I teach English at the local equivalent of Amazon, a company called Alza. It is located somewhere in the middle of nowhere between the small towns of Pezinok and Senec. I have to get up at 5 am to get there on time.

Because the company is located in such a remote area, you get an atmosphere that helps to bond more easily with whomever is waiting swith you at a bus stop far away removed from civilisation. Bratislava, the main village of Slovakia, is tricky to reach by bus from here.

We strike up a conversation after he asks me if the bus goes straight to some town I’ve never heard of. His name is Zilko or something like that. He is mumbling and he is talking in Serbian. I suspect it is more like a dialect than the typical Serbian you hear in Belgrade.

I understand him well enough to make out that:

  • In Serbia he would make about 200 to 250 euro for the same work he is doing here. Over here I suspect he’s getting about three times more. If he is lucky perhaps four times more. He says that the prices in Serbia are about the same as the ones in Slovakia…
  • He shares a house with 15 (!!!) people somewhere near Senec.
  • Eventually he says that the US has basically destroyed his country with their bombing campaigns
  • His brother is also here
  • He can only work here for three months, then he has to go back, because he is Serbia

I talked to Slovaks about this situation later, and one said: ‘Why is he here? If you are going to work abroad anyway, go to Germany, it’s further, but he could make so much more money there.’

Note how accepted this situation is. It is considered normal that this guy needs to work in a different country if he wants to have any chance at a decent life.

Slovaks do it too of course. Slovaks go and build houses in The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, England… Slovak women become nurses or go and work in homes for the elderly in Sweden, Germany, England, France, the Benelux, Switserland… The young ones go to the Middle East and try their luck as a stewardess. These young women are pretty, they are subservient, polite, hard-working, and quick to learn the language, and they are white, something the rich elite over there appreciates… It is about exploiting human beings and separating them from their families.

I would not call it slavery, but I would not call it freedom either…