Seven Things To Know Before Traveling To Poland
July 22, 2014, Warsaw, Poland: Poland is a land of exceptional history, culture, and people.
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
Vicki and I are in Poland, our first time here. We like the Poles. They seem to work to understand us and to accommodate special needs. They tend to be courteous. We've only been here a short time, and I could be wrong, but I sense that Poles are exceptional people.
In our travels through Poland (Warsaw, Krakow, and Przemsyl) we've had some surprises.
We discovered that first-class and second-class train coaches seem to offer the same accommodation. On our train from Krakow to the Ukraine border not a single traveler rode in first class, which costs twice as much as second class. Why pay double for the same thing? Bizarre. I must be missing something here. On a later trip we saw a first-class car that offered slightly more room, but I found it hard to justify the huge increase in fare.
Poland faces a declining population—not a fall in the birth rate but an absolute decline in the number of those who live here. Twenty years ago 38.5 million people lived in Poland; today only 38 million people. Reason? Emigration. Millions of Poles have left to work elsewhere. And few immigrate to Poland.
Poles have few children, also contributing to the population decline. A Polish school teacher we met told us she was fired because the state closed her school. In my experience public school teachers around the world have guaranteed jobs. They get transferred rather than fired. Poland must be an exception where fewer and fewer children leads to school closures.