Reverse-Plumbing Poland?

Well, its the weekend, and even if domestic commitments keep me away from the beach, perhaps a lighter note is in order. The press have gotten hold of the Polish ‘anti-plummer’:

He is blond, strapping and sexy. He holds the tools of his trade in a suggestive pose. But the news for the French people is that if they want to see the Polish plumber they will have to travel to Poland….

The Polish tourist agency in Paris has now tried to put the myth to bed through a tongue-in-cheek advert on its website aimed at encouraging the French to visit Poland. “Welcome to Poland”, the homepage says beside a picture of the Polish hunk, clad in green overalls and a white T-shirt.

Of course, as was to be expected, and to add insult to injury Polish plumbers are turning out to be highly popular in the UK, providing a much needed filling for a long standing gap in the local labour market. Have you tried getting hold of a plumber lately?

Incidentally, those domestic commitments involve painting and decorating. The people doing the more substantial works, well there was one from Argentina, two from Ecuador, one from Columbia, but no-one from Poland. Somehow reading the ‘Welcome to Poland’ blurb I felt cheated.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

4 thoughts on “Reverse-Plumbing Poland?

  1. I wonder why the tagline is ‘Venez nombreux’ rather than ‘Venez nombreuses.’ Do they expect this campaign to appeal to *male* French tourists too? Poland does not strike me as being a particularly gay-friendly country.

  2. Poland is not a gay-friendly country. Too Catholic.

    Btw, if all Polish plumbers were that *ahem* sexy (or, at least, clean) Polish women would be marrying them in droves. Nope, your average Polish plumber looks no different from the UK plumber.

  3. “Poland does not strike me as being a particularly gay-friendly country.”

    Hi Kinuk :).

    No I have the impression it isn’t. I recently put a post on my own blog about this:

    http://bonoboathome.blogspot.com/2005/06/gay-pride-in-poland.html

    and since, if I understood correctly, the ‘twin’ who may be your next president is the same Warsaw Mayor Lech Kaczynski who banned the gay pride march it doesn’t look like things are going to get any better.

    /poland_lookalike_leaders/nc:732;_ylt=AuPE8fDsLJADFjFV9Ae3.V90bBAF;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

    Btw vaara, going back to Spain for a moment, representatives of the PP’s gay section met with Zaplana on Friday, possibly with a list of ‘names’. This isn’t a gossip column, so I’m not going to mention any, but ask yourself which prominent PP leader was absent from yesterday’s demonstration. The rumours have been very strong and very persistent for a long time now.

  4. God, stereotypes are virulent and hardy. The Polish plumber has been a cliche in the US as long as I remember. Now, under entirely different conditions, we see it in a new environment.

    By home-town plumber, Lawrence Benedict, was a Czech though, shooting that stereotype out of the water.

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