Polish Toledo

This blog is associated with www.polishtoledo.com

Friday, September 29, 2006

Name Your Poison

One might imagine that Poland would score high on the list when it comes to consumption of vodka. In fact, 53% of all alcohol beverage sales in Poland are vodka brands.

What is not so apparent is that Poland is ranked 10th in beer consumption by country. Miller, which owns Lech, Tyksie and Zubr beer brands in Poland is aiming for a 40% market share this year. SAB Miller based in South Africa claims Poland to be their 4th most profitable market worldwide. They expect consumption in Poland to rise from 82 to 90 litres per person. In 2004, beer consumption in Britain was 100 litres per person per year, Germans downed an average of 118 litres while the world's top beer drinking nation, the Czech Republic, managed 158 litres.

Poland’s wine consumption is only 5.6 litres per capita while France and Italy score between 50 – 70 litres per person.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Polish girls, unlike girls from Western countries,...

Polish girls, unlike girls from Western countries, are brought up in close-knit families where mutual love and respect are priorities. Therefore family life is very important for them. From the very beginning Polish girls are taught to care not only for their immediate family but their distant relatives as well. Girls are taught to respect their siblings as well as their elders. The girls are not supposed to be obnoxious, loud, or ill mannered. On the contrary, they are expected to be well behaved, disciplined, cheerful and calm. Since the divorce rate is very low among Polish families, the girls learn to be mature and efficient in running the household early on in their life. It is easy then for them to apply the practical knowledge they gained at their own home once they get married and start their own family.

Early on in their lives, girls in Poland are taught to clean, cook, knit, sew, and mend clothes. Girls are expected to help their mothers with the housework. Since many women in Poland work outside of home, young girls are often expected to even take over their mothers’ housework duties such as grocery shopping, cooking, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry. Girls are a big help especially with the preparation for large family gatherings where there are a lot of dishes going around and a lot of cleaning later. Girls are encouraged early on to learn family recipes so that later on they can pass on the tradition of excellent dishes once they start their own families.

Polish girls are brought up to have great respect for their culture and tradition. This education usually begins at home. The parents and grandparents make the girls aware of a sense of patriotism and loyalty to their own country. The girls are taught traditional Polish songs that carry the history of Poland in their lyrics. Schools take over the function of instilling culture and tradition into Polish girls. Every school proudly displays Polish national emblems and the flag. Polish traditions are especially respected during two major religious holidays: Easter and Christmas. During Easter, young Polish females help prepare the food basket whereas during Christmas they work hard on getting the holidays meals ready while listening and singing Polish carols.

Just like culture and tradition are instilled into young Polish ladies early on in their lives, so are religious principles. The majority of Polish people are Catholics and the upbringing of Polish girls is based on the principles of Catholicism. As children and teenagers, young Polish girls are expected to attend church every Sunday. One of the very important events in the religious life of Polish girls is the first communion that prepares the girls to enter into adult life while minding religious rules. As religion is a very important aspect in bringing up Polish teens, they wait before starting their sex life until they find the right person to get married to. This is not to say that they do not date. They do. Many of them will start dating in high school and college and end up marrying their high school or college sweethearts after they are finished with their education. Polish girls are not as liberated and modern as western women and they take their commitments very seriously.

Girls from Poland attend coeducational schools where they receive equal education to the one boys get. They are brought up not only to excel at all the subjects but also to be disciplined students. They are usually quiet and very well mannered. Their education is not only comprehensive but also very much in-depth. Girls study arts, sciences, and foreign languages, and practice sports. Apart from being enrolled in compulsory courses, Polish girls also take part in many extracurricular activities. Many of them are in school basketball team, sing in the choir, or play in the school band. After graduating from grade school, Polish girls strive for a better education by attending colleges and universities. They often pursue careers in education, nursing, medicine, and engineering.

As teenagers, Polish girls enjoy many of the same things that girls from other countries do. As teenagers, the girls are encouraged to pursue their hobbies. They like to listen to music, dance, play sports and watch movies. Many of the girls belong to clubs of interest where they can share their talents among teenagers with the same interests. They are often encouraged to play different instruments whether at school or at music school or enroll in ballet classes.

Polish girls are known for their beauty, grace and femininity. Their unusual beauty has been recognized in 1990 when Agnieszka Kreglewska became not only Miss Polonia but also Miss World. They pride themselves on their taste in clothes and fashion. The closeness of Poland to the capital of the world’s fashion - Paris - makes it easy for them to follow the newest trends in style.

