A Chip Shop in Poznań (eBook)

My Unlikely Year in Poland

Ben Aitken

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‘One of the funniest books of the year’ – Paul Ross, talkRADIO


Not many Brits move to Poland to work in a fish and chip shop.
Fewer still come back wanting to be a Member of the European Parliament. 
In 2016 Ben Aitken moved to Poland while he still could. It wasn’t love that took him but curiosity: he wanted to know what the Poles in the UK had left behind. He flew to a place he’d never heard of and then accepted a job in a chip shop on the minimum wage.
When he wasn’t peeling potatoes he was on the road scratching the country’s surface: he milked cows with a Eurosceptic farmer; missed the bus to Auschwitz; spent Christmas with complete strangers and went to Gdańsk to learn how communism got the chop. By the year’s end he had a better sense of what the Poles had turned their backs on – southern mountains, northern beaches, dumplings! – and an uncanny ability to bone cod.
This is a candid, funny and offbeat tale of a year as an unlikely immigrant.

Ben Aitken was born under Thatcher, grew to 6ft then stopped, and is an Aquarius. He is the author of Dear Bill Bryson: Footnotes from a Small Island (2015), which was featured in the Guardian, The Times and on BBC Radio, and described by the Manchester Review as a ‘poignant comment on the state of the nation’ and a ‘highly accomplished homage’. In 2016 Aitken moved to Poland to work in a fish and chip shop. This book is the fruit of that unlikely migration.

‘One of the funniest books of the year’Paul Ross, talkRADIO
‘A fascinating insight … Poland is a zone that has largely been ignored by talented travel writers [and this] is therefore a welcome addition. A captivating and entertaining account.’The First News (Poland)
‘A clever, critical and witty travel book about Poland’Polish Cultural Institute
‘A fascinating book […] We should know more than we do about Poland, a nation with which we have had centuries of interaction. Ben Aitken’s excellent book is probably the best place to start.’The New European
‘Adeptly balances personal ruminations on love, attraction, and friendship, with cultural evaluations that subvert British stereotypes of Polish citizens […] An engaging romp through Polish culture, with a resonant political message of the importance of interacting with other cultures and preserving our ties with Europe.’The London Magazine