On photography, food and Exeter. From Poland with love – Introducing: Bart Sadecky
I first discovered Bart Sadecky on Instagram where he shares colourful, creative shots of the city, and funny Monty Python-esque videos about what it’s like to be a Polish person living and working in the UK. Bart has been creating a bit of a stir on the ‘Gram with his Go-Pro and iPhone photography, one of his images was even featured on the cover of Exeter Living magazine! I started chatting to him online and asked him to share his experience of living in our beautiful city…
Bart: It was always my dream to learn English when I was younger, as I only learned German during primary school. After that, I wanted to move into English speaking country – I don’t know why – but I’ve never imagined my adult life in Poland.
My name is Bart, and I am originally from Poland, but here in Exeter, I feel like I found my place on Earth.
Moving into another country is always very challenging. You can always mentally prepare for it and do some research, but in fact, you really start to learn about the place when you actually get there.
Scotland’s weather doesn’t cut it
My first choice was Edinburgh, but after a few months, I’ve realised that Scotland is definitely not for me. I love the sun and watching the sunsets, but it’s not very possible there because of the constant rain and windy climate. So, after a few months, I got the chance to move to Exeter, and after some research, I thought that Devon could be the perfect place for me – the weather is MUCH better!
There’re always lots of positives and negatives about living on different continents, countries or cities. Exeter is not an exception.
After a few days of moving here, I realised that Exeter is not a big city like Bristol or Edinburgh and I found this to be a very positive aspect of living here. I am from a tiny town in Poland, and I am not used to the loudness of big cities. That’s why I’m pleased about the fact that there is plenty of countryside surrounding Exeter, where I really enjoy spending my free time.
Travelling around is easy
It is straightforward to travel in Exeter, there are many bus services, so you can quickly get from one side of town to another, and it doesn’t take longer than 30 mins – 45 mins. Since I own a car, travelling for me is even easier. I like the fact that bigger cities like London, Bristol or Manchester are easily accessible from Exeter. It’s only two hours of travel from Exeter to Bristol Airport, where I usually fly to Poland from – I would love it if Exeter Airport started providing flights to Poland!
I love to spend time outdoors; Devon is just a paradise to me. Every time I go to Dartmoor or Exmoor, I just feel at home, as the scenery looks very much like my hometown, surrounded by forest, hills and beautiful sightseeing.
Living around ten minutes from the beach now is what I would call a ‘blessing’. I love water; I love to swim and spend time on the beach. When I was growing up, we could only enjoy the beach in the summer. It was a 10-hour drive from my hometown, so now I appreciate every minute I spend on the beach, and watching the beautiful sunsets.
I work as a chef, so food is my passion. In Exeter, we have lots of great restaurants and places where you can have a lovely meal. There are lots of international cuisines (Indian, Chinese, American or Italian). But, I think we need one decent Polish restaurant. We have around 10.000 Polish people living in Exeter, and I know they would really appreciate that. From my experience, people are a bit scared of new flavours, but once they try something new, and they think it is good, they’re very happy to try it again. Many of my British friends had never tried Polish food before they met me, but once they tasted Polish sausage, pierogi, or other Polish dishes, they fell in love with it. Some of my friends have started to do some small shopping in Polish shops from time to time, and I give them some Polish snacks or sweets as a gift.
Buying Polish products in Exeter is easy. You can get Polish meats, cheeses, and spices from every big supermarket. There are also four Polish shops in Exeter, a home-from-home for some Polish people when they first get here and feel a little homesick.
Talking about Polish people and culture, I think Polish people could be recognised more. For example; every November, there is a ceremony in Exeter, where you can see the Polish flag at Exeter Guildhall. I always feel very proud of all the Polish soldiers who lost their lives to protect Exeter when it was bombed during WWII, in the times where their own country was in massive danger. So that’s what I sometimes think when walking near the city council, that it would be nice to see Polish flag hanging with Russian, French, Italian and German flags.
Homelessness in Exeter saddens me
What makes me very sad in Exeter is seeing so many homeless people sleeping on the High Street. Because I’m from a small town, I’ve never really experienced seeing someone sleeping outside a closed store, covered with cardboard boxes. I know there’re many shelters in the city that support homeless people, but the number of people on the street worries me. Also, the traffic in Exeter can be a nightmare at around 9 a.m. and between 3-4 p.m. It’s usually at the time when I get my 2 hours break from work. I don’t know what would have to change to solve this problem. Life in Exeter is wonderful but can be quite expensive, the average house price is £250,000 -£300,000, pricing many people out. Also, it’s pretty hard to find a house in good condition (especially when you try to find a place to rent) with reasonable, affordable prices.
If you live far from your hometown, you know that it is not that easy to see your family and old friends, as often as you wish to, especially in those dark times, when all you want to do is just give them a proper hug. I am very grateful, that nowadays we can easily contact them through social media.
There is a lot to do in Exeter
I love the fact that there are plenty of lovely spaces in Exeter, where you can spend your free time, like Quayside or Cathedral Green, where I usually had ‘lunch picnics’ with my friends from work. My goal for this year is to go to a rugby match in Sandy Park, as I’ve never seen a rugby match before. Also, as a big fan of art, I like to visit the Royal Albert Museum, where you can find lots of great exhibitions or Exeter Phoenix with great concerts and venues. I always try to attend some fantastic festivals like the Exeter Respect Festival, where I usually have tons of candy floss in different colours or Exeter Street Food Festival, where you can try lots of tasty food from around the globe.
I know that Exeter is a place for me. I’ve started to call it my hometown as I just feel like it. I fell in love with Exeter in many ways since day one, and I cannot really imagine living somewhere else.
Tags: bart sadecky, Exeter, photography, Poland, Polish, RAMM