A danger with living abroad too long – and one I have failed to avoid – is to start thinking the second country, in my case Poland, is uniquely rubbish. A return to the mothership reassures you that it’s not just Poland – everything is shit.
I had thought, for example, that Polish advertisers were particularly egregious (“Annual percentage rate 0 – 15%”) but not a bit of it. (I should, in any case, have realised they hadn’t thought up their lies on their own, without guidance from their Western masters.) Take this stunningly generous special offer from an Irish mobile phone company: free calls and texts – for life! Written immediately below the headline offer, and not even hidden in small print, are words to the effect that you have to top up your account by 20 euros a month. On a second glance I noticed that the “free” calls can be made only to other customers of the same company.
As usual, the Simpsons put it more pithily: Homer dons his freshly fabric-softened cap and says “I really can feel three different kinds of freshness.”