Submitted by wallabeans t3_z5fsl8 in tifu

Last summer I visited my family in Poland who live there because of my dad's job. I'm an American going to college in America and don't speak any polish, except for like "kurwa" but that doesn't count.

Anyways, we decided to visit Bialowieza which is a town right on the border of Belarus, known for their bison, believe it or not. When we got there we noticed that there were a lot of temporary units set up housing polish soldiers. My dad assured us that it was pretty safe for us to be here though, that the military presence was just a precaution.

After going through the national park and seeing a few of the bison and other animals, we were all pretty tired of walking so I got the idea that we should rent some bikes and go on a ride around town and through the countryside.

Me and the rest of the family just got normal bikes, but my dad, having just had a couple beers with lunch, decided to rent an electric one, with a big bulky battery pack on the back. 5 minutes into the ride my dad still couldn't figure out how to turn it on though and he was trailing behind us. My mom suggested that as a computer science major I should figure out how to turn the bike on lol. So I waited up for my dad and gave him my bike, promising that I'd figure it out.

My dad sped off on my bike leaving me messing with the handle bars trying to figure out which button to push to turn the damn thing on. I put the kick stand down to try and figure out if it had something to do with the battery. I assumed that the thing must be broken, so I got back on the bike and started following my family who were now way up ahead. It was really annoying to ride, since without the electric motor on it was just a much heavier bike. I also kept hearing a light scraping sound that I at the time assumed had something to do with pedaling while the motor was off.

Suddenly I hear a voice yell out to me. I look over and some guy in full polish camo holding a gun is looking at me from behind a fence. He shouts something in Polish again and points at my bike. I shout back "Sorry no polish, do you speak English?" Then he shouts "Stand down".

My mind immediately jumps to thinking that he thinks my electric bike is some kinda military device, or that the battery pack is like a bomb or something. "Stand down".

At this point I'm freaking out, so I get off the bike. I do NOT wanna get shot over some misunderstanding so I start to try to explain that the bike uses electricity in really simple words. I'm just hoping that he doesn't think I'm some kind of insurgent, and at the same time I'm confused as to why he doesn't recognize an electric bike, Poland is pretty modern right?

"Stand down" he says again, this time pointing to my rear wheel. I look over and realize he's trying to tell me that my bicycle stand is down, and had been for the entire time I was biking.

"Ohhhh, thank you!" I say, and put it back up. He smiles and gives me a thumbs up, and I bike off to catch up with my family.

I did end up figuring out how to turn it on, but at that point we had pretty much seen everything there was to see.

Tldr: Thought some solider was telling me to stand out. Turns out, he was trying to tell me that my bike stand was down.



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nullatonce t1_ixzrpk9 wrote

"Poland is pretty modern right?"

Does everyone in US&A thinks eastern europeans lives in caves or whatever?


Jesse_is_cool t1_ixyr5ya wrote

You should be worrying more about Russian shells round there


Squigglepig52 t1_ixzdpbz wrote

I knew a WW2 Vet, dude finished as a Regimental Sargent Major. Blackie. Super nice guy, just a little brick of upbeatness.

I worked at a mall. One day, a group of teen boys were being all obnoxious and stuff just inside the mall.

Blackie walks in "YOU MEN STAND DOWN!". Everybody in earshot froze and stood up straight.

Teens quietly apologize and walk out.