I had a wonderful time last week in Poland. Among countless impressions of the trip, the student life in Poland is the one that I most want to share.
But not everyone agrees with her. By accident I bumped into Andy and Owen, Justyna's Asian next door neighbours. 'It's not convenient to cook here as there's nothing in the kitchen except eight stoves.' I felt so grateful that I'm studying in Wageningen not Warsaw.
Suit up for the exam
I visited the Warsaw University Library during my bicycle tour in the city. Rather than its famous façade, I was more curious about the student life inside. Though unfortunately I didn't have access to it, I found an entrance on the flank. Up along the stairs, I noticed many people waiting in the aisle of each floor, either sitting or pacing, they were in formal dress. I stopped a girl walking down stairs: 'Do you have an interview here? I've found all of you suited up.' 'No, there's an exam this afternoon, so we dress like this,' she said. 'But why?' I asked. 'It's a tradition, as an act of respect,' she said.
I really appreciate this tradition, and I think it's more than a formalistic gesture.
When I was strolling at night in Krakow, I noticed different types of girls holding flyers or cards in the square: some were dressed like...hookers...while others were simply in jeans and T-shirt. My eyes landed on a blonde girl in a white T-shirt. I decided to accost her. She told me she had just graduated from high school and got this job recently. 'How much do you get paid?' I asked. '10 zloty (around 2.5 euro) per hour, 3 or 5 hours per night.' She said it's quite a well-paid job for students of her age. She was busy flyering so that I had to round off the talk and say bye.
Yet I'm still impressed by her: to do moonlight flyering and talk to strangers in fluent English, this is something I never imagined that I could have done at 18. I envy for her getting independent at such a young age.
There's a Chinese saying: among any three people walking, I will find something to learn for sure. During this trip, I've also learned a lot from the Polish students. The only pity is that I no longer have any chance to suit up for an exam as I've finished my courses long time ago.