Second Week at Fulbright in Warsaw

During my second semester, my professor for my upper level writing class told us that before he started working for the university, he had started out as an editor on the East Coast. At that moment, I said to myself “Editing sounds awful, I hope I never have to do that.” Well, karma works in mysterious ways as I was tasked this past week with editing the entire English version of the Polish Fulbright Commission’s website. Needless to say, editing is a lot more draining that I anticipated, but it was also weirdly rewarding picking out every little mistake hidden within text. Still not something I see myself doing in 10 years.

I’ve gotten more used to Warsaw now. My dad grew up here and I’ve been here almost a dozen times before, but I haven’t ever lived here for an extended period of time. While I do prefer the skyline in my hometown of Chicago, there are tiny things about Warsaw like its cozy old town or street vendors selling paczki for the equivalent of about a quarter that do make living here an enjoyable experience. I’ve even warmed up to the giant hooded crows that made me feel uneasy during my first few nights here. One thing I still have trouble getting used to is how intrusively helpful Poles can be. If you’re having a conversation with a friend and you are unsure of something, maybe whether you can take a certain tram line to a part of the city, a Polish person will interrupt your conversation to give you the answer. For example, when my dad and I were driving back to Warsaw after visiting my grandmother in the countryside, we stopped at a McDonald’s for something to eat. While washing his hands in the bathroom, my dad got a call from a family friend in Warsaw asking us how long it would take us to get back to the city. My dad said he thought we had stopped in the city of Radom, but he wasn’t entirely sure. All of a sudden, a voice yells from one of the stalls, “Yes sir, you are in Radom!” Even for someone like my dad, who had lived most of his life in Poland, he was taken aback with how eagerly helpful people were. However, I can’t say that, as a person who is still pretty unfamiliar with the city I’m living in, I don’t appreciate this cultural difference.

One thought on “Second Week at Fulbright in Warsaw

  • May 24, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I’m glad you were able to experience editing. Even though you didn’t enjoy it too much, at least you know for sure that’s not what you want to pursue. But your experience with the locals sound both hilarious and uncomfortable! It’s hard to say helpfulness is a bad thing, but I hope you still feel safe in your trip!


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