Meet Alessandro and find out what it's like to move from Brazil to cold Poland
How did your story with Poland begin?
Started in 2008 when I was hired to work with a virtual team in Brazil and my colleagues were also from Poland.
What were your thoughts on Poland prior to moving here ?
Not that much because in my country, unfortunately, they don’t show PL that much (and this is a pity). Curitiba (my hometown in Brazil) has a very big Polish colony and I knew a little bit about the food, drinks, their passion for football and the Polish Pope. Nowadays I have a very wider and different picture. Poland is a very modern country with bucolic and beautiful nature and Polish people are part of my family also.
Can you tell us about your first impressions after moving to Poland?
I will never forget that when I arrive in Warsaw was so cold and I did not have proper winter clothes 😊, anyway my first impressions were good but it was like to be teleported in another dimension. Poland is a very different country and everything is different than Brazil (fashion, food, the architecture of the buildings/houses and even the smell of the air, grass is different 😊). I knew a little bit more because I worked with Polish people from 2008 until 2016 so they told me a little bit about the cities, culture and how Polish people are (more or less 😊 ). Many of the things mentioned by them are for sure true!
Polish language is always a big challenge for foreigners. How do you deal with that?
I spoke a little bit and now I’m able to understand (50%) if people don’t speak that fast. I’m doing classes since January 2022. My advice for new learners is to open their mind and watch a lot of Polish films and use the Polish language even if you don’t speak that well. The first word for me that was bugging my mind was “Rzeczpospolita” and “Szczecin”, we don’t have this combination of consonants (Sz Rz) in Portuguese so took some time for me to understand. Yes, I have a funny one…In my first days in the office (in my first job in Poland) I asked how to say in Polish the word “mug” and instead to say kubeczek I said kupeczka (ehehehehe).
How did your family and friends react to your move to Poland?
Well, they were very surprised. No one ever came to visit (hope one day they will come).
It is always challenging to move so far away from friends. What do you miss most about your country?
The food and the warmness of Brazilian people.
What do you like about Poland?
What I like is… Very safe country. Clean. Organized. Modern. IT job market is very good. Easy to travel around Poland and Poland is a very good hub for trips around the world.
What I don’t like… Sometimes some people (for sure a minority in this country ) here are not that open with foreigners and people that look different.
What about the food?
My favorite dish is the “śledź po Gdańsku”. There is one that I will never eat and it’s kaszanka.
What Polish customs are either incomprehensible or surprising to you?
That custom that people usually seat in some place when they forgot something before leaving home (😊)
Can you tell us about a few of your favorite places in Poland ?
I have one that is not well known…There is a small town that is around 85 km from Warsaw (Różan) and has wonderful untouched forests full of big and small animals (even wolves) and many cemeteries from WW1 and it’s a really nice place for hiking.
My favorite places in PL:
Różan, Karkonosze, Baltic Sea Puszcza Białowieska, Carpathians mountains, the beautiful fields and forests of Kujawsko-pomorskie, the Warmia-Mazury region (these could be a nice tour).
What have you learned while living in Poland?
That if you persevere and hold you can achieve whatever you want.
What do you think was invented in your country that we don’t have in Poland?
Caipirinha and the BBQ from the South of Brazil 😊
Anything else you would like to share?
That this country totally changed me and I don’t recognize myself anymore (and this is a good thing).