See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Poland's Pulse: Healthcare Bingo, Alcohol Curfews, Red Pig

A rare bit of snow this winter brings families out for fun. (Warsaw)
Photo by Embe at warsawdaily

A week of intermittent snowfall broke a dry spell, drawing kids outdoors for some winter games. It will be a short-lived affair as the winter has been a let-down for some with warmer temperatures and, as Our Man in Gdansk suggests, indoor games are sure to be in fashion soon. One such game is a perennial favorite but with a twist from Poland, get your chips out for “Health Care Bingo.”

Here I present a cut-out-and-paste version of office bingo to help you while away the hours of talking heads talking about why the Polish health service is in a jock. You have to choose just three of the following commonly proferred explanations of why the Polish health service is in a jock.

What happens when local authorities get to plan, but not pay for a highway to connect Helsinki and Warsaw? BINGO! An offer they can't refuse plus irreversible damage to numerous forests. But when the chips are down, bloggers become clicktivists. Varpho has set up a petition and encourages all to take action now:

By signing the list below you are protesting against routing Via Baltica through unique nature areas, such as the Augustów Forest along with the Rospuda River Valley, the Biebrza National Park and the Knyszyn Forest, and thus you are expressing your disapproval for the Białystok option of this road.

One refused offer however was greeted by collective sighs of relief by bloggers as a former Polish PM declined a top post at one of Poland's largest banks. Interestingly, the decision was announced on the former politican's personal blog (in Polish). According to Polish Matters, the news couldn't come soon enough as the whole idea seemed, literally, wrong-headed:

It's enough to say that Marcinkiewicz, a high school Physics teacher before his 9-month stint as Polish prime minister last year, had no experience in either banking or management.

Hold on though, experience doesn't always lead to wise decisions, according to the beatroot. Not only appearing wrong-headed, but donning a bad hair day icon, a Polish mayor decided to proclaim an alcohol curfew in one of Poland's hottest tourist spots.

You expect this kind of thing from the British, but a Pole banning drinking? Is the mayor of Sopot limbering up for a career in Brussels, perhaps?

Warsaw not to worry, boo provides some blogging about sans-curfew and trendy night spots, complete with a token cummunist pub, endearingly called The Red Pig. I wonder, do they serve Red Bull?

Staying with the educational angle, although a little textual bull, or embellishment, might implicate itself here, The Real Warsaw provides a post and response on life in Poland, by a USA student and an ex-pat resident of Poland. Watch this thread as opinions are exaggerated on both sides. Highlight for me: Buy real estate in Poland right now!

That’s the Poland blogopshere update! Until next time – Do widzenia i powodzenia!

  • Before I forget, the link to “Health Care Bingo” isn’t working for me.

    Now then, I’d also like to point out the link between alcohol curfews and civic engagement. I’ve never seen people get so politically involved as when their right to drink was threatened. I used to live in a coastal town that allowed the consumption of alcoholic beverages on the beach. The town was also infamous for its political apapthy. That is, until a proposal was made to ban all beer and liquor on the beach. I think that voter turnout was probably around 99% that year. It’s a good lesson for any politician who wants to get more 20-somethings out to the polls.

  • hi david, yeah, the link didn’t work, and then it did again…i double-checked…

    about the drinking ban…i have some experience since the new jersey shore was our summer spot…there are dry towns along the shore (like ocean city, nj)..and those places are still packed with people in the summer…too many young people didn’t know when to responsibly stop drinking in those summer months, and the community said ‘enough’

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site