Don’t Call Me an Ex-Pat

I’d never even heard the word ‘ex-pat’ until I emigrated. Not once. I hadn’t a feckin’ clue what it meant. Literally no idea. So, I looked it up. Bare in mind this was nigh on 6 years ago and as you all know and appreciate the English language is a living thing that evolves. Much like an amoeba or a jellyfish. Or a Black Mamba snake. Poisonous if handled incorrectly.

When I looked it up I found a definition saying something akin to this:

Ex-pat: a foreigner who has moved to a new country, permanently or temporarily, to work for a company/business/state institution from their home country.

The Yellow Chamber of Hatred
The Yellow Chamber of Hatred

Ah, rightio I thought to myself. If I was sent to Poland to work for the Irish consulate I’d be an ex-pat. If I was sent to Poland to work for Paddy Power I’d be an ex-pat. If I was sent to Poland to work for Ryanair I’d be an ex-pat.

But I didn’t move to Poland to work for one of the above. I moved to Poland coz herself and meself were fed up with our jobs in Ireland and thought, naively, that we’d have it better in Poland. I emigrated from Ireland, ergo bitches, I’m an immigrant.

Fuck ex-pats. Seriously. Ex-pats are fuckin’ dickheads. And I don’t mean the Irish people working in the embassy in Warsaw, no way. I’ve had dealings with them over the years and they’re really great people there, doing mighty work and are a credit to the Irish governments they’d worked for over the years. I’m talking about the gobshite immigrants that call themselves ex-pats knowing full well they’re immigrants.

What the fuck is wrong with calling yourself an immigrant? Seriously? Have those rantallions working at the Daily Mail and the Telegraph made such an impression on the English language that you are afraid to use the word “immigrant”? Are you so xenophobic/racist that you can’t bear to be labelled with the same word that right-wing cum-buckets writing in the Daily Mail and Telegraph use disparagingly to describe people who have, unfortunately, had to emigrate to Blighty?

Because there’s no other reason is there? Why are you calling yourself an ex-pat when you aren’t one? It’s because you don’t want people to think you’re the same as the Romanian that’s moved to Huddersfield (you poor bastard Marin, Huddersfield sucks) isn’t it? It’s because you don’t want to be the same as Magda from Poland that moved to Aberdeen. It’s because you don’t want to be the same as Andris from Latvia that moved to Cardiff.

This bullshit of dividing up labels really wrecks my head. I don’t get why we all can’t just call ourselves what we are: immigrants. Poland’s a tough enough place to live as it is, people who are coming here looking for work should really be banding together and helping each other out. Instead, the ‘rich’ white westerners want to stand out. And it’s this arrogance that drives people away.

Boooooo!
Boooooo!

I still remember the first cunt I met here that called himself an ex-pat. Meself and herself had been in Krakow for a weekend. One huge row later and we came back to Katowice separately. I took the train, a 2 and a half hour journey that to drive takes 45 minutes, thank you Polish Rail. Herself takes the bus. So, since I was in the wrong and feeling sorry for myself and knowing I needed to make the mother of all apologies I decided to put off the enevitable and go for a few pints and watch some Premier League. I hit up Spencer Pub in Katowice.

I don’t like Spencer Pub, I really don’t, but it was the closest pub with Premier League football so I ventured in. It’s the kind of place ex-pats drink in. Anyway, I had barely paid for my drink when I was swooped upon by an absolute giant of an Englishman. He had the frame of Lurch, the manners of a drunk 10-dollar-hooker and the arrogance of Christiano Ronaldo but with none of the talent.

He proceeded to tell me about the factory he’s set up in Katowice where he was ‘printing money’, where he’d ‘given’ jobs to 250 locals. He’d told me he had a factory in Birmingham but relocated coz ‘Poles will work for fuckin’ nothing’. He told me he’d ‘fucked 3 of the last 4 secretaries’ he had. Finally he’d hired an ugly one so that he’d stop. That was big of him. His wife had found out about the most previous affair.

