There is something everyone can agree about Polish homes. They are very warm and welcoming and the atmosphere is always relaxed. There is always something tasty on the table, something that smells delicious cooking on the stove or something sweet baking in the oven. Polish people, once you get close to them and enter their safe zone, taking down all their barriers, get very friendly and talkative.
1. The Polish guest shoes - kapci - flat regular shoes that can come in all shapes and sizes. They can be bought in the lovely mountain town of Zakopane and can be filled in the inside with sheep hair in order to be more warm. It's customary for the people who come inside the house to take off their shoes at the door and the lady of the house to offer them home shoes instead.
2. Church items - range large, from crucifixes to statues of the Virgin Mary, to rosaries, to pictures of Jesus with the traditional text "Jezu ufam tobie" (polish version of "Jesus I trust in you"). It's also common for the older generation to display the framed diplomas of when their children had their first Communion. Polish people are religious and they are very attached to their faith, so don't laugh about it and behave properly.
3. Vodka, clear vodka - the drink of choice is always vodka with the Polish people. True, they drink their share of beer and they have some fabulous local breweries that make some kick arse beers with different flavours, but vodka is the "go to" drink. It's also customary to older generations, when there is a party and shots are being drinked, to use a single shot glass and pass it around. You must drink to the next persons health and look them in the eye.
4. Ogorki - pickled gherkins - either home made or bought at the local store, they are in every house! They are a perfect snack for the drinking parties or can be eaten as layer on the famous Polish sandwich - kanapka - slice of bread with butter or margarine on top, slice cucumbers and a pitch of salt, and there you are! Ready to go!
5. Trash can located under the sink, in the kitchen - you need not even ask! If you have something to throw out you will 99.99% of the time find a trash bin stored underneath the sink, in the kitchen. It's very conveniently located for peeling veggies, chopping meat and cleaning fruits - just a hand throw away.
Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Poland and Polish Homes