A Chip Shop in Poznań (Paperback)
My Unlikely Year in Poland
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‘One of the funniest books of the year’ – Paul Ross, talkRADIO
WARNING: CONTAINS AN UNLIKELY IMMIGRANT, AN UNSUNG COUNTRY, A BUMPY ROMANCE, SEVERAL SHATTERED PRECONCEPTIONS, TRACES OF INSIGHT, A DOZEN NUNS AND A REFERENDUM.
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.
‘One of the funniest books of the year’
‘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.’
‘A clever, critical and witty travel book about Poland’
‘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.’
‘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.’