I live in Mokotow, one of the more prosperous quarters of Warsaw. I live in a pre-war block of flats which recently has been clad in polystyrene, painted a pinkish shade of terracotta and pillow and generally cleaned up. A diminishing percentage of the residents are dedicated alcoholics but a growing number of the young men are clean cut, sober types who work for private security companies. 30% of the flats are privately owned, the remainder are still awaiting privatisation from the city.
I am on good terms with most of my neighbours though this has not prevented my bicycles from being stolen on four occasions nor my car tyres slashed ten times. Living here has its costs.
None the less, close the Warsaw Business School, the self-proclaimed best school in Poland, with the proximity of the park and tree lined streets, Mokotow is not bad to live in unless you have to deal with the bureaucracy.
“But you have not lived here for 18 months,” said the woman behind the desk. “Yes, I have.” “No. Your card expired 18 months ago!” “So, if I have not been living here, why have I been paying local taxes? Eh?” Got you.
She realised the game was up. And, if you don’t bother to check whether foreigners are resident or not, why are we even bothering to go through this process? Let’s save money and close the whole thing down.
Possibly reading my thoughts, she left the room.