Cultural: Small things, part 1

I think a series of talking about "the small things" is appropriate. These are things I've noticed that are a bit different than what I grew up with in the USA.

Cold drinks

This hit home to me when I took Lydia with me to visit a lady. She asked if Lydia would like some apple juice. I said, 'Yes."  She proceeded to open her refrigerator and pulled out a box of UHT apple juice and apologized for it being cold.  I chuckled and said, "That's fine."  

I assured her again Lydia would be fine as she handed the drink to my daughter rather doubtfully. At the time Lydia was probably 4 years old.  Sure enough...Lydia didn't get sick.

The idea is that if you drink cold drinks you will get sick--especially in the winter, but not only in the winter. I've seen moms get upset with their kids for asking for something cold - when it wasn't winter--even in the summer.

It bothers me a little to think that people leave their opened apple juice containers out of the fridge so that their child doesn't drink it cold. Apple juice sours in a day or so. But I've developed enough to be able to not let it bother me too much. I've got other things to think about!

Mine must have had a tough immune system because they never got sick because of drinking cold drinks.  I understand the idea - that drinking something cold lowers your body core temperature and that lowers resistance to bacteria.

As times change and Poland becomes more influenced by the USA, more people are drinking cold drinks - if not ice cold. Sometimes you can get ice in your McDonalds drink in cold weather - though most of the time, no.  Our local KFC now offers a drink machine and included is an ice dispenser, which works most of the time. Thankfully the drinks are cold so even if the ice dispenser isn't working you can still have a cold/cool drink. 

Most of the time grocery stores have refrigerated display cases with things like Coca Cola or Pepsi Cola, but through the winter they leave them turned off while still displaying the drinks.  

The most popular drink is still hot tea.  Usually sweetened with sugar. Yes, even when it is almost 100 F degrees outside--especially among the older generation.

Shoes in the house

After living here all this time, when I see people with shoes on in their house, sitting on furniture, for example, it looks strange.  Yes. we take off our shoes when we come in the house and put on slippers.  

I actually wear out more slippers in a year than I do regular shoes.

It totally makes sense to me.  It is more comfortable as well as keeps more dirt out of the house, theoretically, anyway.  Now when you start wearing your slippers outside because you don't want to change into your outside shoes...well, then it's really just a matter of semantics.

But here are some Polish slippers!

They are warm and beautiful!

I hope this little tiny glimpse into life here has educated somewhat.

Have a great day.

Becky PetersenComment