When you rent an apartment (a flat for my European friends) for a short time – you normally want to find a furnished apartment. However, a sofa and a chair is not enough and you might end up buying a few things.
The Warsaw flat that I rented for a few months had most things: a bed (actually a sofa), a table, chairs, stove-top, fridge and even a washing machine. Quite a few plates, small coffee cups, a pot, spoons and forks were here as well. However – there was no frying pan. Sure, boiled is good but at some point you get fed up of boiled. Making a good sauce of some sort requires a frying pan. Making eggs in the morning requires a pan. Making pancakes requires a pan. I also needed a frying pan to cook some sausages – I am in Poland after all.
As I mentioned a few lines earlier, there was a stove top but not an oven, so oven-made food was also out of the question. At this moment I am starting to realize how much I miss oven-cooked food!
The Hunt For The Pan
Well, a frying pan was a must. I headed to a small supermarket nearby to only find out that most pans cost 150-200zt ($50-70). Quite too much for a pan that would only be used for a few months then left behind. A flea-market came to mind. There must be some people selling cheaper things, right?
Next day my girlfriend and I headed to a small flea-market but didn’t see any kitchen supplies… until the last moment. I spotted an older man sitting on an empty plastic beer crate, selling a single frying pan. We approached him:
– Ile to kosztuje?
– 70 złoty
– Nie, nie, nie…
We smiled and walked away. Then man then screamed at us: Ok, 60! – but we kept on walking. As we turned around the corner , the “salesman” actually chased us and offered that pan for 45 złoty. We showed him 30 zloty in bills and 2 zloty in coins, of course he accepted. On the way home I was proud of finding such bargain; 32 zloty is about $10 and it’s 5-6 times less than in a shop!
And What’s The Scam?
Finally I was able to make some real Polish sausages. I washed the pan very thoroughly before using it and put it on the stove. While cooking the sausages I was very surprised by the amount of smoke. When the food was ready I was even more surprised that the inside of the pan looked badly burned. I was even more surprised when I washed that pan and every drop of water turned into a rusty trace while the pan was drying. Yep, a real bargain. Should I say that I haven’t touched that pan after that?
Fortunately it only cost $10. I tried to imagine a reason for this pan’s existence (ex: it must be some special pan for some very specific cooking) but I knew I was fooling myself. It was just a very low quality cheap pan that was probably found in some warehouse abandoned by the Russian communists in the 80’s.
The New Frying Pan
A few days later I ended up at Carrefour supermarket. This is where I saw frying pans at 20-30-40-100 zloty. They also sell pots and pans by weight! For about 3 zloty you can get 100 grams worth of pans/pots. How cool is that? Finally less than 30 zt I walked away with a good non-stick frying pan.
So there you go. If you need to buy any home supplies in Poland, go to a big super market. Chances are they are offering the best products for your dollar… or zloty.
Anything to add? Don’t be shy, comment below!