When we were in Krakow in the summer of 2001, one morning we decided not to have breakfast at the hotel, went to the rynek looking for some small food shop to buy what would amount to be breakfast. A middle age (mid-40s ?) Polish woman was sitting on one the benches in front of one of these shops and must have heard my talking English to the Mrs.
From the looks of it, she must have assumed we were looking for something to eat. After all, it was morning. To be helpful she offers suggestions by addressing us in good (certainly wasn't broken) German.
It must have been obvious to her that we were Americans and, obviously, tourists to be sure. I replied to her suggestions and talked with her in German as did the Mrs, who after a few moments went back to the food shop just there to decide what to get.
I wasn't sure if the woman was panhandling, which I wasn't against, just wanted to talk, or simply hungry. I asked her, more than once, if she wanted anything from that food shop (reminded me of a small deli). She kept on saying no. I could understand that... pride or taking "charity' or whatever. In some ways strange, What I should have done (it never occurred to me) was to put one or two Polish bills in her hands...period. In talking during these several minutes, I never asked if she knew English.