Archive for 'Culture'

International day of action on climate change

Posted on 21. Sep, 2014 by in Countries, Culture, Nature

An international day of action on climate change (Międzynarodowy Dzień działań w sprawie zmian klimatu) brought tens of thousands onto the streets of New York City today, with organizers predicting the biggest protest on the issue in five years.

About 100,000 people, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former U.S. vice president Al Gore, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and elected officials from the United States and abroad joined the People’s Climate March, ahead of Tuesday’s United Nations hosted summit in the city to discuss reducing carbon emissions that threaten the environment (redukcja emisji dwutlenku węgla, które zagrażają środowisku).

Image by Stop Climate Chaos Coalition on Flickr.com

Image by Stop Climate Chaos Coalition on Flickr.com

Organizers billed the event as the largest gathering (największe zgromadzenie) focused on climate change since 2009, when tens of thousands gathered in Copenhagen in a sometime raucous demonstration that resulted in the detention of 2,000 protesters.

The march comes days after the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that August 2014 was the warmest on record (Sierpień 2014 był najcieplejszy w historii), some 1.35 degrees Fahrenheit (0.75 C) above the 20th century global average of 60.1 F (15.6 C).

The Global Day of Action (or GDA) is the collective name (nazwa zbiorowa) given to all the organisations, groups and individuals around the world who come together for the Global Day of Action on climate. It has occurred every year since 2005 at the time of the annual United Nations Talks on climate change (the COP or “Conference of Parties” to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC). People from all around the world have come together on the same day to demand urgent action on climate, and climate justice, from the governments of the world meeting at the annual climate talks. Obviously it’s not possible for thousands of people from all around the world to come together literally in the same place so the Global Day of Action has consisted of demonstrations and events all around the world on the same day – or as near as possible to that as circumstances allow.

Over 100 countries and even more organisations have already taken part in the GDA. Poland is one of these countries!

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Which shopping mall in Warsaw to choose?

Posted on 13. Sep, 2014 by in Culture, travel

I’m personally a fan of small, unique shops. I love small boutiques, with one of a kind clothing, toys, souvenirs…Some people like the big malls though.  In Warsaw you can choose from over 20 shopping malls, most of which are also places of entertainment. They feature clothing stores offering both Polish and foreign brands, and also services such as dry cleaning, shoe repair, key making, etc. Take a break from shopping and rest in one of the numerous cafés and restaurants, watch a movie in a modern cinema or go to a fitness club. Most shopping malls also have play areas for children, where you can leave your kids with some professional caregivers and go enjoy some shopping. Three of the biggest malls – Arkadia, Galeria Mokotów and Złote Tarasy – are located near the centre. Also still close to Warsaw’s tourist attractions are Warszawa Wileńska and Blue City. Warsaw’s shopping malls are open seven days a week. Here are few most popular shopping malls:

Image by Patrick Müller on Flickr.com

Image by Patrick Müller on Flickr.com

Arkadia
al. Jana Pawła II 82
tel. 22 323 67 67
www.arkadia.com.pl

The biggest shopping mall in Warsaw and all of Poland, this is a very popular social place, which gathers Warsaw’s citizens and tourists for shopping and entertainment. There are over 200 shops, 30 restaurants and cafés, a Cinema City theatre (15 screens) and a Holmes Place Energy fitness club.

Image by mjaniec on Flickr.com

Image by mjaniec on Flickr.com

Galeria Mokotów
ul. Wołoska 12
tel. 22 541 41 41
www.galeriamokotow.pl
One of the biggest and most exclusive shopping malls. Over 200 shops, 30 restaurants and cafés, a Cinema City (14 screens), a kids playground and a Holmes Place Energy fitness club.

Image by alf.melin on Flickr.com

Image by alf.melin on Flickr.com

Złote Tarasy
ul. Złota 59
tel. 22 222 22 00
www.zlotetarasy.pl
One of the most popular and frequented malls in Warsaw, with an ultra-modern design and interior, and a sophisticated fountain outside. 200 shops, over 30 restaurants and cafés, a Multikino Cinema (8 screens) and Pure Jatomi Platinium Fitness club.

Image by polymerchicken on Flickr.com

Image by polymerchicken on Flickr.com

Blue City
Al. Jerozolimskie 179
tel. 22 824 45 55
www.bluecity.pl
Over 230 shops and some 20 restaurants and cafés dispatched over six floors. The 4th floor has entertainment centre, with an Inca Play kids playground, a Pure Jatomi Platinium Fitness club and Squash City. There is a fountain right in the centre of the mall, and the square surrounding it houses various concerts, bazaars and artistic events.

