How long have you been living in Russia?
I grew up in Poland, in the beautiful city Gdynia. My parents got divorced, and in 2001 I moved to Russia with mother (my father is Polish, my mother â Russian). I went to the Polish school, which was attached to the Polish embassy. Then I got enrolled in MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations), which is one of the best universities in Russia. I graduated from MGIMO in 2012 and then took a year off. Completely out of the blue, I got a phone call from the HR department of the Russian branch of LPP S.A., Polandâs leading fashion retailer. They needed a translator for two weeks, and I ended up almost moving in! I have been here ever since.
In September of last year I started a postgraduate course at the Diplomatic Academy, and decided to study International Security. I study part-time, in the evenings, so I am kind of busy, as I work from 10 am to 6 pm, then attend lectures from 7 pm until 10 pm, 4 days a week. But I really enjoy it. I think that itâs important to live not only your work, but also widen horizons and meet new interesting people. Even after lessons, I donât always go home, but meet my friends and have fun. In Moscow you donât have a problem with what to do in the evenings. I like this crazy rhythm of life; I feel that I am living.
Do you consider yourself to be Russian or Polish?
I love Poland, and Moscow, but of course Iâm Polish and my heart belongs to Poland. Although Poles and Russians share the same Slavic culture, I was brought up in a Polish home, and of course this is different from growing up in Russia. I didnât speak Russian, for example, until I came to study here. At MGIMO I studied as a Polish student, and identified with the other international students.
Do you have more Russian than Polish friends?
Most of my friends are Polish and I am friends with other foreigners who I studied with at university. I carried on my friendship with them after graduating, and I meet up with them at various social events. Also I help organize the Polish Social Club â for Poles in Moscow. This club has been operating for many years now, and itâs really useful, especially for people who just arrive here; they have a thousand practical questions, like how and where to arrange childcare etc.
Are you going home when you finish your studies?
Going home wouldnât be the best decision to take right now. Moscow is a place of great opportunities. Also, I really enjoyed my work â the promotion of our brands in social media its perfect work for me â I like spending time on the Internet and its great as they pay me money for that. I think that if I get bored it will not be difficult finding a new job here. I really love my motherland, but I have a feeling that all talented and intelligent people moved abroad. When I come to Poland to visit my family I start getting bored after less a week. People in Poland have fun in a different way than in Moscow â they prefer home parties, they are much more calm than young Muscovites. As I have just said; there are great opportunities, a lot of job offers, like nowhere else I think.
More opportunities than in Warsaw?
Yes of course, many more. But I see two types of Poles here â first, people from small Polish cities, who do not feel so good in this big megapolis which is Moscow. Second, ambitions people who are not afraid of anything, and they are successful. Moscow is a perfect place for working, for partying, for having fun. Where in the world can you gather together a group of friends at very short notice, go to a bar and have a really good talk. And you can do this every evening, if you have time, not to mention the weekends. Bachelorette party on Thursday? Its not a challenge for Moscow, you can arrange it in a few minutes and it will be legendary. Only in Moscow. Of course you should remember that if you want to live this kind of life in Moscow, you should get used to spend a lot of money easily. The city has changed a lot over the time I have lived here, basically itâs got a lot better; there are now hundreds of places to go.
So right now, I donât really want to leave Moscow at all. Maybe in 10 years or so, when I want to have a family, when different priorities appear, then I will go back home, but not right now. The ecology in Moscow is not so good, so maybe when that time comes, I will go home. But for young people, Moscow is the place to be!