He also hated the European Union, so I’d be pretty sure he voted Leave in the

They took our jobs!
They took our jobs!

Brexit referendum. Well, I’m delighted he got what he wanted and that his business dealings are going to become a million times more complicated.

He also proudly told me he called his daughter’s boyfriend ‘a nigger’. ‘He’s in my fuckin’ house, I’ll fuckin’ call him what I fuckin’ want.’ He says to me.

What the fuck am I supposed to do in this situation. This is karma. I was a douchebag last night in Krakow and this is my punishment and it’s been doubled coz I was too chickenshit to go home and face the music.

He’s buys me a beer and a shot of whiskey.

“I’m an ex-pat y’know, I moved here years ago and I gave these people work, but I hope not so many more people come here from places like Turkey, Africa and shitholes like Latvia. What those bastards have done to Britain is awful. Those fuckin immigrants are ruining my country. It’s probably the same in Ireland.”

“No, in Ireland we like foreigners. Sure ever since you British didn’t help us when we were staving in The Famine we’ve been moving around the world.”

“Yea, but mate, that wasn’t our fault the potatos failed…”

“Of course, but yous did nothing to help the Irish, even though we were forceibly part of the same Kingdom back then.”

“Anyway, I was saying, I hope we don’t see any Pakis or niggers here in the future. If that happens I’ll pack up the factory again and go somewhere cheaper.”

I finished my drinks and went home depressed. Depressed that I had to go home with my tail between my legs and because I had to share the planet with dickheads like my Birmingham friend above.

My Parents Didn't Hug Me As A Child
My Parents Didn’t Hug Me As A Child

The need for people to label themselves is pretty fuckin’ ridiculious. I’m a hipster, I’m a fashion blogger, I’m a vlogger, I’m a gamer, I’m an ex-pat, I’m a petrolhead, I’m a craft beer drinker, I’m a cyclist, I’m a vegetarian, I’m a writer, I’m a banjo-playing poet that specializes in Shakespearean love sonnets. This need to pigeonhole yourself into a category just screams that you’ve got no self-confidence, absolutely zero belief in yourself. So much so that you desperately cling to the one thing that you think makes you stick out from the crowd. Remember the line from Fight Club?

“You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

Labels can shag off, they really can. I don’t want to be designated some term based on what you think makes me different. I’ve a better idea, you know what you can call me?

Call me Spud, that’s my fucking name.

Adam Nawalka, I Blame You

Poland didn’t so much crash out of Euro 2016 last night as they wimpered out after yet another dour performance against a relentlessly-boring Portugal.

I've no feckin idea what I'm doing
I’ve no feckin idea what I’m doing

Harsh? Yea and it’s going to get harsher. The Polish team have been getting high praise for playing as a solid team, difficult to beat and to break down. And that’s true, Poland only conceded 2 goals in 5 games. But they only scored 4 in 5 at the same time. For me the blame must lie with Poland’s inexperienced manager, Adam Nawalka.

Nawalka didn’t have a great career, he played for Wisla Krakow for ten years before heading off to America to play with a bunch of nobodies called the Polish-American Eagles. Am I being harsh again? Well, it’s like this, they don’t even have a Wikipedia page. Anyway, during his time at Wisla Krakow he played 190 times, scoring 9, yes, 9 times. Not only is it fair to say he doesn’t like goals, he’s fuckin allergic to them.

OK, OK, you’re shouting “Spud man, ya douchebag, Poland scored the most goals when qualifying for Euro 2016 and captain Robert Lewandownski scored a truckload of goals!” Yea, you’re right, Poland scored the most goals. Why? Gibraltar (not a proper country) and Georgia, that’s why. Against those two teams Poland scored 23 goals, conceding one. “But we beat the world champions Germany!” Yea, so what. Germany won the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, since then they have lost to some pretty shitty teams, they include: The United States, Ireland, Slovakia and England. They also lost to France. So beating Germany with their World Cup hangover means fuck all. Sorry.

How did Poland really do at Euro 2016? Well, in their first match they could only beat Northern Ireland 1-0. Wow, well done there lads. A pathetically boring 0-0 against the auld enemy, Germany followed and y’know, that’s fair enough, both sides didn’t need to win and both were happy to draw knowing they’d need not to lose in their final games. So, up next came another derby, this time Ukraine. For some reason Ukraine have a good reputation, but let’s be honest, they suck. The only team worse than them in the Euros was Russia.

Flappy had a great Euro2016
Flappy had a great Euro2016

So what the fuck was Nawalka thinking in this game? Poland needed a win to make sure they didn’t finish 3rd and this guy sets up a defensive formation hoping not to concede against a team that were already eliminated from the competition and couldn’t score in a King’s Landing brothal with a boat-full of gold doubloons. Ukraine had the better chances and were unlucky not to win. Take a bow Lukasz Fabianski. Poland were scared shitless of the worst team in France. Why?

Herein lies Nawalka’s problem. He has no idea what he’s doing. He’s the David Moyes of international football. He’s so fuckin out of depth he’s a clown fish at a hammerhead shark orgy. He has no idea how to use his best players. So what does he do, he sets up ultra defensively, hoping to score on a counter. Something none of his players do at club level. Robert Lewandowski, the world’s best Number 9, scored one goal at this tournament. One shaggin’ goal! Why? Because Nawalka would rather his players keep the ball in midfield or defence than dare try to score. Now I don’t know about you, but I read somewhere that the aim of football is to score more poxy goals than the other team. I could be wrong.

On the other hand there’s nothing wrong with defensive football, when it’s played properly. But you must know what you’re doing. Jose Mourinho and Diego Simeone are masters of the dark art of negative, defensive football, they drive opponents mental with their devilish tactics and underhanded strategies. But they aren’t forced to play with shit players like Pazdan and Jędrzejczyk and Mączyński.

PazdanAhhh, Pazdan was great you’re shouting. Look, Pazdan is Poland’s Gary Breen, he’s all heart and he gives everything for his teammates and his country and that’s all you can ask of him but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a donkey. And that’s the reason we still sing about Gary Breen, he wasn’t the best but he gave everything. Pazdan is the same, he’s adequate, OK, donkey is being harsh but he’s a fuckin Legia Warsaw player, he has no right to be playing against the likes of Christiano Ronaldo and Thomas Muller. Your other CB, Glik, he’s the man, he should be captain. If Glik told me to follow him into the fires of Hell I wouldn’t even question him.

So, Poland qualified and had to play Switzerland. A good draw on paper. Switzerland are decent, but they’re not as good as Poland on paper. Again, instead of allowing the attackers Lewandowski and Milik to link up with the pace of Błaszczykowski and Grosicki and attack a weak Switzerland defence Nawalka’s tactic was; naw, lads don’t bother attacking just pass the ball around the back 6 and maybe we’ll get a counter attack. Another borefest insued. Maybe I’m missing something here and Nawalda just wanted to bore his opponents into submission and that was his path to the final?

Penalties next. If you’re the type of person that says penalties are a lottery then please go to Bieszczady find the biggest woodpecker around and inform him that your skull is solid oak. Penalties are a combination of skill, nerve and a bit of luck. There’s no lottery involved. The Polish penalties were sublime and they fully deserved to go through.

The best part of the match last night...
The best part of the match last night…

So onto Portugal. Portugal are shit, they’re really, really shit. We’re 5 games in now and they’ve won one game, which was in extra time. All their other matches were draws. There’s no way Poland should’ve feared anything. But hey-ho, we’ve got Adam Nawalka, the man who is more afraid of goals than Jaroslaw Kaczynski is afeared of brown immigrants. So again, in a team with players of the quality of Lewandowski, Milik, Błaszczykowski, Krychowiak and Piszczek we instead get a game where it looked like the players were going to get fined if they moved the ball past the halfway line.

It started so well, Poland were a goal up after 2 minutes and stayed on the front foot for another 13 minutes but then it all went to shit. Portugal got back into the game and it wasn’t long before they scored. The instilled negative attitude that manager Nawalka has brainwashed his players with then came galloping back and for the rest of the game Poland were happy to watch the clock count down until we had penalties. We all know how that went.

It’s like this, Nawalka is clueless at this level. He has one of the best players in the world in Lewandowski. Along with him, he has the likes of Milik, Błaszczykowski, Krychowiak, Piszczek, Glik and Fabianski. These players are better than a fucking 4-4-2 1990s-style catenaccio. They are fast, skillful, technical players. FFS, 4 of them play regularly in either the Champions League or the Europa League. This muppet in charge has won nothing as a manager. He’s been a manager since 1996 and he’s won nothing. Nothing. Even as a player he only won one league medal.

Do you really think that the lads he’s managing take this guy seriously? They play in the Champions League, the Europa League, the Spanish, German, Italian and Premier leagues, this guy’s never even managed outside Poland. He’s a joke.

Gonna be earning the big bucks with PSG in the Champions League this coming season
Gonna be earning the big bucks with PSG in the Champions League this coming season

But his boss Zibi Boniek won’t hire a foreigner because he hates foreigners, which is pretty rich coming from a guy who left Poland as soon as he could and only returned when they made him president of the Polish FA. Also Nawalka is one of the lowest paid managers in Europe. Northern Ireland’s manager is paid 5 times what Nawalka is paid. England’s Roy Hodgson was paid 17.5 times what Nawalka is paid. So, yea, pretty obvious why Zibi wants to renew his contract. In 2012 Zibi was paying himself 3 times what he pays Nawalka. It’s certainly increased since then.

We need to talk about Bobby Lewandiveski while we’re here. He scored 13 goals in qualifying, however 9 of those were against either Gibraltar or Georgia so they don’t really count. Bobby mate, you’ve got some soul searching to do. Not only did did he do a Judas on Borussia Dortmund and join Bayern Munich he’s been a terrible leader for his team. Make Glik or Krychowiak the captain, lads who’ll shout and organise the team. Men that aren’t worried about T-mobile phones and shitty Bytom suits. Scoring one goal at Euro 2016 is simply not good enough for a sticker of his reputation. And maybe now that’s all it is; reputation.

Stop flogging swag and learn to score goals agian
Stop flogging swag and learn to score goals agian

Lewandowski is the Joe Hart of Polish football, every time you open a magazine he’s there selling some swag. Every time you turn on the tele he’s flogging petrol or some shitty mobile phone. Even when you leave the house there he is plastered on another fecking billboard selling some needless crap. Lad, here’s some advice, you’ve got enough fucking money, maybe instead of constantly being on advertisements maybe you could spend some time training and learning to score goals again because baby, you’ve obviously forgotten how to do that regularly.

And I’m not the grinch, Poland today woke up to a massive hangover but also with a feeling of pride in the national team that the country probably hasn’t felt since 1974. Even I’m proud of the team and I’m just an Irish immigrant living here.

It’s great, no, it’s better than great, it’s fan-feckin-tastic. Having a country unified behind a football team is a wonderful thing, it creates such a buzz and a good mood in the country. But, it could’ve been so much more, if the manager giving instructions to the players knew what the rest of us know then Poland would be playing in the semi-finals of Euro 2016 against Belgium or Wales. All you had to do was get them to attack. Why has he instilled so much fear into a lightening-fast team? Why be so conservative with some of the best talent Poland has ever produced?

