Expat Confidential Expat Confidential

Our earwigging bar spy returns with more tall tales of expat woe overheard in the bars and clubs of the capital city…

“Years ago I was working for a five star hotel in Warsaw – one of the big, famous chains. We’d decided to upgrade the TVs from the big boxy ones you used to get to the plasma screens that had just come on the market. Anyway, one day this truck pulls up and a couple of guys with overalls and clipboards get out and explain they’re here to collect the old TVs. We let them get on with it, and then at the end of the day, with over 200 TVs packed into their lorry, they say cheers and that they’ll be back tomorrow with the new ones. We’re getting impatient for them to turn up the next day so ring up the firm and say, ‘hey, what’s up, where are you’. ‘Check your records,’ they reply, ‘we’re not due till the weekend’. Slowly, it dawns on us we’ve been scammed by a proper operation that’d had an inside tip.”

“Got invited to a fancy dress party last Christmas in Poznań. Decided, rather than a hotel, I’d get one of these private hire apartments – it was great: lovely views of the Rynek and everything else you’d want. So I go off in the night dressed as a Mexican bandit and have a brilliant night out. Get back to the flat but can’t open the main door on street level – it won’t budge. So there I am dressed in a poncho and sombrero while snow forms in great big heaps around me. Eventually, I’m hit by a brainwave: call the owner. I give him a right ear bashing – what sort of plonker rents a flat that you can’t get into, etc. – to which he answers in a gentle voice, ‘have you tried pulling the door, not pushing?’ I go bonkers at this, and start effing and blinding at his patronizing tone. Only then do I realize, oh, yeah, the door does pull open.”

“I got home after a heavy night only to realize I’d lost my keys. Damn. Anyway, I live on the ground floor of one of these posh new developments in Mokotów so went round the back and saw I’d left a window wide open. Great. I scale the fence, commando style, and pop through the window, creep through the flat careful not to wake up the wife. I tiptoe into the spare room relieved I’ve finally made it in only to realize there’s bloody Spiderman posters on the walls – oh God, I realize, I’ve climbed into next door’s flat and am in their boy’s room. Blimey, I was out faster than a greased weasel. They don’t have a clue, thankfully.” 

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