The Engagement Ceremony

In Polish culture, weddings are preceded with engagement celebrations. Those are usually small parties held for the closest family members of the groom and the bride and are meant to get the two families meet and get to know each other better. In some cases, it is time when the parents-in-law meet for the very first time, so it is a show off time accompanied with fancy dinner, luscious desserts and a variety of non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks. The engagement dinner party pretty much means that both families accept the engagement.

In the past, the engagement ceremony was the time when the future bride received a ring from her beloved partner before the entire family gathering in a very official way, which resembled to some extent the wedding ceremony itself. In recent years, however, that official note has been largely abandoned and a ring is delivered when the future groom pops the question for the first time in a more private setting. The family gathering is just a nice way of informing the family members about the mutual decision once it has been made.

The Polish Wedding Ceremony

For many years, preparations for the Polish wedding ceremony and reception were largely concerned with finding a place for the wedding, organizing food, drinks, making guest-list and inviting people to the wedding. In some regions, especially in the countryside, the custom was to invite family, friends, and neighbors in person, so the future groom and bride would devote a lot of time to visiting people before the wedding day. In the modern day, although the tradition prevails in some places, open-minded Polish younger generations and celebrities copy the western examples and some Polish brides and Polish grooms like to hold bachelor and bachelorette parties shortly before the wedding day. Playing pool and throwing darts during the bachelor parties is not quite there yet on those occasions; nonetheless, socializing and too heavy drinking sound more like it. The bachelorette parties usually involve girlish gossip with closest friends. In the Western cultures, the bachelor and bachelorette party symbolize saying goodbye to the youthful carefree life on the threshold of serious family responsibilities.

During the communist ruling in Poland, each couple had to go through two wedding ceremonies: first the civil marriage at a local magistrate and then the religious vows in church. The reason for the double ceremony was the fact that the communist government did not accept the Roman Catholic Church weddings as legal despite the fact that well over 90% of Poles were Catholic, so both ceremonies had to be undertaken to make the marriage legal and righteous. Today, one wedding ceremony in Poland is sufficient. Couples that decide to have a religious marriage ceremony can head straight to their church, which passes the information over to the vital statistics registrar's office for legal registration. Polish men and women who feel liberated from religious concerns settle with a civil contract - as it is literally called. Churches announce the upcoming weddings three times a few weeks in advance. It is not to have more people attend, rather, it is meant to give everyone a notice about the upcoming marital union so that anyone who may know any reason that should prevent the marriage has time to come forward. In each church, there is a list of upcoming weddings posted by the entrance.

Catholic Church requires couples to attend classes preparing them to handle married life and to solve problems newly married couples may encounter once they become a marriage. It turns out that most marital conflicts are about money. Learning such things is valuable in overcoming potential break ups, which is extremely important to keep the marriage unbreakable, as the Catholic Church believes it should be. The Church allows Catholics to marry people of other faiths; still, such marriages are at the Catholic person's risk because while he or she is bound to the marital vows, the non-believer is not and free to leave anytime. The wedding ceremony itself is normally accompanied with a mass celebration at the heart of which are the vows and blessing of the marriage. While in the Western countries the vows are read by the pastor and the bride and the groom just confirm with a short "I do," in Poland both the bride and the groom have to repeat the whole pledge after the priest, so the priest in fact just leads the couple and witnesses their vows. It is the bride and the groom themselves who enter the marriage and make promises of love, faithfulness, marital honesty, and never leaving the spouse until death to each other.

Most Polish weddings take place on Saturdays and continue through Sundays. The marriage ceremony and wedding reception for all guests are held on Saturday, while a smaller, more private party for close friends and family is continued on Sunday. There are no weddings during the 40-day Lent before Easter and during the Advent before Christmas. Those periods of year are believed to be the time dedicated for penance and preparation for the most important Christian holidays, so there is not space for public celebrations and dancing parties. Interestingly enough, there are very few weddings in May as well. This is mostly due to superstition, as many people believe that persons who marry in May are not going to be happy and won’t live together long.

The wedding starts with the groom arriving to the house of the bride before they head to the church. His parents, godparents, closest family, and the best man accompany him. In the turmoil of last preparations, light snacks, for instance sandwiches, are served to the guests and sometimes a band cheers the crowd up with lively songs. Once the couple is ready, both parents give their blessings the kneeling couple and they all are off to church. Obviously, everyone wants to shine on that day, so the young couple rents or borrows a nice ride from a rental agency or family members if they do not own one. In some regions, decorated horse carriages are popular for such occasions. Depending on the families' budget and local traditions, the richly decorated parade to church can be quite a view especially if it involves regional costumes and horses adorned with white flowers and ribbons.

