men in and there is any trouble at all, that bar loses its licence. Hopefully Warsaw will soon follow suit.

Jake said...

As a Brit living half and half in Poland and the UK, the impression I have is very much that the obnoxious Brit, mainly in large packs on stag weekends in search of cheap beer and women, is far more of a problem than the odd drunk Pole in the UK.

Every weekend hordes of Brits fly over to Poland (/Hungary/Estonia/...) planning such anti-social behaviour.

Besides, anti-social Poles in the UK would blend in quite well in many towns in the UK on a Friday or Saturday night. The British attitude to drinking both at home and abroad is appalling.

Anonymous said...

The Burak reacts to a condescending attitude by a Pole but continually acts as Father Superior when talking about Poland.

Poor little, self important Brit can give it but can't take it.

michael farris said...

Pozwolisz mi kupić Ci drinka? Czy może wolisz równowartość w gotówkach?

beatroot said...

I wasn’t being ‘superior’ about anyone. I am saying that the Polish press are playing the same dumb games as the British press and I would like them all to start reporting some news and not this shit.

Anonymous said...

Beatroot is purely a hypocrite. This pea-brain, as another poster stated can only dish it out in his typically arrogant and provocative methods. This frail liberal loser is himself the condescending ass wipe who enjoys laughing at anything which displeases him. Want to laugh? Look in the mirror moron. Please, exit our country.

Mariola

beatroot said...

:-)

Pea Dent said...

Mariola writes very good English for someone who refers to Poland as "our" country. Suspiciously good, though inevitably she/he/it forgot the comma after "stated".

Richard said...

The main cultural difference is that Poles get drunk, try to feel up woman and negotiate with prostitiues at parties at their friends' houses, their country cottagtes or in hotels on "business trips", they don't do it on the streets in major cities during mammoth pub crawls, after the British style.

The Britihs like to visit pub after pub on a night out, Poles tend to stay in one place.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Mariola is so bitter, as she/he didn't have her/his bottom fondled recently?

michael f > correctly in Polish it should be "w gotówce"

In my opinion the difference between drunken Poles and Brits is that Poles are just a bit more shy towards women on the streets. They hung around amongst themselves more likely. And of course they end up fighting more often.

Brad Zimmerman said...

When Krakowians stop yelling, puking up kebabs, throwing bottles, pissing in a not-well-concealed corner, fighting, drinking in the street and generally causing a ruckus from midnight - ???...

Then we might kindly ask the tourists to be so kind as to follow the locals' example. Until then the Super Express and everyone who believes that sort of crap can go get stuffed.

Anonymous said...

Mariola writes very good English for someone who refers to Poland as "our" country.

No she doesn't: "Beatroot is purely a hypocrite" is not good English. Neither is "Please, exit our country" idiomatic.
She's one of those xenophobic narrow-minded Poles, who increasingly give their country a bad name.

beatroot said...

Just to defend Mariola – I am nothing if not fair – the use of the world ‘our’ when describing Poland is very typical of Poles. They use it all the time, on the news everywhere, and does not usually co notate nationalism.

Although in Mariola’s case it probably does.

geez said...

Has there been an attendant rise in the population of Kracovian (he-he) prostitutes?

geez said...

What is the typical age group for this kind of behavior? Is it just guys in their twenties? Or does it extend to businessmen in their 40s? What's the class character of the "hordes"? Spoilt "yuppie" kids? Working class soccer types?

Last time I was in K-kow about three years ago, I wasn't thrilled by being kept awake by all the Polish (don't know if it was Crakowian - he-he) drunken loud obsenities being spewed way late at night even during the workweek.

nemeczek said...

The 'our country' bit is supposed to convey fondness for the place. It is not an attempt to make non-nationals feel excluded.
It is common in the western media to refer to their respective countries as 'this country' - it is probably very PC, very neutral, but yet very emotionally distant and cold.
It does not cut it in our country.

opamp said...

Has there been an attendant rise in the population of Kracovian (he-he) prostitutes?

According to some press reports I have read, the English tourists in Kraków prefer Ukrainian prostitutes, because they charge less. (So as we can see we are very cosmopolitan and progressive, hehe!) Which tells you what type of visitors we are talking about.

And from my observations there is a visible increase in ladies hunting for clients in the downtown area.

michael farris said...

anonymous 11.02, that's what I get for not being able to decide between gotówka and pieniądze and not googling before posting (I was sure I'd heard 'w gotówkach but it's not much supported by google...)

opamp said...

'this country' - it is probably very PC, very neutral, but yet very emotionally distant and cold.

Heh. I have a preference for saying 'this country' over 'our country' while being a resident Polish-Catholic bigot of this blog.

So I wouldn't read too much into this.

michael farris said...

I complete agree that there's nothing sinister (in Polish) about 'our country'.
A lot of times (in Polish) people drop any overt reference to the country at all and say "u nas", lit: 'at our (place')* meaning "in Poland".

As for Mariola, I was assuming he's a fat guy in his underwear who's still full of fury about he-whose-name-drags-out-all-the-trolls.


