Just Trying to Keep My Sanity!

Those of you expats living in Poland, you know it can be a just a bit of a challenge living here!  I can see how some people can be just miserable here and I had one friend who lived here for 3 months and then said she had enough and moved away even before her last box was unpacked.

But I try to look on the bright side of everything and here in Poland that at times can be quite challenging!!  So I every once and a while I have to surround myself others going through the same struggles that I am, just trying to keep my sanity!

Every few weeks or so, I meet up with the other US wives from my husbands job for a coffee morning of chatting.   Well a few weeks ago Groupon, had a GREAT deal for fondue and coffee/tea at my favorite coffee shop here in Bydgoszcz, Beyrouth Cafe! I hadn’t hosted a coffee morning yet so I quickly got a deal for my turn.

LOVE it!! I didn’t have to clean my house, I could just walk in the cafe and have a beautiful table already for us!!

First up, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and talking!!

Bananas + apples+ kiwi + oranges + grapes + marshmallows + cookies + chocolate = fondue heaven!!

Talking and chocolate, can this get any better?

Well after talking for about 2 hours, a few of us still there were starting to hungry so we ordered a small bite to eat.  We couldn’t decide what we wanted so we split 2 of the most interesting items on the menu!

Penne noodles with a cream sauce that was AMAZING! Nothing what I expected but in a good way! The sauce had a hint of white chocolate, something like cambert cheese and pistachios on top.  Surprisingly sweet but delicious!

This was a chocolate, cappuccino and a like a split pea soup. Now once again not what we expected but in a surprisingly good way too! Not sure how to describe the soup, this is one you would have to try yourself, which I would recommend if you are in the area.

Days like this remind me that I am human that we all have our struggles and challenges in life no matter where we live.  That we have to make the best with what cards we are dealt with in life.  I for the most part learned that afternoon that I play a good hand with what I have been dealt with here in Poland from the other ladies.

One of them asked me how I do it, be so perky and positive about living here?  Well the answer is easy!  I am in control of my misery or happiness!  There are a lot things that are just out my control here in Poland…language barrier, government politics, cultural norms and the lack of American conveniences.  But then again I am living in Europe, my husband has a job that puts a roof over our head and food on the table, I learning more about other cultures than I could have ever dreamed and most importantly, I have family and friends that I love who surround me during the rough times!

So to the ladies of my husbands work(I know you all are reading this!) Thanks for the GREAT support network we have built for each other the last few months!!!

If you had to move to a foreign country what do you think would be your hardest challenge(language barrier not included)? Me, is learning the cultural norms.




love kelley
This entry was posted in Bydgoszcz, Food, Hospitality, Poland, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Just Trying to Keep My Sanity!

  1. Sara says:

    When I lived in Prague for 4 months, it was the food. Everything was drowned in butter &
    Heavy. I got sick nearly everyday & then still managed to gain weight! Keep up your attitude Kel. You’re right, we choose to be positive & know when things get tough, it’s our reaction that matters.

  2. Mirka says:

    Hi Kelly,

    I am exactly in the same situation as you, just in the USA… And I don’t think I can ever adapt myself to life in here. I believe our bringing up will mark us forever, especially when you move to another country or continent when you are older. What you think is good in the USA, I find terribly and the opposite :) Anyway, I enjoy reading your blog because it is good to see through somebody’s else eyes. It gives the person different perspective.
    Mirka recently posted..Dżem z papaiMy Profile

    • Mirka,

      I completely agree with you about the US being completely opposite of Poland, which is one of my struggles. To be honest I don’t miss to much about the US, just that not living near family is REALLY hard and then for us moving every 3 years or so is a struggle too.

      I think I just gained 2 kgs. reading your recipes!!! I see a few that I will have to add to my to do list!


  3. Mirka says:

    You should visit Prague definitely. One of the most interesting towns in this part of Europe! Again, this is just the subjective point of view. I find Czech food delicious and American very heavy :)

  4. Jim says:

    Of course, you are living in Poland on a good US salary, in what appears to be a big apartment and house and you don’t have to even work. You should try a few weeks of living in a small, cramped apartment, getting around by public transport, and living on, oh, 250zl/week (Polish minimum take-home salary). Would you be so perky then? Bring on the stress!