In the church, the bride and the groom walk up the aisle together preceded by their groomsmen and bridesmaids. The parents and other guests are usually already seated when the couple enters the church. Whether the ceremony takes place in church or at a local magistrate, there must be two witnesses of the marriage, who endorse the documents alongside of the bride and groom. During the religious ceremony, the traditional in the Western movies kiss basically does not exist. Civil ceremonies are less solemn and usually only the bride and groom, and the witnesses are allowed in the room, so whether they kiss or not, very much remains their private venture.

After the happy newlyweds exit the building, they are taken by storm with congratulations, best wishes, and flowers. Once every attending guest had kissed and hugged the couple, everyone is heading to the reception site, be it a restaurant, banquet hall, or one of the newlyweds house. On the way to the destination, a very popular custom is preparing by the wedding participants, although not necessarily, passing "gates" for the couple. To pass such gates, in most cases barricades on the road by objects or people, the newlyweds have to give out some food and vodka. The wedding reception starts once the married couple arrives and is traditionally welcome by the entrance with bread and salt. Bread and salt are the symbols of future prosperity so that the couple never goes about hungry in their lives. The wedding party lasts as long as the guests want to stay, in most cases overnight. Polish weddings are known for an unbelievable abundance of all kinds of foods and alcohol. In the past decades, Polish weddings were basically two-day feasts with dancing and games. In recent years, most people scale their budgeting and time, so the weddings start to resemble wedding receptions in the West with a nice dinner and a short duration.

Guests, who arrive from distant places, are usually welcome to stay at the newlyweds' parents or other family members' houses. Suggesting a stay at a hotel would be considered very impolite. So, no matter how crowded the houses get, it is all for the family relations benefit. After all, the saying goes: the more the merrier. Those guests, who have been invited but do not attend, are still expected to send a congratulation card, a present would also come to no surprise.

The oczepiny ceremony

The removal of the bridal veil, known as the oczepiny ceremony, is another traditional element of a Polish wedding day. The bride's veil will be removed as she enters the reception hall, signifying the end of her maidenhood and her transition to a married woman. A funny hat will be placed on the groom's head, representing the wish that the marriage will be full of happiness and laughter.

In Poland, weddings in the countryside are usually much bigger than weddings in the city. The reason for that is simple; in the countryside all people know each other, so most get invited to the wedding unless there is some conflict going on between the families. Thus, weddings in the country are longer and more extravagant because more people attend, and more guest return on the following day to celebrate, eat, drink, and dance some more.

A special moment on the first day of Polish wedding celebrations is when the Polish bride is taken the white veil off and an apron is wrapped around her waist. This symbolizes that she gives up her innocence and accepts her duties as a wife, a hostess, and a mother. Once this tradition is satisfied, the wedding guests give presents to the newlyweds. In most cases, those are congratulation card with money, but other useful household objects are also quite common. This may range from beddings, to dishes, to curtains, to household smaller appliances, etc. It is also common that a photographer and a cameraman record the best moments of the celebration so that the couple has great memories for the years to come.

Once the wedding is over and the couple arrives to their own house or apartment, the groom has to carry his bride over the threshold for the first time they enter the place after being married. This is to prove that he will always carry his treasured wife in his arms throughout their whole live together. In some cases, the family members play little tricks or tests on the newlyweds to see what kind of husband and wife they will be. For instance, there may be a seemingly forgotten broom on the floor by the entrance. If the new wife picks it up before moving on, she is believed to be a hard-working and carrying wife. Once the door closes behind the newly wedded couple, it is time to wait for another wedding when another couple decides to close their eyes and jump.



Anna Biela
Chicago IL

Which in large part was taken from http://www.polskiinternet.com/english/info/wedding.html

Miss Polonia 2006

Miss Polonia representing Poland in the Miss World Contest

Marzena Cieslik comes from the small, yet charming island of Wolin, located in the North of Poland. She is studying economics, and her ambition is to make a career in the media. Free time is generally an abstract concept to her, however her hobbies include music, film and literature. Paulo Caelho is her favourite writer, as she is really fond of his mysticism. She would not mind flying to Mars one day, right after realising a trip around the world. The Miss World Pageant seems like a good starting point! Her main dream, though, is a happy and healthy family. Hobbies: reading, going to the movies (she especially likes Woody Allen) and working out. Personal motto is “Tomorrow the sun will shine”.

