Adam Piekarski, 42, runs the Polish offices of ExecutiveSurf and has lived in Poland, since the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. He is originally from Littleborough in England.
Poland has an interesting past. As it moves forward, what should Poland and Polish people not forget about?
Their vision of the future. They’re too heavily anchored in their past.
Do they have a vision for the future?
They are better off than in the past, but perhaps they do not have a common vision. Poles as individuals are useless at compromising and drag each other down to the lowest common denominator, they envy others for being above them instead of rising to the challenge. When they’re facing hardship together you’d be hard pushed to find a prouder and more single minded nation. Put the two together and you have a real challenge. Maybe they’re so used to hardship and a good old struggle they fail to pick up on the good things in life. Poles do not relish each others’ success; you know the old adage ‘Success has many fathers, failure has none.’
I think they need to develop a strategy. Too much is done on a whim. Before, you did not rely on yourself, there was either food in the shops or there wasn’t. They have little faith in the system and try to outsmart it, whether it’s business, government or any combination of the two.
OK it may have been hard for them in the past; but it’s enough to be aware of that, focus on the future and move on. “Grow up” I think is the phrase that springs to mind.
Who do you consider to be the most influential Pole of all time?
Well, it depends on your perspective. From football, I’d go for Jan Tomaszewski, the goalkeeper who stopped England, in 1974, but my other choice would be a bit more leftfield.
In 1943, General Sikorski died, when his plane crashed near Gibraltar, seconds after taking off for England. He had previously been Polish prime minister and conspiracy theories abound…
Had he survived, he could have been the most important Pole of all time. Poland had been hugely successful before the war, with its own stock market, fantastic engineers and writers. Poland had a great intelligentsia, represented by Sikorski. They did not get the stock market back for over 40 years.
If he had not died, if war and subsequent communist rule had not decimated the intelligentsia of Poland, he could have been their granddad, a genuine, passionate leader.
What defines Poland around the world?
I think ,and I’m not 100% sure, six out of 15 of the world’s top models are from Poland. Their women are the prettiest in Europe.
Their beer and crap cars.
Tyskie beer is the best, but it is now South African owned and globally commercialised beer on that scale can never be as good.
Jeremy Clarkson said about the Polenz, “It’s the only car which has equal oversteer and understeer at the same time.”
Have a look at his review at :
What is your view on the migration of Polish workers?
Well, airline statistics tell us the trend is still that more people are leaving than returning. Some are coming back and if you think about it, it makes sense. People work abroad for about three years to pay off a loan or set up a nest egg.
The strength of the zloty and the Poles’ keenness to travel means they often become involved in grey economies. Migrant workers take risks. What’s the worst that can happen? You get deported and save an airfare?
A lot of them came from small towns and when they return, they find it difficult to settle back. They want bigger cities and move within Poland, other countries closer to home like Norway and Holland are benefiting from their need to find bigger and better.
Have you seen seen Londynczycy, the new Polish soap opera from TVP1?
No I haven’t, but I was actually asked to be an extra in it and a friend of mine has a role . Do you want his contact details?