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Differences

Poland/US

Shoes. Berlin.

Two years ago, my mom decided she wanted to move back to Poland for "retirement." I remember just hanging out in my room and hearing my parents argue over it. "We were lucky to have won a green card, to have found work, this home..." My dad was saying. "If I would've known you wanted to go back, I would've never put in all these thousands into this house." 

Well, my dad is a good man, a good Christian man, so he followed my mother to Poland. Leaving their debt in the states, my parents and my little brother flew to Poland. Me, being merely 18 at the time, followed as well a few months later—waiting until Chicago's festival season ended. 

Let me tell you, being a Chicagoan, being moved to a suburban town by Warsaw, is tough. I immediately noticed the cultural differences. Not like I haven't been to Poland since we came to the States when I was 6, but visiting and residing a place is never the same. I didn't really think much of the fact that everybody is white and Christian until I was fully immersed into the town. I remember hanging out with a coworker one time that wouldn't stop saying the N word, and after I told him to stop and explained what it means, he proceeded to tell me that he thought it was funny and he wouldn't stop. That's when I told him "fuck you" in English and left him in the park. I just couldn't fathom how someone who doesn't even KNOW other cultures can be so fucking blatantly ignorant. This same coworker and his friend were literally just shouting "N*gga" through the whole damn office for no good reason but to be fucking ridiculous.

Aside from the racial differences, I also noticed the gender inequalities and belittling of women. 

May I start out with the fact that my first day of university a girl asked me if I had a man in my life, and when I told her no, she told me how sorry she felt for me. I lived through two classmate's weddings, after which one of the girls dropped out of school to take care of her new husband, which I thought was odd considering she was a passionate student and like, the fuck does he need taking care of?

There is a week of University concerts that occur in the town I stayed at for the students, and I remember walking my friend to the bus station around the corner from my apartment building, and passing all these drunk bodies on the streets, which SHOULDN'T A BUNCH OF DRUNK COLLEGE KIDS WANDERING THE STREETS BE ILLEGAL idk, on my way back home, a boy threw a glass beer bottle at my head—and that was the night I threw my first punch. For that, Poland, I thank you because you taught me how to be a tough bitch. 

It was the trashiest place I have ever laid eyes on. I mean this little suburban town wasn’t the cleanest scene as is but after these concerts, lawns looked like literal landfills. 90% beer bottles. I didn’t even know kids could drink and litter this much in one night. The next morning on my way to work, I remember taking down an arm full of bottles from on top of the shrubs and recycling them in a close by bin. I got looked at weird. I will never apologize for doing my part to take care of Mother Earth. Fuck you if you don’t in my opinion. 

All said and done, I'm glad to be in Chicago, not that we're better... but at least all cultures live in ?unity? here?

But I think I'm going to move on and live as a hermit in the fjords of Tromso, Norway.

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