Being out of Poland for so long I notice the smallest oddities here. For example eggs here are sold in a box of 10, not the usual bakers dozen. A pack of Coke or Pepsi has 8 cans, not 6 or 12. Beer is usually sold in a pack of 4 tall cans, no small beer cans to be found here. Beer is also usually packed in special “bonus” packs like buy 8 and get 2 free, but it’s all packaged in one 10 can pack.

I also found out that I almost blew it big time with my car insurance. I didn’t know that I had to insure the car the day I had it registered. My 4Runner has been parked for about a month now not moving. Assuming that a car parked on my yard can sit there for as long as I want uninsured was wrong. Every registered car in Poland must have insurance. Even if it serves as a flower pot in your front yard, it needs to be insured if it has a registration plate. But what if I want to unregister the car, can the car then sit on my yard uninsured? NO! Because the only way to unregister a car is to sell it, or junk it, and in either case you need to show proof that the car is no longer in your possession. And penalty for not having insurance date match the registration date…$700 dollars! This doesn’t apply to me as I did everything right, but comparing this to Los Angeles where I could pay $15 bucks to have my car listed as nonoperational and not have it insured at all, it just bugs me.

What doesn’t bug me is an annual check every car must go through to be allowed on the road. The California smog check is a joke in comparison. In Poland, every car must pass a series of tests, smog check being just one of them. Brakes must stop the car, lights must match and be aligned correctly, tires must have even tread, not be too bald, and must be the same model all around. Noise pollution, fluid levels, all around condition of the car, any blinking control lights… it’s all checked here. And any one thing is wrong and you don’t pass. This sort of a check would automatically reduce L.A. traffic by 50%. The sad truth is that roads here are in such a poor shape they require the car to be in pristine condition to safely drive from A to B.  At the same time the poor surface of the roads makes the car wear faster which explains why most everyone here changes cars like a pair of gloves. A 5 year old car is seen as ‘heavily used’. My 19 year old BMW is antique!