See also Miss World 2006 Finals in Poland

Ewa Drives Traffic to polishtoledo.com

From time to time I check on the statistics regarding visitors to polishtoledo.com. No, I can’t tell who the visitors are or their street address, just the number of page hits, what country they're in, what type of browser they use, how they came to the website – example, if they used a search engine, what search words they inputted.

I was kinda surprised, but not shocked that out of the 1,000 or so people who came to polishtoledo.com so far this month through a search service about 580 entered the word, well actually the name Ewa Sonnet. So, half the people are searching for a particular and particularly buxom brunette Polish beauty.

I am familiar with this individual. I wanted to post a picture of her so you could see for yourself what all the hoopla was about. Gosh, that wasn’t too easy of a task. It’s kinda hard to find a good picture of Ewa with clothes on her body.

Since May of 2006 we’ve had her hit music video posted on polishtoledo.com. I can tell by the bandwidth that has been eaten up that a lot of folks are viewing it. But, while she may be Poland’s current rising pop music star – Ewa’s main vocation is – well, she models in her birth suit. I know this only because I was compelled to do thorough research for this report. And, it appears that the popularity and notoriety of her web site is changing perceptions all around the world that modern Polish women are world class sans the babushka.

Ewa was born on March 8, 1985 in Rybnik, Poland pop. 145,400, located in Slaskie prov., in the south of Poland. You’ll find it less than an hour west of Karkow . It is a railway junction and industrial center with industries manufacturing mining machinery, metal products, and chemicals. There are metal works and coalmines nearby. Originally a fish hatchery (established c.1100) noted for its carp, it was chartered in the 14th century. The town has a feudal castle and an 18th-century city hall.

Rybnik is made up of 27 districts, each of which has its own history; sometimes its cultural identity is unique. First and foremost is the fact that all of the people are inseparably connected with their small neighborhoods. They are the ones who shape their districts and who supplement one another.Visiting Rybnik’s districts, it is hard sometimes to believe that it is still the same town.

Everything you want to know about Ewa’s hometown can be found at:


Perhaps not absolutely everything – I couldn’t find what’s in the water there to produce women with such, mmm, charm. Maybe it’s the carp?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Hej diddle diddle

the cat played the fiddle - the COW jumped over the moon

A Polish woman who grew hemp to calm the nerves of her cow has been charged with cultivating a narcotic by police in the western town of Lobez.

The cow had been "skittish and unruly" - once breaking a person's arm - - until someone suggested mixing cannabis in with its feed, the woman told police.

"The cow became as calm as a lamb," the 55-year-old woman said, according to the PAP news agency.

The woman's plants, grown from seeds she bought at a market, reached nearly 3m tall and were extremely potent, police said.

Marijuana possession is a crime throughout Poland. The woman faces up to three years in jail if convicted.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Not a Polish Joke

This sounds like a Polish joke: How many chain gangs does it take to fill thousands of unfilled jobs in Poland though the unemployment rate is more than 15%?

Even though Polish unemployment is above 15%, employers are unable to find workers. So, Polish companies are now contacting Polish prisons to find workers.

The Polish economy in booming. Money is pouring in from the European Union. Foreign companies are investing in Poland and opening plants. But without workers, Poland will be seen as a grave investment mistake.

It seems that the main source of workers for some industries is now the Polish prisons.

One jail in Wadowice now has 12 gangs working all the time, and they are making new gangs as fast as they can. Most of the work is building work, some of it very skilled.

The convicts are happy to get cash and work experience and training that is useful when they get out of prison. It's the same all across Poland.

Polish emigration to the U.K. and a few other EU countries without work visa restrictions has been very high. The loss of talented workers has hurt many industries. There’s a labor shortage even with high unemployment figures.

There is a serious disconnect somewhere within the Polish labor market. Perhaps Polish prisons will issue a diploma for having successfully completed chain gang training.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Sexy to be Polish

The first female Euro-Hollywood crossover star that paved the way for screen actresses such as Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich was a fascinating Polish beauty by the name of Pola Negri, who incidentally has a star on Hollywood Boulevard. It is said often by cinema aficionados that she was born in Poland, "made" in Germany, stolen by Hollywood. She made her debut in pre-WWI Warsaw and soon found herself working with German directors. She arrived in Hollywood in 1923 taking America by storm.

