I often say there are more culture differences between my husband’s family and me than between me and him. But still, after so many year of being together, there are things Sing and his family do not understand about Poland and Polish people. Or at least my family representing Polish folks.
I can’t say those are very serious things – it’s not one of those dramatic posts. But sometimes I just want to facepalm when I hear what they say, but hey – I have a whole life to help my husband (and everyone else from The Chan family I kinda married the moment I said ‘I do’) understand my motherland and my people.
Here are some of their golden thoughts and observations:
- Sweet dumplings with fruits – you should see Sing’s face when he has seen dumplings with strawberries for the first time. Like someone sh*t on his plate. Just a little reminder – that’s the same guy who ate rice with watermelon. Apparently that is totally acceptable.
- Poland is no longer ‘People’s Republic of Poland’ – that goes for Sing’s grandma, she still lives in the early 70’s. She also believes Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia are still on the map. I don’t have the heart to tell nearly 90 year old lady how wrong she is.
- Names day – it’s hard to explain it to my Western European coworkers, nearly impossible to explain to our family in the Far East. Imagine a calendar filled with all sorts of names and combinations of signs. With hundreds of thousands characters calendar would run out of the days. Also, I wouldn’t be too
eager to celebrate if someone called me ‘Bring Brother’.
- Kissing and hugging when greeting someone – 3 kisses: right cheek, left cheek, right cheek, and a bear hug is Momzilla’s worst nightmare. When she met my parents she did not expect that sort of affection, maybe a handshake or – very Asian – waving from far away, but definitely not being THIS close to my parents. I joked to Sing that his mom was hugged by my dad longer than by his own dad. Wouldn’t be too shocked if that was actually true, Wah Wah and Momzilla are adorably awkward together.
- Eating time – I think that’s one of the differences Sing and his family will never be able to understand. Typically in Poland the main meals happen around 3-5 PM when most of the people come back from work/school and the day is finished by a small meal (like sandwiches) in the evening. For my husband’s family the lunch is big and the late dinner is even bigger. 3 bowls of rice, 2 bowls of soup, 4-5 side dishes, all around 6-7 PM… and those b*tches don’t even gain weight. Where’s my justice?! At least whenever we go back to see my parents Sing starts moaning how hungry he is.
- Drinking coffee in a glass instead of mug – I don’t know why it is so shocking to Sing or his family, but whenever my parents drink their afternoon coffee Sing will ask me that one stupid question ‘Why not mug?’. I actually don’t know if it’s only my family’s habit, but my mom said it helps her to see how strong her coffee actually is. Well played, mom – well played.
- Tablecloths – my mom is a die hard fan of tablecloths. She even got us one, but I never really use it aside of Christmas time. I just don’t like the way they look. To Momzilla and all the female members of Sing’s family tablecloths are useless. Use old newspapers or get one time foil, you can spit the bones and leftovers on it and throw it when you don’t need it. Why would you get anything that can get dirty and might need to be cleaned after every meal? I’m sure Sing would spit out his strawberry dumplings on it, if he could.
- Food texture and sauces – if I cover Sing’s rice with meat and sauce he will literally get upset. I just killed his appetite. He loves Polish food, but no mashed potatoes (or other – what he calls – MUD) can compare to nice and crunchy celery with bean curd. I bet Sing was one of those kids born with 2 of their teeth, just so he can munch some crunchy veggies.
- Rice in 100g bags. Momzilla had no idea they even exist. She was looking at it like a scientist who just discovered a new specie. Hilarious. And the sound she makes every time she sees that bag is even funnier. Get used to it, no one needs 10 kg of rice in my family!
- ‘Can I owe you 0,01 PLN?’ – because no one gets 0,0025 EUR from our account for free. Ireland now decided to get rid of 1 and 2 cent coins. I think Poland should do the same
as we often encounter the same problem – no change. It’s a coin with very low value, but to Momzilla nothing can be left behind. Who will give you back that 1 grosz? No one! And one day, maybe you would have enough to buy… nothing! Nothing at all.
- No dub in Polish TV – most of the foreign programs and movies are not dubbed. You only hear one guy reading the script with no emotions. Sometimes he will even READ the theme song. I actually wouldn’t even be bothered by that, but Sing had to point that out. I don’t think I have seen anything like this in any other place I’ve been to.
I still like those people, even though they still cannot understand me, my family, my country and roots, they are still very entertaining and at least they try.
Is there anything about your country that other people have problems to understand? I would love to hear your stories!