Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Today, April 1 marks our one year anniversary of living in Poland’s capital city!

I woke up to slightly overcast skies, but warm temperatures in Warsaw.
April 1, 2014, in Warsaw, Poland. 
However, one year ago, was a different story; we arrived in Warsaw with six inches of snow on the ground. I cried! I thought the world was playing an awful April Fool’s Day prank on me; and I was angry at my husband for moving us here from my beloved Istanbul! (See: Expat Life: Week One in Warsaw.)
April 1, 2013, in Warsaw, Poland.  
Luckily, Poland treated us kindly for our first winter. We had a fairly mild winter here in Warsaw with only below freezing temps in January (when I was walking every day to my Polish classes, of course).

Comparatively, our families in the U.S. have experienced some of the worst winters in many years; and my in-laws had snow on the ground just last week outside of Philadelphia! We’ve had to restrain ourselves from bragging about Poland’s weather!

Meanwhile, our weather has been sunny, and the spring flowers are blooming everywhere in Warsaw. The city is full of life again! I cannot complain.
Mild temperatures in March in Warsaw. 
I’ve started riding the nearly free rental bikes around the city again. On the weekends, we head to our favorite watering hole for a locally-brewed IPA beer or pop into a new place. We’re still exploring Warsaw’s many nook and crannies and constantly finding new restaurants.
Last night, we popped into the new Delirium Pub that opened in Nowe Miasto in Warsaw. 
I continue to find beauty in the city’s pre-WWII abandoned brick buildings. To me, this is what makes the city intriguing. Forget the fancy, modern buildings and the ugly Communist-era blocks, I want to see the city’s history when I walk down the street.
In the middle of the city, you can still find buildings like these!
And I’ve been practicing my Polish. The other week I had an entire conversation with an animated taxi driver who’s been learning English. I understand more Polish than I can speak, but I am quite pleased with my new Polish skills. Polish is still by far the most difficult language I’ve ever tried learning!

Being an expat forces you to get out of your comfort zone.

Being an expat isn’t always easy, but I at least try to make the best of any situation.

I’m thankful I didn’t spend the past year wrapped up in my comforter like I wanted to when we first arrived in Warsaw.

There’s still much I want to explore and discover in Poland’s capital city. I hope you’ll stay along for the ride!
My father-in-law and me enjoying a sunny day in Warsaw in July 2013.

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Pam Long said...

I didn't know you were in Turkey. I was stationed at Incirlik for 15 months when I was in the Air Force. Loved Turkey and the Turks and the history. I didn't spend much time in Poland-just a short visit. In both places, I spent time visiting Arabian farms, all owned by the states (countries). Fantastic horses, some of the best and beautiful in the world.

TeamEndoAtYourCervix said...

Hi today is our 6 month anniversary in Warsaw and I am still feeling incredibly new. It's great (and very inspirational) to hear how your doing after a year. Thank you for logging it all, I'm still very new to the blog scene!

Rachel said...

Joy, it's so great to hear (read) that you're warming up to Poland a little bit, especially since it was so tough at the beginning. I hope you continue to find things to love about your new home (and it's nice that Istanbul is still just a short flight away!)

Joy said...

@Rachel, hope you are enjoying your new adventures too! Yes, a 2.5 hour flight isn't bad plus we're more centrally located to explore more of Europe. Cheers! :-)

Joy said...

@Pam, thanks for stoppimg by! Yes, we lived in Istanbul for 3 years before we moved to Warsaw. I don't know anything about the horses you mentioned so that's interesting to hear!

Joy said...

@Erin, congrats to you as well! Have you gotten involved with one of the expat groups here such as IWG or AFW? Making new contacts definitely helped me as well as learning some Polish. I'm still struggling with the language, but I do feel more comfortable about going to the markets and jist around the city. If you want to meet up, just let me know. Happy to do so! :-)

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i am so glad you are liking poland. i am jealous you are learning the language. learning polish with rosetta stone just isn't going too well here!

Joy said...

@Joyce, Tak, jest dobrze! :-) Polish is just a very difficult language to learn. That's all I can say. Practicing with Poles at the market has been helpful for me esp. Withy numbers!

BacktoBodrum said...

How is your husband finding the change of countries - Which one is easier to work in?

Alex, Speaking Denglish said...

Oh how the time passes! Yay for one year - it only gets better (I think)!

Joy said...

@Annie, interesting question. Hubby has a much bigger team to manage than what he had in Istanbul. There's bureaucratic crap in both countries, but it seems like Poland may be a bit easier for him. However, he's putting in more hours than ever. :-(

Joy said...

Yes, I'd say the first year is generally the most difficult as an expat. But it's also extremely difficult to leave too.

Magda said...

Congratulations! I'm glad you don't cry anymore. There is so much to see in Poland and around.
Have you look around for Polish blogs? White Plate is a brilliant blog, and she lives in Warsaw so you can find some nice reviews as well http://whiteplate.blogspot.ie/2012/05/moja-warszawa-buke-przez-bibuke.html
There are a few brilliant food magazines, good for practising Polish and just looking at them Usta (new one), Smak, Kukbuk.

Joy said...

@Magda, dziękuję bardzo! There is a lot to see in Poland, just gotta get hubby to take some more time off! :-)

Thank you also for the great blog and magazine recommendations! I've really liked the covers of Kukbuk but was too scared to buy bc I still only speak a little Polish. Guess I should start somewhere!

Magda said...

Yes, the magazines could be scary, but I would recommend to go to Empik and just look at photos :D Blogs would be better for learning, not only you can help yourself with online dictionaries, but recipes follow more standards.
My favourite sweet blog - http://www.mojewypieki.com/
Jeśli czegoś potrzebujesz, pisz :)

cdunitz said...

Just found your blog - I'm so glad to find some Warsaw tips. We will be living in the city for two months, from the end of May through the end of July. Someone told. Me that there is an organic farmer's market in the city. Do you know anything about it?

Joy said...

Yes there is! The BioBazar is held on Wednesdays and Saturdays in an old factory building in Centrum area. It's great! But during the summer months, farmers bring in their own produce esp. berries and set up stands on street corners. These berries are amazing and fresh from the farm!

Magda said...

If we are talking about blueberries they are not even from farm, they are from woods, so they are totally organic.
A lot of Polish producers would be organic even though they wouldn't have certificate.

Magda said...

Do take them, it's lovely. Czorsztyn is nice. It's in Pieniny mountains, they are very pretty especially in the autumn.

thejmman said...

Nice blog. I am considering a move to Warsaw to teach English. I'm currently in Vietnam. No doubt it'll be a change!

Joy said...

@thejmman, Yes, Poland will be quite different, climate-wise, from Vietnam. But luckily, you can find quite a few decent Vietnamese cafes here in Warsaw! :-)