Friday, 31 October 2008

Scenes from the suburbs

Stopping on the way home to top up the Yaris and give it a clean, I pondered on the role of the petrol station (gas station to my American readers) in Poland's suburban life. Once, petrol station mean a smelly state-owned CPN with rusty pumps, long queues, coupons and surly staff.

Today there is Choice. Petrol stations act as 24hr supermarkets, all-night cafes, places where wine and cut flowers can be obtained en route to guests, where the grit, grime, salt and mud can be washed off your car - and where you can buy petrol in a wide variety of flavours (though no longer in 74 Octane).

I like BP. Indeed I only tank up at BP - my loyalty card sees to that. BP stations tend to be clean and modern (though not all - some are franchises) though staff training could be a little better, especially in Warsaw.

Yesterday was amazing. Temperature hit +19.8C in the afternoon. Is this global warming? We've not had the First Frost yet (last year it was on 16 October).

This time last year
Amazing photo of Red Arrows aerobatic team


Marcyś said...

- Is this global warming?

- No it isn't. It is wind called "halny", straight from Tatra mountains.

Unknown said...

As an American, I couldn't believe it when, upon leaving Warsaw, our driver pulled into a BP station with a McDonalds attached. To top that off, I think there was a Ford Dealership across the road! "Are you sure we've left Illinois?", I asked our driver. It was a useless question, as he didn't speak English. I had no idea there were so many American influences in Poland. I discussed this with a traveling companion as we sipped Coca Cola Light (which isn't quite the same as a Diet Coke in the U.S., but it's darn close). He works for Ford, and said that they are actually doing better with sales in Poland than they are in the U.S. right now. Crazy.

Michael Dembinski said...

Robin - you're not alone in seeing the physical similarities between Poland and the USA! And yes, car sales in Poland are (well currently at least) at a record high.