Let’s finish on Nawalka, Poland needs to look abroad. Poland’s last two managers were both recruited from the national league, three if you count Smuda who started in Poland but also worked abroad, and they’ve all done a terrible job. Will Boniek look abroad? No, he won’t because of the reasons above and while Poland will easily qualify from a crap group for the World Cup in Russia in two years time these same problems will surface again. If you play negative football you need to have your tactics and strategies learnt off to a tee. Nawalka’s managerial style isn’t to do that. He just presumes his players hate goals as much as he does and while he remains in charge Poland are destined to repeat the same mistakes.

We Need to Talk about Bananas

Recently I took a jaunt to France (stop boasting ya prick you’re saying) to see a football match and it was grand. More than grand even. But two disturbing things happened in the airport before I’d even left Poland.

Firstly, to get a job in security in Krakow Airport, you must be a grade A geebag. Top of the class in geebag studies. There’s no point in applying if you feel any empathy or sympathy for your fellow human being. To get a job working security in Krakow Airport you must only apply if:

a) you were an demon in a past life, like those evil douchebags from The Witcher

b) you weren’t hugged as a child and at Christmas you were giving a solid brick of Silesian coal from Santa

c) the only thing you hate more than people is more people.

The second thing that happened was I witnessed some locals eating bananas. Have you ever seen locals eating bananas? By Zeus’ beard, it’s a sight. Here’s a video, wait till the end too because he says if you eat the end (i.e. the bottom) you die within 7 days! You feckin die? What’s going on here?

What in the name of Moses’ tablets have I just seen? Like, I heard it was true but I didn’t believe it. My good wife says she used to peel bananas that way too but doesn’t do it around me because I’ll make fun of her. She’s dead right.

But there’s method to this madness, well, kinda, no actually no, there isn’t, it’s madness.

Look we all know the proper way to peel a banana is to use the natural feckin handle that comes with it, y’know, the bit on top. Check it out below:

BananaSo why then do Poles peel their bananas upside down? What in the name of St. Adalbert of Prague is going on? St. Adalbert, by the way is a patron saint of Poland. He was a Hungarian and I couldn’t find a single bit of controversy about him. Stanislaus of Szczepanów & The Virgin Mary, Poland’s other two head honcho patron saints by the way….loads of dirt on them but that’s an article for another time.

Anyway, let’s get to the meat of this here madness and the logic behind eating bananas upside down. I was mad curious, like, mental curious. So much so that I said be damned with your airplane mode. So on my flight I 3 & 4 G’ed the bollix out of finding out the reasons behind this lunacy.

What I found, blew my feckin’ mind.

Most of them had to do with insects, snakes, nasty politicians and that auld dependable, Communism. So then, without further ado, here are the reasons Poles bite off the bottom of bananas, peel it upside down, discard the bitten off bit and eat the other 90%.

Ahhh, this was in my banana!
Ahhh, this was in my banana!

“The bottom part could contain insect larva, which is toxic for us” – what? Seriously? Insect larva? Come on, let’s think about this….you’re an insect, you want to leave your wee babies somewhere safe….hmm, a banana’s skin might be a good idea, oh wait, no, it’s a bad idea, bananas grow and as it grows that greenish-yellow bastard will crush my beautiful babies. Insects don’t lay eggs/larva in fruit. Rotten wood, the ground, tree bark yes, living fruit, no.

“There might be Lamblia’s larvas there” – OK, this thing’s a nasty so and so. A filthy little parasite that will do bad things to your insides, but never, not even once has there been a documented case of it being found in a banana. And anyway, if it is in there, why wouldn’t the whole banana be swimming in this primordial shit? Like, do you really think this Lamblia’s only going to put it in the bottom (uhh matron!) to give those stupid humans a survival chance? Naw. Next.

Don't eat me, I just just sleeping in your banana
Don’t eat me, I just just sleeping in your banana

“Might have spiders’ eggs” – I bet you’re noticing a pattern…..nope, same answer as above. And anyway, the vast majority of spiders’ eggs can be eaten. An extra source of protein y’know?

