Wednesday, June 13, 2007

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

"Prosze, czy moge pogladzic twoj miekki tyleczek"?

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 her