Author Archives: Frank Fisher

About Frank Fisher

Canadian author of YA and contemporary fiction.

Weekend Writing Warriors – Sibling Revenge!

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Hello and Dzien dobry! as they say in here in Poland! Thanks for visiting my blog. The weekly blog hop is hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Click on the link for participating guidelines and the official list of Writing Warriors.

I present an excerpt from Love Conquers, my YA WIP. This snippet picks up several lines from the previous one. Having been summoned to the kitchen by her dad, Melissa walks and lets her sister have it for sneaking into her room and teasing her. It’s what she did in the last snippet I shared. Creative punctuation has been used to fit the 10-sentence limit, and is in Melissa’s POV:

Ashley and my dad turn to me as I enter the kitchen. Ashley is perched on the kitchen island, swinging her legs, and thumbs working away on her smartphone. 

I slam a balled fist into her arm as I pass her as she flashes me a smug-filled smile.

“Ow, what the fuck was that for?!”

“Melissa, what on earth has gotten into you?” Dad demands, jerking his coffee mug.

“She snuck into my room while I was sleepin’ scared the shit outta me,” I protest, pointing to the cause of my morning misery. “That’s the third time this week! Tell her to stop!”

His eyes shoot over to my little sister. “Ashley, did you tease your sister, again?”

Typical sibling rivalry! For those of you who’ve been in Dad’s situation, you can appreciate and understand! Your thoughts and feedback are most welcome! I’m visiting a mutual friend in Warsaw today, so I won’t be able to respond to comments until later.

On a personal note, I have been settling into my new life in Poland. It’s been a learning curve adjusting to a new culture, language as well as the new job! I have to admit it has been very stressful and challenging, but overall I am enjoying being abroad and glad I took this plunge. I’ve always wanted to teach abroad, and now I’m doing it!

Have a good weekend! Do widzenia!

#8Sunday

Categories: Weekend Writing Warriors | Tags: , , , , , ,

Polish 101

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Hi! Thanks for visiting! As I am living in Poland, I’ve been teaching myself some Polish phrases. I use Duolingo to learn Polish everyday. It isn’t much, but it’s five minutes of learning and recycling new words. With my teaching schedule, I don’t have enough time to take language classes. But with constant exposure to the language, greeting my coworkers in Polish, as well as watching Polish TV, I’m learning and retaining new words all the time!

What does Polish look like? I would say it is similar to Russian since it is a Slavic language. It does require a learning curve and many Poles are aware of this. Here’s a crash course in Polish:

Dzień dobry (jEN dobree) – Good morning, good afternoon

Dziękuję (jEn-koo-yeh) – thank you

Dobry wieczór – good evening

Dobranoc – good night

Tak – yes

Nie – no

mleko – milk

chleb – bread

jablko – apple

kawa – coffee

piwo – beer

jeden (yeden) – one

dwa (dva) – two

trzy (tshi) – three

cztery (chteri) – four

pięć (p-yENch) – five

Pronunciation is harder than you think. Thankfully, Duolingo shows you how words are pronounced by native speakers. I’m inclined when it comes to learning languages; I speak Spanish and some German and French.

When Polish becomes tricky, I simple say “Nie mowię po polsku” (I don’t speak Polish). Poles really appreciate it when you try to speak their language, knowing very well it’s not the easiest language to learn. Luckily, when I go to Warsaw or Krakow, English is widely understood and spoken.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Like what you see? Know someone who is going to Poland soon? Share this post with your poison of choice!

Categories: Life in Poland | Tags: , , , ,

My First Month in Poland

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So as many of you know, I recently moved to Poland to teach English. It was a job I accepted many months ago, but if someone had told me a year ago today that I’d be teaching in Poland, I wouldn’t have believed it. I had always envisioned myself teaching in southern Europe, China or Mexico. However, now that I’ve been teaching nearly a month, I find the Polish context to be rewarding and challenging. I teach children, teenagers and adults, and because I haven’t taught kids before, this adds to the challenge.

I live in a small city near Warsaw off the tourist path, which many consider to be traditionally Polish. The language barrier can be an issue, but I feel as if I’m getting to know the real Poland. Because it is small, I don’t have to deal with long commutes to work everyday. Interesting fact about the city: it has a few McDonalds but there’s not a single Starbucks!

During my first month here, I’ve taken note of a few things I’ve noticed about the culture:

  • shopping at the local supermarkets can be challenging, especially at the big chains. Aisles are often crowded, and if you want something from the deli counter, be prepared for long lines. In Poland, supermarkets are closed on two Sundays of each month, so grocery shopping on Saturdays can be particularly challenging. I’ve found it’s best to get groceries before or after work.
  • highways in Poland aren’t what they are in North America; they are more like country roads, so a 60-mile journey often can take two hours!
  • public schools are referred to as numbers, rather than names. In other words, a student will often say they go to School Number 39.
  • Men will often come out on their balconies shamelessly in their underwear. Not a pretty sight for me as my apartment faces an eleven-storey block apartment, where this often is the case. Luckily the colder weather is settling in.
  • older women will often try and bud you in the line at the grocery store. They seem to resent the shift from tradition as well as the presence of foreigners in their country.
  • bookstores and small shops are open from ten in the morning until three in the afternoon on Saturdays in the city I live in. If you like hanging around a bookstore late in the evening, this can be frustrating.

As challenging as these things can be, I am enjoying the experience so far. I’ve always wanted to live and teach abroad, and now I’m doing it. When you live abroad, there are always challenges. I’m glad I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and embarked on this life-changing journey.

Thanks for reading this post!

Categories: Life in Poland | Tags: , , ,

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