    • Jim,

      I hate to burst your bubble but we are not living off a US salary!! My husband is getting paid zlotys just like any Polish citizen, he is not in the military he just works for them!!!! And yes I do work, I work via the internet(my blog) at home and teaching English Conversation classes here and there. The main thing I do is that I home school my 16 year old daughter because there is no English school for her here and the International Schools in other areas are out of our price range. I have no house keeper, I have no nanny for my children unlike many other people I know here. I do take public transport and our car is 10 years old(so we have no car payments)! I also walk a lot of places too. Oh, did you read my blog post about second hand shopping? To be totally honest most of mine and my childrens clothing has come from second hand stores here, which we then are able to free up our money to spend it in other things. I do know and realize that I do have it better than the average Polish person but then if you have read other posts that I have done, my husband and I believe in paying it forward to those who have less than us with our charity and volunteer work here in Bydgoszcz. We are very active in our church here in town where we are the only non-native Polish speakers but we still teach every Wednesday Bible study classes to high school and university students, on Sundays he teaches Sunday school to the younger children while I teach the high school aged girls, we have organized fundraising events for one of the orphanages here in town and we as spend time helping with the children, I also worked with the children’s hospital to raise fund to purchase a new computer for the children in isolation. And over the Christmas holiday we worked with Szlanchetna Paczka and “adopted 2 families” as well as spent couple of days delivering packages to families for them. So long story short, I am FULLY aware of what my life is like compared to others. I have lived in other countries besides Poland and to be honest when we lived in Panama it was worse there then here. No matter where you live and no matter what your circumstances are, you have to be perky because there is always so someone that has it worse than you if you want to compare to others. Believe me our lives would so much easier if we choose to move back to Holland, Germany, or back to the US but my husband got a job here and so this is where are going to stay until his contract is up, so I might as well make the most of what I got!

  5. Sarah Jeansimon says:

    Very well said. Happiness comes from withing and those around you. Money is not happiness, although it makes some happier by taking away financial stress! Knowing you and yoru family, you give, give, give! Your family is always sharing their time, knowledge, food, clothing and love. Nothing the matter with second hand clothes, re-using, and pinching a dollar to get something else out of it! Jim worked hard during his military career and you did as well supporting him and making home wherever they sent you. That retirment is just a supplement to what is happening now. If life was so grand, than why would you all be working a second job after retiring from a first one?

    Continue on being perky while embracing life to the fullest. Sometimes the sunshine and happiness from others can cheer someone else up!!

  6. Dosia says:

    It is a privilege and unique experience to live in other country and culture that we have been raised in.
    I was born in Poland but then I lived couple of years in Germany, over 20 in Canada, over 4 in the Middle East and now I’m back in Poland for a year, and I can experience this country from yet another perspective.
    I love being able to live in different countries. I travel a lot as well but it’s not the same.
    My son is 10 years old now and he lived and went to schools in 3 different countries so far. I know that we don’t live a typical life – but what is typical this days???
    I hope that I will be able to live in a few more places in my time :)
    I wish you will see more of the good things in Poland and one day you will look back at this time and have a smile on your face :)
    I found that Polish people are being raised on the negative, while Americans are pumped with all positive energy from the start. I understand that it might be a struggle to switch gears – but please don’t fall into our national grumpiness.
    Bring on your perkiness and big smile, and people will react to it and maybe they will forget to be depressed for a moment.

    • Where in Canada did you live? I grew up in North Dakota so we spent many trips up there.

      No worries about me getting negative, I am a cup in half full type of person!

      • Dosia says:

        I lived in Toronto and still have a house in the woods at Georgian Bay near Midland.
        My son was born in Toronto and the thing that we miss the most for the last year is Angus Beef :)
        Right now we stay in Bytow, city of 18 tousand – major change from multi million Toronto :)
        In November we come to Bydgoszcz to see STOMP, I’ve never been in that city before and I was positively surprised how much is happening there. I think to come over again for the XX Opera Festival in April/May.
        It would be great to meet for a coffee when I’m there :)
        What do you think?

        • Dosia,

          I went camping/canoeing one summer in 1990 up in the Thunder Bay area. It was AMAZING!!!

          I would love to meet you if you make it to Bydgoszcz! I just googled Bytow, it looks BEAUTIFUL!!! Maybe when it gets warmer I need to head up to your heck of the woods!!!

          OH, and I am jealous you got to see STOMP! We had to go out of town when it was here but I saw the semi-truck loading everything up the next day.

  7. Glad that you’re staying so positive. I completely agree that a smile on your face is the way to go, though my perspective is obviously a little different.
    Could you give me a link to Dosia, please? I’d like to say hi but can’t access her directly from your blog.
    Johanna Bradley recently posted..Sunday Post : SimplicityMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge