Tuesday, May 17, 2011


On Monday 9th you had a special class about fun facts about Poland and Spain. We learnt that some of them a real and others are just stereotypes. We didn't have time enough to discuss all of them, so I include them here just for you to know.

I hope you had a great time and we miss you all.


• They eat very very late – lunch from 2 to 4pm and dinner beginning at 9.00- 10.00pm
• Having breakfast at home is not common
• Madrid’s tap water is one of the best ever, it’s actually drinkable .
• Requesting for a second serving is taken as an indication that you liked the food.
• Mahou is the no 1 best selling beer in Spain
• You don’t have to leave any tip in Spain.
• When you buy a coffee, you can have: cortado ( strong just with a little milk), con leche ( with tons of milk) manchado ( milk with a little coffee),
• Spaniards like to party. The population goes out very often, and are always extremely elegant.
• They respect their free time – many of the tiendas close for 3hrs after lunch time
• Spaniards do botellon before they go to a club (drinking much cheaper drinks in someone’s house or in a park rather than paying triple inside a club)
• Spain has the highest number of bars ( 1 bar for 129 people) restaurants and coffee shops, in the European Union, more exactly 344.426 !!!
• Presenting oneself at a party at 12 or 1 am is ridiculously early; Spaniards start the night around 2 am and finish at 6-7am, after which they go to eat churros
• On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, at 6-7am, the subway is one of the most crowded spots in Madrid – everyone is going home and they are still very much alive –
• Teenagers in Spain normally start dating in groups when they are around 14 years of age and as couples at age 18.
• Instead of calling on a girl at her home, a boy usually prefers meeting her at a prearranged venue.
• Older women love their long expensive natural fur coats
• Football is their second religion. Soccer happens to be the most popular spectator sport in Spain. The important matches see the fans crowding homes as well as local bars.
• Playing the lottery is a national hobby
• Bullfighting in Spain, which is regarded as an art as well as a popular attraction, is its biggest and most controversial sport. Bullfighting is a central part of Spanish history, art and culture and there are bull rings in all important cities and even a few minor ones.
• Two years ago, you could practically smoke anywhere and everywhere in Spain: in class, on the plane, on the subway, in hospitals, etc. Now you can only smoke in the street.
• Around 40 per cent Spaniards between the 17 and 24 age group are smokers.
• Spaniards talk a lot and very fast.
• Spaniards habitually stand close and will, from time to time, touch one another on the shoulder while talking.
• Spaniards also kiss once on each cheek when meeting someone or when greeting and saying hello.
• Spaniards place a lot of importance on what others think of them.
• Most Spaniards are dark haired with dark eyes, not very tall.
• Seat is the only Spanish car brand.
• The biggest industry in Spain is tourism. Benidorm, a beach town nearby Alicante has got the third most hotel rooms in Europe after London and Paris.
• The Spanish hymn has no lyrics.
• Each regional country of Spain – Pais Vasco, Cataluña, Galicia – has its own language, hymn and flag
• El Castellano is the main language.
• Spaniards are not very good at learning other languages.
• Every English word is made into a Spanish one (freak turns into friqui/friki, iphone turns into ifon, CD turns into cede, DVD turns into deuvede, etc)
• Spain gained freedom from the Moors in Granada (the last stronghold of the Moors) in 1492.
• Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain in order to find the New World.
• Spain was among the most powerful empires in the world during the 16th century.
• For 40 years, between 1936 and 1975, Franco ruled Spain in the form of a dictatorship.
• Spain transformed itself from a very traditional poor society to a very modern rich one, reaching second place in the most visited countries in the world, with 59.2 million visitors a year (France is on first place with 81.9 million visitors, while the US is on third place, with 56 millions), as well as the second fastest growing population regarding immigration
• The Madrid-Barcelona route has the highest number of flights per week in the world.
• The Madrid subway system is the third in the world, by number of kilometres covered, after London and New York.
• Spain has been the biggest doner of organs in the world, for 15 consecutive years !!!.
• More than men, it is women who are presently enrolled in Spain's universities.
• Spain legalized gay marriage in June 2005 despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church.
• In Spain, 94 per cent of its population is Roman Catholic.
• In January 2002, euro was made the official currency of Spain.


• Pizza in Poland does not contain tomato sauce. The waiters bring sauce to the table in a pitcher, and you pour it on top. Sometimes the sauce is just ketchup.
• Chicken and pork are used in many Polish dishes.
• Gingerbread is a traditional Polish dessert, they like sweets a lot.
• Ads on Polish TV show mothers calling their children in from play in order to feed them candy.
• The biggest section of any grocery store is the candy section.
• Poles peel bananas from the blossom end, not from the stem end.
• Vitalis—a smelly hair tonic in America—is a breakfast cereal in Poland.
• Some Polish beer is ten per-cent alcohol. Alcohol is drunk in small cups.
• Polish favourite drink with meals is tea.
• Foreign language films aren’t dubbed on Polish TV. They aren’t subtitled, either. We have a method called voice over in which one person reads the parts of all actors and you can still hear the original voices in the background, even those of women and children.
• Almost 90% of the population are Roman Catholics.
• There is a Pope channel on TV. Anytime one needs to see the pope, one can tune him in.
• The biggest section of any bookstore is books on the Pope (John Paul II).
• Street sweepers use brooms made of bunched-up twigs tied to a stick. These clean the sidewalks better than noisy blowers.
• Polish people drive very dangerously and fast.
• People are usually addressed by their honorific title, “Pan” for a man and “Pani” for a woman, and their surname.
They do not use first names formally.
• Polish people normally greet shaking hands or kissing three times.
• Poland shares borders with 7 other European countries-Germany, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, and Russia.
• Communist rule of Poland was overthrown in 1989. Poland was a communist country from 1945 to 1989.
• Forests cover almost one third of Poland. Over 50% of the land is dedicated to farming.
• Poland is the eight most populous country in Europe.
• Over 3 million Jewish people live in Poland before World War II started. After the war, this number dropped to 300,000.
• Polish is the official (and most spoken language) of Poland. English and German are commonly learned as second languages. The teaching of the German language at any level was forbidden in Poland for forty years after the end of World War II.
• Poles always carry cut flowers upside down.
• The most popular name for a dog in Poland is Burek which translates to: brownish-grey color.
• In Poland the name day is considered more important than the birthday.
• Amongst all the members of the European Union, the residents of Poland marry the youngest.
• There are over 100 universities in Poland.
• Poland boasts 17 Nobel prize winners, including four Peace Prizes and five in Literature.
• 90% of Poles have completed at least secondary education.
• Marie Curie (born Maria Sklodowska ; 1867-1934), the first and only Nobel laureate in two different sciences and first female professor at the Sorbonne University.
• Polish born astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was the first person to propose that the earth was not the center of the universe.
• Another Polish astronomer, Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687) published the earliest exact maps of the moon.
• Saint John’s Kupala is a popular holiday in which people jump over fires, a tradition that predates Christianity.
• Marzenna is a tradition where people weave straw dolls and decorate them with ribbons. These represent the end of winter, and the beginning of spring. When the snow starts to melt, they proclaim the beginning of spring and chuck the Marzennas into the river or stream, symbolically killing the winter.
• During Wianki people go to the riverbanks and float wreaths with candles on them on the water. If it floats to a woman on the other side, she’ll find love. If it circles three times, she’ll be unlucky with her love life.
• Natural resources include: coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt, amber, arable land. • Przystanek Woodstock is the biggest open-air festival in Europe, and annual free rock music festival in Poland, inspired by and named for the Woodstock Festival.

Best Regards


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