Category Archives: Lipman, Jonathan

Review of 'Polska Dotty' by Jonathan Lipman

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A humorous and self-effacing account of an Englishman’s time in modern Poland, after his marriage to a Polish woman, published by the Polish Cultural Institute. Totally factual, this books takes the reader around most of the regions of Poland and covers various aspects of Polish life, such as the family, the workplace, food, daily living, customer service, health service and car driving.

Very detailed, possibly too much at times and occasionally repetitive, it provided a vivid account of life lived in another country. We got to know, for instance, that bath water in Warsaw tends to be yellow and that, when one drives into Warsaw, you’re supposed to honk your horn for luck. We heard about the old ladies who walked through a Chopin recital in a park, chattering loudly, and how to soft-soap a policeman when you had been caught speeding or driving through 3 red lights (as the author once did). All very endearing, and totally consistent with Tim Sebastian’s ‘Nice Promises’, published 15 years earlier.

However, Jonathan wasn’t afraid to tackle the less pleasant sides of Polish life, like, for instance, corruption and a squalid holiday hotel in Sopot.

Great fun, frequently laugh out loud funny. And an invaluable guide to possible visitors to the country.