A Chip Shop in Poznan: My Unlikely Year in Poland

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A Chip Shop in Poznan: My Unlikely Year in Poland

A Chip Shop in Poznan: My Unlikely Year in Poland

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When he wrote about his plans to make bigos , commonly known as “hunter’s stew”, I almost felt jealous. If you have a self-defeatist mindset when it comes to learning obscure looking languages, you’re on a hiding to nothing before lesson one commences. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Writing any book is a challenge, but in my opinion, writing a non-fiction book is even more difficult; especially a memoir, where you are effectively the main character and therefore directly the subject for any criticism. So how should he expect us to take his opinion seriously when he does not even take it seriously enough himself?

usually it would take me a day or two two finish a book of this calibre, but i struggled with this one over the course of two months. Adeptly balances personal ruminations on love, attraction, and friendship, with cultural evaluations that subvert British stereotypes of Polish citizens […] An engaging romp through Polish culture, with a resonant political message of the importance of interacting with other cultures and preserving our ties with Europe. Traces of insight were also promised, but making vague statements and then alluding to some deeper meaning is not insightful, at least not to me. When I saw Polish words like przepraszam (excuse me) and dziękuję (thank you) for the first time, I was a little taken aback.For instance, chapter 12 highlights Aitken’s experiences roaming around Freedom Square in Poznań to hear people’s opinions on Brexit. In accordance with The Post Office, the last recommended date for Christmas posting is 18th December (2nd Class) and 20th December (First class). Out of the entire book I found perhaps 30-45 minutes of it interesting, mostly centered on his showing up unannounced to have a Christmas Eve dinner with a family. But, among the thoughts he recounts when he leaves Poland in April 2017 is this one: “When I am in Poland, I could be anywhere”, which sums up the feeling I had that he had not noted all that much that made that country different from others.

The Marmalade Diaries (2022) is the story of an unlikely friendship during an unlikely time, and stems from the author’s decision to move in with an 85 year old widow ten days before a national lockdown. Indeed, Katowice is not a tourist magnet, not really a place to rival magic Kraków just down the A4 motorway. Not only does this romance come across as a bit shallow and one-sided, but it serves absolutely no purpose in the storyline and is left completely unresolved. Interestingly, opinion was split between those who like the EU for its money and those who thought the EU is just Germany. However, I think whether you enjoy this book or not depends on whether you like the author and his style of writing.You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. His book is partly about Poland, partly about feeling disconnected from others and partly about Ben. An enjoyable book about an Englishman moving to the land of my birth, which made me laugh out loud at times.

E,g he translates a replacement word for a profanity as Chicken, a bit like translating the English replacement fudge into Polish as a chocolate candy. In particular, I really enjoyed how well the author could describe a scene he was observing or participating in; this is a really nice touch for a memoir because it makes it feel like you're there, experiencing these things with him. Maybe it's my liberal snowflake beliefs but I feel like there should've been a greater discussion of privilege in a novel about immigrants, status quo and persona. He had a more-or-less girlfriend, Anita (she did not reciprocate his feelings for her), who asks him why he has come to Poland.

One minor complaint I have here is that one of the goals that Aitken had for himself was to see what it's like to live in Poland as if he too were Polish - but his lack of concern for how much he spends along the way means that much of what he sees and does would be completely unattainable for others - myself included.

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