America, the promised land for all Poles. For more than a century, thousands emigrated from Poland to the U.S. in search of their American dream and sent their hard-earned dollars back home.
The greenback seemed like god. Especially during the second half of the 20th century, one U.S. dollar bought an amazing lot in Poland where the average pay at times was a mere $20 per month.
Two or three decades ago, you could buy an apartment in Warsaw for $5,000 — roughly the amount a Manhattan cleaning lady from Poland can save within several months! (Today, you could buy no more than a square meter for it.)
Landline phones worked in the U.S., while in Poland you had to wait for 20 years to get installed. Cable television gave you dozens of channels to choose from, while in Poland two state-owned channels would only rarely show production from the First World. Blake Carrington even had a mobile phone in his limo! Wow, America was the paradise on earth indeed.
Notwithstanding that in 2010 you can get a mobile phone in Poland within minutes and it costs next to nothing, that there are hundreds of TV channels in Polish, and the U.S. dollar no longer buys all that much, some people still nurture the image of America that they created in their hearts some time during the last century.
Here’s the latest example, from conservative daily Rzeczpospolita, which writes on its blog today: