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Friday, August 10, 2012

Traffic Lights ("We are a poor country")

There was an alarming scene last night near Centrum (the central part of Warsaw). Three cars had collided and one of them had flipped on its side. The real story here is that this is not necessarily an unexpected scene. The traffic stops in Warsaw can be deathtraps. On more than one occasion I have seen cars do incredibly stupid things at this very same traffic circle. The traffic lights make absolutely no sense and most people going around that traffic circle have no idea whether they are to proceed or stop. There are cars and trams and busses all entering this circle from four directions!

And there seems to be no hurry in correcting the problem. It has been this way for the two years I have been here.

This isn't the only place in this city that has a set-up for car crashes. I live near an intersection that has at least one car crash every few weeks ... or so it seems. I keep asking when will some authority fix this situation? I am told never. And this seems to be an acceptable answer here. Things need repairs in this city and there is always the answer from citizens that "we are a poor country". I am beginning to think this is such a load of bullshit. The masses have been brainwashed into thinking "we are poor". Poland wasn't poor enough to not build new stadiums for Euro 2012. There was money to clean Central Station. There was money for the museum to open. There was so much advertising money during the Euro that Nike put an ad on an entire building and McDonald's built a restaurant so big it had fifty cashiers! This crap about not having the money to fix infrastructure problems that is killing people is pure brainwashing at its best. The power people in government that are clearly doing financially well have no interest in upsetting the status quo nor changing the thinking of the masses. It works for their pockets ... so what if a few get hurt or die?


  1. If you're politician, what looks better on election posters - motorways and Euro 2012 stadium, or fixed traffic lights on some crossing?

    It makes me angry, that regional level politicians (that should fix such problems) aren't doing their work. It's even not always their fault.

    In my city we had very good president recently, first in years. He started from PO list, but he don't really have much in common with them. And he persuaded many city council members to vote reasonably in a few long standing problems of the city.

    Then, national level politicians came to my city, and criticised regional politicians for "making friends with the enemy". First Kaczyński, then Grabarczyk criticised president and city council members from opposing party, and threatened that in the next elections they won't be given a place in election lists.

    Even when someone that actually care about city gets elected, national level politicians mess this up.

  2. Man, let me tell you: I've been searching for a blog as helpful as this one for quite some time now. Thank you for your insight. I'll be traveling to Poland in May of 2013. Would you mind shooting me an e-mail? I'd like to converse with someone who's taken the steps I'm about to. If you don't mind, I can be reached at

  3. The problem with Euro was that we really didn't have the money for it. One political party decided we should hold it (because they believed such a decision would win them Polish voters), but they soon lost to another party that was left with the decision and had to carry on. So they did build the stadiums, but in effect money was lacking for many other more needed things.