Being economical is a good trait in Poland

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The Prime Minister’s daughter publicly prides herself on buying clothes on sales and groceries at the open air market.  The late President took sandwiches in a plastic bag on a diplomatic visit while his brother lived with his mother. An average Polish retired person devotes extra time to go to a different store to save 50 groszy on a product.

For Middle Class Turkish society it seems being economical is nothing to pride themselves on. Or so they want us to believe. Having cleaning ladies, nannies, expensive cars and clothes doesn’t actually say “look how good I am at saving” but rather “look, I work hard and I can afford it”.

If you don’t go for looks or cars, it is important that your kids go to good (or best) schools and that you know you are paying money for good quality.  You have a good job, you come back late but you can afford this lifestyle.

But is it actually bad?

It shows you are successful.

It shows you are cool.

It shows you are modern.

But… it shows you are better than others. Than those less fortunate. Less bright. Worse educated.

In Poland even if you are successful you don’t boast about. Those who boast usually have nothing to boast about. You say you bought this and this at sale or you managed to negotiate a discount. You got it on Allegro (Polish version of eBay). From a friend. Whatever but not that you spent a lot of money on it.

If you did, you are a loser and you got yourself cheated.

The Turkish seem to appreciate success more. And are not shy to show it or feel guilty about it.

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