有些關於波蘭我老公是絕對不懂的事 – things about Poland my husband and his family don’t understand

I often say there are more culture differences between my husband’s family and me than between me and him. image-9But 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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’. 
  4. Kissing and hugging when greeting someone – 3 kisses: right cheek, left cheek, right cheek, and a image-7bear 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. 
  8. 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. image-8
  9. 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!
  10. ‘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. 
  11. 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!

33 thoughts on “有些關於波蘭我老公是絕對不懂的事 – things about Poland my husband and his family don’t understand

  1. Laughing over rice and potatoes. Andy never made potatoes until he got a fryer and discovered french fries. But rice? He’s got a whole rice cooker, just for that, and MY GOD, why would you cover bland rice with a tasty sauce?! Blasphemy!


  2. When I was dating a Japanese guy, I decided to make beef stroganoff for him. Of course, the last ingredient in it is sour cream (or plain yogurt, as I was in Japan and sour cream is hard to buy). So I put the beef and the onions and the mushrooms in the pot, and it smelled great. This guy was looking pretty thrilled. I piled it all on his plate–and then I put a big dollop of yogurt on top so he could mix it himself.

    His face went from thrilled to horrified in half a second, and then he tried to pretend he thought it looked good. When he tried it, he liked it, but watching him take that first bite I nearly hurt myself trying not to laugh. You’d thought I’d have just served him a plate of bugs!


  3. Hahahah this is so hilarious. My husband is peruvian and also the dubbed TV was something really weird for him 😊 and when we got married in Poland his family just couldn’t get over the fact how much food was served during the whole night . In Peru normally they have a table of cheese , a table of sweets, sometimes sushi and one hot meal during the the night 😊


  4. Haha. This is funny. My boyfriend is Ukrainian and I have to admit that I did have a similar reaction when I saw dumplings with cherries for the first time. But now I love almost all Ukrainian food!


  5. Sweet dumplings with fruits…I kind of understand Sing :p
    Anyhow I do wonder why he doesn’t like mashed potatoes with sauce and other foods like that. My wife (and even her parents) love it. Actually whenwe have rice at home even MIL pours sauce over them from the dishes she prepared, plain rice is just too plain.
    We don’t have names day really here in Germany as well but in Finland it is a huge thing, just wondering myself know when my names day is Oo

    Oh and before I forget about that weirdo talking without emotion instead of some proper dubbed version, oh well first I experienced it when visiting my relatives in Russia back in 1997. I was not fond of it at all. During my last trip to St. Petersburg with my university class we even had some drinking games because of the emotionless dude talking 😀


  6. “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?!” LMAO!

    “Drinking coffee in a glass instead of mug.” I was thinking that coffee, being a beverage served in a fairly large volume, would be too hot to hold by hand in a glass, but a mug with a handle would make it easier? We have Chinese tea in porcelain cups which, although also a hot beverage, can be held by the rim since only a small volume of tea is in the cup? Just my theory.

    About table cloths…have you been to budget Chinese restaurants where each table is covered with multiple layers of white plastic (almost garbage bag-like quality plastic)? When clearing the table, the server just gathers the edges of the plastic and lifts the entire contents of the table off in a jiffy?

    Anyway, I just wanted to say your blog is always a great read. I’m sort of envious of Sing as I had a huge crush on a Polish classmate in university but didn’t have the courage to ask her out (and didn’t know whether she liked Chinese guys).


  7. Szczerze powiedziawszy, mnie też już zaczął drażnić polski lektor 😉 Za to z ziemniakami nie ma problemu, bo Yunnańczycy mają dań ziemniaczanych dużo więcej niż Polacy, w tym samych typów purree jest z dziesięć 😀 Aha – no i ryż z sosem oczywiście jest bardzo przez mojego Pana i Władcę lubiany 🙂


  8. Haha, so funny! The fruit dumplings are pierogi? I know a girl who sells them in Shanghai, but I never tried them for the moment.
    My dad also kissed C.’s mum when he came and she was paralyzed for a moment haha. But it was fine. Next year if his parents come to the wedding in Spain that would give me material for a few posts xD


  9. Oh, the hugs and kisses when you meet someone. That can be awkward if you are not familiar with the culture. Even within Europe, people from different countries would have different number of kisses and some people would start on the left, while others start with the right. I swear I get it wrong most time.

    As for food covered in sauce, I love it. Who wants the plain boring rice? I recently discovered a shop in HK that sell some Polish food. I got some meatball wrapped in cabbage – not sure what they are called exactly – but they taste lovely and we had them in coucous.


  10. Yes, true about tablecloths. It is differently for Canadian born Chinese who have their own families….my sisters do use table cloth in their dining rm. only. Kitchen is for “rougher” eating.

    As the greeting of hugs, cheek kissing, etc., yes sure not surprising his parents were a little uncomfortable.

    Nearly all Canadian born Chinese in my generation, had to “learn” to hug as a adults with their family. A good thing. It might take awhile.


  11. i don’t think i’ll ever get used to a fruity dumpling or rice with watermelon. i’d settle with mashed potato dumpling eaten with sour cream. YUM. and yes, we chinese not big into hugs. not sure why. we just don’t do it.


  12. Funny! But you know what? My HK hubby was in Pl Poland and he loved the dumplings with blueberries. And he dislikes blueberries so something must be good about them, right?


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