*very hard to translate well into English, French chez nous or German 'bei uns' are closer than anything in English I think.

varus said...

Individual drunks and hooligans in and of any country should just be dealt with in a correct manner by police. The practice of inspiring hatred buy the use of crude stereotypes is as BR has stated bad journalism and should be refrained from in both the UK and Poland.

beatroot said...

Exactly. We are moving into the cucumber (silly) season here and these kind of non stories about joke phrase books will appear more often on the front pages of crap tabloids.

I have written loads about how British journalists have stirred up anti-immigration feelings against central Europeans and there are going to be more of those stories to come in the nearish future. And this story in Super\Express just reminded me of one of those.

And when I see a tits and bingo/lotto tabloid – like the Sun or Super – getting all sanctimonious about lude behaviour, I just wanna puke (all over the market square in Krakow, with the rest of my brethren).

beatroot said...

see uodate

Anonymous said...

Gawd -

One day - and the Beatroot blog has gone Mad!!!!!!!!!!!

I have so much I want to say! so little time to do so!

But am AWOL now - Cyprus - dentists - err been to Poland and checked it out three times - before you ask!!

Take care Peeps!!
Issie

Damien Moran said...

The following needs to occur - a press release should be sent out to the dumb tabloid editors in Ireland and Britain each Thursday afternoon that a senior figure from the Roman Catholic church is visiting Warsaw/Krakow/Wroclaw and therefore all local/foreign titties have to be kept under wraps, pink wigs left in suitcases, uniform stag/hen t-shirts saved for toilet roll usage {we can spread the rumour that there is a market shortage}, and that culturally Polish/Ukrainian women favour men who spend time with their beer {as opposed to playing pub golf} as it indicates long-lasting discipline in other fields of extra-curricular activity!

One good thing about this is that Temple Bar in Dublin has less vomit on it's cobblestones

Anonymous said...

Mariola - Your comment has stimulated these arrogant superiors to show how they do not like the Polish people. They come to Poland to complain, criticise and take.

And they pat themselves on the back for being superior and balanced.

The group here is one of double standards.

And above all, they are right and Poles are always wrong.

varus said...

Anon,

As you will have seen, BR and others have been equally scathing about the British press and British/Irish attitudes to drinking. The posts have not been one sided attacks on Poles and so i think your comments are a little unwarrented. I (British) live, work, and pay traxes in Poland. I have a legaL right to be here and so i should therefore also have the right to comment on society and politics.

beatroot said...

It’s no good Varus trying to point out the obvious to some people: they see an attack on a crappy talboid in Poland as an attack on Poles – they won;t even see that it is an attack on tabloids generally.

Renegade Eye said...

Is Brit/Polish treks on the level of Brit/Thailand treks? More innocent?

Brad Zimmerman said...

For better or worse, it's fine and frankly expected of Poles to bitch and moan about their own country, working conditions, their lives, cars, lack of money, etc.

If a foreigner does it, though... Scandal! Horror! Get the hell out!

geez (not related to butler) said...

Just read that Patti Smith and Black Sabbath (minus Ozzie but with Dio) are in Warsaw this week.

Why do you guys get all the good concerts?

Damien Moran said...

While the Brits and Irish are bringing easy money, vomit and loud noises to Poland, it seems like the Poles are bringing a renewed faith to the Irish:
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/faith-of-polish....html

Anonymous said...

Do not be upset because of Mariola comments. She may be one of those 'moherowe berety' although it is surprising that she can write in English (moherowe berety usualy can't).

To michael f.: 'w gotówkach' is 100% incorrect in Polish, but you might have heard it from someone not educated who speaks 'low Polish'.

Maciek
sp2qbn

Anonymous said...

Beatroot 'the dumb' must learn that this 'dumb Polish tabloid' Super Express, as he states, is actually owned by a Swedish firm. The same goes for Gazeta Wyborcz, which is partially owned by Cox Communications and the New York Times. Better learn who actually owns the publications before calling them "Polish".

W styczniu 1995 roku, ZPR S.A. powołały wspólnie ze szwedzkim inwestorem, firmą Tidnings AB Marieberg, spółkę Media Express. Pozyskany w ten sposób kapitał pozwolił na przyspieszenie rozwoju technologicznego i jakościowego pisma, w tym przejście na druk kolorowy.

W czerwcu 2006 roku Grupa Bonnier zdecydowała o wycofaniu się z inwestycji w Super Express. Udziały w Media Express należące do Tidnings AB Marieberg nabyli inwestorzy finansowi.


Mariola

Anonymous said...

Tinky Winky loves Polish pils style beer and Polish ladies; unfortunately there is a shortage of both in my country :-(

Sosh said...

Mariola :) - I'm afraid Super Express IS a Polish tabloid (I'm assuming you're not arguing with the 'dumb' part). It's published in Poland, in Polish, and for Poles.

I would guess that you consider Żywiec to be a Polish beer, and of course it's owned by the Dutch!

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