On the bright side:

-uncorrupted. I mean, the people, not the government. There’s an innocence about people here that Dutch people or people in Western-Europe no longer have.

-cheerful. Outside of work, that is. Outside of work Slovaks are very sweet, they have a certain appetite for the simple things in life that is just not real in the West, in the West people seem to force themselves to enjoy the little things in life but they can’t hide the fact that it’s not enough for them. Over here people are genuinely happy with little things. Maybe this is still a trend in the aftermath of communism. People don’t take abundance of material goods for granted. Yet.

-gender roles are clear. Feminist will scream, but over here a man is a man and a woman is a woman. There’s a bigger barrier between the sexes somehow, but it’s also more clear what’s expected of you. Also, as a forgeigner you have an advantage over the local men. Women around here are so not used to a guy who actually remembers what they say.

-Modest. They don’t brag. They may want to show off their car, but other than that they are modest. They also have a kind of self-effacing humor.

-Formal. At first I was annoyed by this, but they still have quite a few rules to behave in public life. Like they have an obsession with using the correct title for people, if you hold a master’s degree or not, or when you should use to polite form (vykanie) or the informal way of speaking to people (tykanie), but in a way this makes things easy, you know what to expect. And it’s sweet every time a person makes an effort to switch from vykanie to tykanie with you.

-harder to become close to, but once you are close with them, they are more willing to maintain a friendship than in the west, they are more loyal

-they like rituals and traditions, which makes life a little less chaotic

-Hard workers

-Most Slovaks do not bother anyone. They judge, yes, but they live and let live

-Outdoorsy, and seem to like exercise a lot, like hiking in the mountains

On the dark side:

-not open-minded. They are easily shocked. And they will judge, they will categorize you.

-conflict avoiders. If they don’t like something, or if they are prejudiced towards you, they won’t come to you and find out if they are right about you or not, they will just ignore you and put you in their box of damnation.

-no alcohol, no conversation. This is true for the men.

-some of the women are obsessed with the way the look, obsessed to such a degree that it’s hard to find a western equivalent. A woman like that is referred to as a ‘pipinka’, apparently.

-complaining and critizing without taking any initiative to change anything. That could be a human trait in general.

-surprisingly uninterested in their own culture and literature…

These are generalizations of course, you have fantastic people around here and awful people too, just like in any other country.

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