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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Old Polish Ladies

Greetings to all who read this! This is my first entry into this world of Blog and I am not sure what I am doing. I do believe that I have a few stories to tell as I am a Black Man living in Warsaw.

I am wondering who may find this of any interest? I look around this city and there are very few of us. I see mostly students attending the universities around the city. They seem to mind there business and focus on studies. I get a feeling that many do not want to be here, but have to be here to achieve an objective: an education. Power to them and I make an attempt every day to smile or say "hello" as I pass. Most respond ...  and a few do not.

Daily, however, I get a good chuckle as I go about my business. There are many old Polish ladies that travel by train or bus and inevitably as I pass them, I get what I have come to call the "Old Polish Lady Look." They literally stare at me for a weirdly long time. I get the feeling they are saying "Who are you?" and "Why are you here?" I don't necessarily experience and anger or hatred or even the slightest sense of negativity. It seems to be a simple and sincere stare of curiosity. I makes me laugh.


  1. QL... I wish you could add here a picture of this special look! :)

  2. "Native" Pole here - don't feel offended - it's probably just curiosity.

    In Poland black people (or anybody visibly different, in fact), are rare, so it's natural, if rude, to try to look closer. I have this reflex myself, and I know it can be seen as racism, or just rude behaviour, but the first reflex is to take a look.

    To this day I feel a little ashamed about incident from some night when I was going looking at the ground, middle of the night, then I've noticed some movement right in front of me, and seen a black man going the opposite direction. I was so surprised I probably looked as if I've seen a devil. He must have feel horrible. And I really didn't mean anything wrong, just this situation was surprising.

    So please bear with us - there are some assholes and/or racists, like everywhere, but most Poles just look at you because they never/rarely seen a black man.

  3. Hi! I stumbled across your blog and scanned through all of it to find your very first post. Thanks so much for sharing! One of your posts mentioned you may stop blogging, but I am glad you didn't stop. Much appreciated.