Pola was born Apolonia Chalupiec on January 3rd, 1897 in Janowo, Poland (Russian partition). For PR purposes she claimed to be born on "the last day of the century," that is, December 31, 1899. She passed in San Antonio Texas in 1987 after contracting pneumonia.

Owing to her very feminine mystique, speaking five languages and with her passionate characters and her exotic good looks, Negri was linked romantically with the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Rudolph Valentino. A "vamp" by reputation, a tragedienne in practice, but a stunningly gifted actress in truth; besides trysts with Rod LaRoque and the aforementioned, she was wife to a count and a prince.

Often there was Hollywood gossip regarding Pola and Polish-American actress, Gloria Swanson. Actually they were friends. Occasionally the one would invite the other to a dinner party at the other’s house, which was customary at the time. If they did start avoiding each other (which apparently they did later on), it was to avoid further provoking the fabricated publicity that was flying about concerning their so-called “rivalry”. This ongoing bit of publicity whoredom stemmed from the fact that big-name drama queen Pola had just moved from Germany onto the Paramount lot, where Gloria was already the reigning dramatic star. The plot thickened, and the two stars were along for the ride whether they liked it or not.

Currently the New York Museum of Modern Art is hosting a film retrospective of this great actress who earned as much as $10,000 a week making silent films rising to be one of Americas biggest silent film stars ever.

The retrospective at MOMA opened with the premiere of Mariusz Kotowski’s documentary Life Is a Dream in Cinema: Pola Negri. It is a chronicle of the star’s life, with clips from rare films and interviews with friends, co-workers, and critics.

Preceding Pola to America by 40 plus years was stage actress extraordinaire Helena Modjeska who at a swank Manhattan gathering; after a request to perform a soliloquy of her choosing, brought the room of English speaking American blue-bloods to tears by simply reciting the Polish alphabet in a most dramatic fashion.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Best Bar in America is Polish

October is Polish-American Heritage month and it is fitting that the October 2006 issue of the sophisticated and highbrow magazine “Esquire” has placed a Polish-American bar on the pinnacle of being the best tavern in America. Condolences to the Irish.

According to the article by Chris Jones, the bar isn't the sort of place that charges an outrageous cover for people to stand around in black light pushing back shooters out of test tubes. It isn't a fight club or a meat market. There is no snobbery, and there is no tonic-water drinking. There are gimlets and manhattans, bottles of Zywiec, and a first-rate pissoir.

Besides the legendary piano/crooner Lou Snider who has no problem playing any request or handing over the microphone to a patron, you can also dance to the sounds of the "world’s most dangerous polka band" voted one of the top 5 house bands by "BillBoard" magazine.

The name of the place and location: Nye’s Polonaise in Minneapolis. Link to article:

Esquire Article

Link to Nye’s Polonaise Room:


Na Zdrowie

Monday, September 18, 2006

Polskie Radio

Polskie Radio External Service in English Language.

You can hear the latest news from Poland by clicking the link below.


Was Jack the Ripper a Polish Jew?

The case of “Jack the Ripper” is one of the biggest unsolved mysteries of all time, but London police now believe the name of the culprit could be that of Aaron Kosminski - a Polish born Jew who spent the last 28 years of his life in a lunatic asylum. Many of the suspects were Polish Jews living in London at the time of the murders in 1888.

Click link below for the news story from Radio Polonia:

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Miss World 2006 Finals in Poland

The 2006 Miss World Final will be held on Saturday 30th September live from Warsaw, Poland. It will be the most interactive Miss World ever. A combination of celebrity judges and a world wide vote will decide who is crowned the 56th Miss World.

Poland's entry in the worldwide competition is Miss Polonia.

The first Miss Polonia Beauty Competition was held in 1929 with Władysława Kostakówna, an office worker at MKO Bank in Warsaw, becoming the first Miss Polonia. The organizers of the event were three newspapers: Światowid, Express Poranny and Kuryer Czerwony, to which contenders for the title sent their photos.

The title Miss Polonia 1937 was won by Józefa Kaczmarkiewiczówna, which she held for 20 years because the next Miss Polonia competition was not held until 1957.

The Miss Polonia 1957 crown was won by Alicja Bobrowska, and in 1958 the jury awarded the title to Zuzanna Cembrowska.

After a 25-year break, Miss Polonia was reactivated in 1983. Since then, the competition has been held every year, and winners have the chance to take part in Miss World.