Plac Unii City Shopping
ul. Puławska 2
tel. 22 204 04 99
www.placunii.pl

Atrium Reduta
Al. Jerozolimskie 148
tel. 22 823 94 00
www.atrium-reduta.pl
Some 130 shops, a dozen restaurants and cafés.

Dom Mody Klif
ul. Okopowa 58/72
tel. 22 531 45 00
www.klif.pl
Exclusive brands with over 100 boutiques boasting clothing and accessories from international designers, and a dozen restaurants and cafés.

Sadyba Best Mall
ul. Powsińska 31
tel. 22 310 30 00
www.sadyba.pl
Over 100 shops, a dozen restaurants and cafés, Cinema City (12 screens), and the city’s only Imax cinema.

 

Happy shopping!

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

How money goes missing in the packages mailed to Poland…

Posted on 05. Sep, 2014 by in Countries, Culture, Safety

For years, Polish Americans have been sending greeting cards (kartki z życzeniami) to relatives and friends in Poland at Christmas time. A great many of them have included “a bit of green” – $10, $20 and even $50 or $100. Before Poland dumped communism in 1989, that was an impressive financial injection. Back then, $25 was what many Poles earned in an entire month.

Throughout the rest of the year, greenbacks slipped into a letter usually get through, but around Christmas time, the risk factor increases. Despite all the security precautions employed by the US and Polish postal systems, pilferage (splądrowanie) was and continues to be a problem. The problem is not limited to the Untied States and Poland, for incidents can also occur along the way. Several years ago, a large quantity of mail bound for Poland had been found opened, torn and scattered on a trash heap in Frankfurt, Germany – the main postal trans-shipment point between the US and Poland.

image by marsmet462 on Flickr.com

image by marsmet462 on Flickr.com

Short of discontinuing money gifts to relatives and friends in Poland, can anything be done about this? Over the years, individual Pol-Ams have developed various ways of outfoxing mail thieves. employees. The safest are virtual money-transfer methods not involving cash or mailing including:

POLISH-AMERICAN TRAVEL AGENCIES, which have years of experience in sending money and gift parcels to Poland. For the address of the one nearest you, phone the Society of Polish-American Travel agents at (718) 383-7211 or visit Web page: www.spata.org/active_members.htm

WESTERN UNION, AMERCIAN EXPRESS and other non-Polonian companies also transfer money to recipients in Poland. A good rule of thumb is to compare the service fees charged by the Pol-Am travel agencies and the non-Polonian outfits before you decided.

MONEY TRANSFERS from your bank to that of the gift recipient. The drawback here is that you must know the number of the recipient’s Polish bank account and that eliminates the element of surprise. Also people living in remote rural areas may have to travel some distance to their bank, which may be a problem for the elderly who most likely are still not on-line.

If, for whatever reason, you still prefer sending money by mail, because it is more intimate or closer to your Polish family’s expectations, then consider the following:

CASH IN GREETING CARD is asking for trouble! The non-standard size, design and color of the envelope as well as the stiffer, tell-tale “feel” of the greeting card are dead give-aways creating an irritable temptation to thieves.

CASH IN LETTER: An American banknote stands a better chance of getting through when slipped into what looks like a normal letter (not a greeting card!) and sent in a plain, regular, white envelope. A blank sheet of paper may be used to wrap the cash in, but it might be nicer if you at least penned (or typed) in: WESOŁYCH ŚWIĄT i SZCZĘŚLIWEGO NOWEGO ROKU! Nevertheless, during the pre-Christmas season, even such an indistinctive, low-key mailing is at higher risk than at other times of year.

CHECK IN LETTER: Sending a personal or bank check is a safe way to give gifts of money because they are of no use to a thief and can be cashed only by the recipient they are made out to. The drawback is that foreign (American) checks cannot be cashed immediately in Poland but are sent back to a US check- clearance center for verification, so it may take a month of two before the recipient actually sees the cash. Different banks charge from $5 to $10 to cash a check, and only banks cash checks in Poland, so that could mean a long trip to town for rural residents.

I think I only sent an envelope with money to Poland once… My family never got it:(( I don’t do it at all.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)