“If you put the end of banana into vinegar apparently they (the insects) come out” – The best thing about this idea was the forum posters began fighting, saying, no, not vinegar, use sugar, no, not sugar, olive oil. No, not olive oil, you leave the tears of a Warsaw virgin (good luck finding one) beside a banana’s end over night to draw out the insects. Imagine being so dumb you believed that, seriously, just take a moment to yourself and imagine being that stupid. If you can do that you now know what life is like for the average PiS supporter.

“If you eat the  black end, than hair starts growing on your back” – More warmth in winter? Bring it on baby.

“There could be lizard venom in the end and you can die after eating even one banana” – Wouldn’t that be awesome though? Every time you eat a banana you’re dicing with death. Yea baby, I’m hardcore, I eat 3 bananas a day. I laugh in the face of a potential overdose of potassium and I stare down the threat of ingesting lizard venom with great gusto and macho manliness. Come on! Really, is lizard venom going to survive a trip from Africa, even though it’s been in a banana for what? 2 weeks, or more? On a feckin boat, in a massive fridge? And you think the lizard is only going to deposit its venom in the bottom? Really? That’s what you believe? There are biblical episodes of talking bushes and donkeys, virgins giving birth and Zombie people that are more believable.

“Some people think it’s just communist propaganda, it was hard to get them during Communism, and when you could they were crazy expensive anyway, so it was a way to stop people from trying to get bananas” – Now, this makes sense. What’s a sensible comment like this doing on internet forums? Get outta here poindexter with your brain and your smartypants and your logic.

AnPHOTO PIOTR GRZYBOWSKI/SE/EAST NEWS. JARSLAW KACZYNSKI W REDAKCJI SE. POLITYK, POLITYKA, SUPER EXPRESS, REDAKCJA, PIS. 7/03/2011d last but not least:

“Jarosław Kaczyński is there” – OK, fair enough, I don’t want him anywhere near my mouth

 

10 Ways to Trick Poles into Liking You (Part II)

Last week 10 million of you gorgeous, lovely people (honestly, I’d never lie to you) read 10 Ways to Trick Poles into Liking You (Part I) and most seemed to like it.

I hadn’t actually planned on writing a second part, but I wasn’t hunted down, butchered by angry locals and fed to the pigs so I’ll finish what I started. Part II of 10 Ways to Trick Poles into Liking You. Continue reading 10 Ways to Trick Poles into Liking You (Part II)

10 Ways to Trick Poles into Liking You (Part I)

Now, I’ve been on this planet too long and Christ knows I’ve been in Poland too long (I was promised 3 years in Katowice and then we’d move – I’m still waiting). And in my many moons here I’ve somehow mastered how to fit in. I’m so much part of the furniture here I’m literally, not actually literally though, invisible. I’m that manky lamp (I love lamp) in the corner your Ma bought 16 years ago that you’re too lazy to throw away because it’s still slightly useful and it keeps peoples eyes’ off the damp spot. Continue reading 10 Ways to Trick Poles into Liking You (Part I)

Paddy Vs. OLT Express

Last summer Poland welcomed with open arms around 30,000 Irish football supports. It was a joyous occasion, warm weather, cheap food and booze and the single greatest reason I’ve given my friends back in Ireland to move to Poland, the amount of beautiful women (most of whom will do anything to land a westerner). Continue reading Paddy Vs. OLT Express

My First Polish Wedding…..Part II

We arrived in Katowice on the Thursday. The wedding wasn’t until Saturday but I was assured that we’d be busy on Friday, staring out at the flatlands of Poland as we travelled by train for x amount of hours. I enjoy travelling by train. You can just sit back and relax and watch the world go by. Then again, my experience of travelling by train up to then was really just the odd journey between Wexford & Dublin. Polish trains, for as anyone who went to Euro 2012 will tell you, ain’t the luxury that Iarnród Éireann provide. You want a coffee? Bring a flask. Sandwich? Make it yourself. And if you need to use the bathroom well, then that’s a choice you’re going to have to live with for the rest of your days. Continue reading My First Polish Wedding…..Part II