Beautiful Polish women succeeded five times during the 50 year old history of Miss World:

- Katarzyna Zawadzka, Miss Poland 85 won 8th place in Miss World Contest which took place in London
- Monika Nowosadko, Miss Poland 87 was the 2nd runner-up in Miss World Contest in the same year in London
- Aneta Kręglicka, Miss Poland 89 was the most beautiful women in the world and won the title of Miss World in Hong Kong
- Ewa Wachowicz, Miss Poland 92 was the 2nd runner-up in Miss World Contest in South Africa
- Katarzyna Borowicz, Miss Poland 04 was the 2nd runner-up in Miss World Contest in Sanya, China, additionally, she won the title of the European Queen of Beauty.

Poles in Modern Day Concentration Camps

According to the website of the Polish police, more than a hundred Poles lured to Italy by the promise of work have disappeared there. It is feared some were murdered while working like slave laborers in the tomato fields of Puglia.

In July Italian and Polish police seized 25 people after an inquiry revealed that thousands of Poles had been hired to work on farms that had been described by the chief organized crime prosecutor of Italy as "out and out concentration camps".

The Polish website Policja.pl is carrying the names of 123 people who have vanished over the past six years after saying they were going to Italy to work.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

To Have and Have Not - Poles in U.K.

When Poland joined the EU, Britain was one of only three countries in Europe to give migrants full work rights. It is estimated that close to a half million Poles have migrated to the U.K. in the past 3 years. In Poland, the perception is that Britain is a country of high wages and plentiful work.

Many Poles intend to work a few years in England, then return home with enough money to purchase a home or start a business.

Two weeks ago Jozef Bubak, a trained chef and family man, found himself sleeping on the streets. Just seven months earlier he had left his home in Poland determined to earn enough money to return to his wife and children and set up a family restaurant.

Instead of finding the opportunities that they heard of back home, thousands of Poles have ended up on the streets. One London council is so concerned by the increase that it has paid for more than 250 Poles to return home.

Alarmed by the increasingly common sight of homeless Poles in Britain and fearful that they will turn to drugs, prostitution and crime, the Polish Embassy last week invited a delegation to London to persuade their compatriots to return home.

A London homeless charity says an increasing number of men end up in modern slavery. More than 35% of the soup kitchen lines are comprised of Poles. They go to Britain without any money or contacts; they don't speak the language, yet they think Britain is going to be paradise.

With no support network, they fall into the hands of unscrupulous people who force them into slave labor: pay them a pittance and force them to live in poor-quality, overcrowded accommodation. Increasing numbers of Poles end up on the street after fleeing intolerable situations.

It’s impressive, the kindness of the British people towards the increasing number of Polish people holding “legal work documents” on their streets but they are prevented by law from helping them in the way they need to be helped, with places to sleep and money to set themselves up in situations where they have a chance of finding work. It is quite a different situation from the illegal aliens in America who burden social handout programs.

Barka Foundation, a U.K. based Polish charity, which helps homeless, and jobless people in London and the Polish consulate have urged people not to come to London unless they can support themselves. Charities have also offered Poles their fare home to stop them sleeping rough on the streets of London. But, there is not enough money to accommodate everyone.

Another problem is that once they are on the streets, many are too ashamed to go home to Poland. A way needs to be found to convince them to come back home with their dignity intact.

Despite his harsh experiences, for example, Bubak still hopes that his luck will improve. 'London is a city of so many opportunities that something good will have to happen eventually,' he insisted.

'Anyway, how can I go home? All my neighbors saw me leave and my family is relying on me. How can I go back and admit I have been homeless?' he said. 'I would rather stay here, sleep in the gutter and continue to hope and fight for work.'

For the more successful Poles in Britain, Britain's biggest supermarket chain started stocking imported Polish foods like pickled cabbage and vodka yesterday to cash in on a wave of workers from Poland since the country joined the EU.

Tesco PLC, the world's fourth-largest retailer, believes that satisfying Polish workers' cravings for sauerkraut soup and kielbasa is a moneymaker. A company spokeman said: "The type of items that Polish people miss the most and that are in greatest demand are comfort foods such as soup, pickled cabbage, and marshmallows covered with chocolate. We've had so much demand in the last six months for Polish foods that we spoke to the Polish community to find out the kinds of things that they missed the most from home. But there is also a big demand from the huge number of people born in Britain of Polish parents who want foods that will remind them of their Polish roots." Tesco sources the food from its stores in Poland and supplies come over every week.