Moving to a new country can be quite daunting and lonely. Follow these ten top tips, and hopefully your transition will be easy and fun. Written by Kay Brownsey, from IWG Newsletter - September 2010 edition.
1. Join the International Women's Group (IWG)
Congratulations, you have just joined IWG! You are one step closer to making some great friends. Join one of the groups on offer, and discover talents you never thought you had.
2. Get Monthly Insider
This monthly publication will be your guide around the capital. Up to date reviews on restaurants, cafes, and cultural events. Available from Empik, American book stores and hotel foyers. You can also get a subscription! Check their website www.warsawinsider.pl
3. Buy City Doping Guide
The coolest, hippest guide to Warsaw. A steal at only 29pln, work your way through this City Doping Guide and you'll never be stuck for something to do. Buy from Tourist Information in the Old Town.
4. Get Connected to Internet
Getting connected to the internet can be a big problem! Wireless can take up to three months… so use the internet cafes or libraries to plug the gap. Television can also prove to be a slow starter. Options include Polsat and Cyfra or try Satellite service, tel 022 812 6244
5. Save Small Coins
Shops are always short on change. You very quickly realize that you will be asked for the exact money, and that shopkeepers hate 100 PLN notes.
6. Know Your Travel Plan
No travel plan is complete without refering to one of the "In Your Pocket" guides. A definite must before you travel. The Warsaw edition is also very helpful for info on how to use the public transportation system! Check out their website www.inyourpocket.com. The website of Warsaw public transportation is www.ztm.waw.pl
7. Learn to Speak Polish
Can‘t speak any Polish? It may be hard, but give it a go. Even learning the basics will make a big difference to you, and how the local Polish population perceives you. Try IKO www.iko.com.pl
8. Be Careful when Giving Tip
Don‘t say thank you! When it comes to waiting for change from your food/bar bill that is. Saying "thank you" when handing over your money will be received by the waiter as their tip! Say thank you once you have your change, and leave a tip for good service, usually 10%.
9. Some Driving Tips
Always carry your driving documents with you, and never leave them in the car. Speeding fines are collected on the spot, and can range from 100-500zl (ask for a receipt). You will be fined if you cross the road when the "red" man is on, or for jaywalking (50zl fine). Remember to change your tyres to winter tred in mid October, and back to summer tyres mid to late April. During the whole year drivers must have their lights on day and night!
10. Subscribe to online newspaper
Once you are connected, subscribe to the internet newspaper all in English for a free weekly round up of all the news in Poland. www.newpolandexpress.pl