Laptop ban



21st (or maybe 22nd?) century railway sign

A warning sticker in the WARS restaurant wagon operating between Gdansk and Warsaw. A simple question – why? Please post your answers to the questionnaire in the ‘Comments’ field.

  • Computers make milk go sour. Have you tried sour coffee with cheese?
  • The train will use more electricity which will push up the price of tickets.
  • Laptops are old hat, cool people use smartphones.

The above is a BTWT translation of a Polish post found on If you would like to take part in WARS’s own questionnaire as to whether laptops should be allowed in its restaurant cars, click here.

7 Responses to “Laptop ban”

  1. Michael Dembinski Says:

    Laptop users, braying yuppies z miasta will come into the Wars, buy one coffee and spend the entire five-hour journey (all train journeys in Poland take five hours) tap-tap-tapping away at their laptops, preventing honest travellers, like Pan Heniek and his family, from using the table for eating their zupa szczawiowa, kotlet schabowy and surówka.

    • dyspozytor Says:

      Like all Poles, who have resturned to Poland from the post WW II diaspora, you have a very romantic view of Pan Heniek. In reality, Pani H makes sure before the journey begins that that hubby is well supplied with kabanosy (thin dry garlic sausage) and piwo (beer), and the kids have ample supplies of chipsy (crisps) and cola (cola).

      No, it’s the laptop tappers like yours truly that keep WARS going. I am particularly fond of a jajeczniczka z boczkiem smazona na masle (scrambled eggs with bacon cooked in butter) washed down by a Zywiec (Zywiec beer). I am cross about the laptop ban and even crosser that the Polish government have deprived me of my glass of beer on the national services.

      Did I tell you about the Jagellonian University professor that I once met in the WARS coach on the way to Cracow? It was a particularly cold Febuary in 1996 and I was on my way to the annual Shanties festival in Cracow when I saw this fellow looking really mournful. “Your health”, I exclaimed as I picked up my Zywiec. “Yours too,” he answered glumly. “Look,” he said, “I’m a professor of law at the Jagellonian University. I never knew my parents. I was brought up in a children’s home, educated by the State and now I’m at the top of my profession. Everything that I’ve achieved I owe to the system, and now I’m supposed to believe that the system was wrong.”

      You don’t get conversation like that since the government introduced prohibition on the railways.

  2. Macowiec Says:

    When could you last buy a beer in Wars, Dyspo? I can’t remember being able to do so in at least the last 10 years?

    I was reading the comments on the Wars “poll” page. It looks like one of the main reasons for sitting in Wars is the power outlets. I was recently in a rebuilt 2nd class compartment coach which had outlets at each seat. Nice! Perhaps in the future this will be less of a problem…. On the other hand, I can’t count the Poles I know whose laptop batteries no longer hold a charge….heaven forbid they buy a new one!

    I never did figure out how Wars could make money, considering that most people take along their own food.

    • dyspozytor Says:

      It used to be possible to by a beer ‘unofficially’ in the WARS wagons until a couple of years ago. Asking, Czy moze Pan ma cos mocniejszego? (Do you have anything stronger?) when offered the alcohol-free substitute invariably resulted in a smile and a bottle of the real stuff. Even the guys who pushed the refreshment trolleys had a black bag containing a few bottles of Zywiec. But the authorities have now clamped down on this practice. I’m not sure when I had my last ‘official’ bottle – the ‘unofficial’ bottles slipped so smoothly in place!

  3. Robert Hall Says:

    What is, in Poland, a Shanties festival? — or is it a case of “don’t ask”?

  4. Robert Hall Says:

    Thanks. A thing Poland and Britain have in common is, shall we say, eccentricity. One of the furthest-inland cities of a particular country is, of course, the obvious venue for a festival celebrating sea shanties and things nautical…

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