Slovakia is a country that is rapidly modernizing. It’s like a teenager that is on the verge of adulthood, it’s still insecure and is surprised that it manages to function independently. Slovakia is a country with a huge inferiority complex, but at the same time it’s also proud. It carries several collective traumas around. One of them is the shadow of the failed totalitarian system that was an attempt to build a socialist paradise. This attempt failed and turned the country in some kind of large jail in which only the intimates who didn’t feel like working felt great. Communism has been gone for over a quarter century, but if something goes wrong here people still like to blame it on communism. People around here have an extremely low opinion of politicians, even lower than in the west. Everybody assumes there is widespread corruption, there probably is, but few people can give you concrete examples of this corruption. There are also huge regional differences, especially west versus east. The typical joke is that eastern Slovaks have jobs in the western part of Slovakia because back in the east all the work has already been done. This is not true of course, the western part is much better developped especially when it comes to infrastructure. There is also a huge difference between the atmosphere in Bratislava and almost any other place in this country. Slovaks tend not to like their capital and seem to consider it a necessary evil to spend time there if they want to have a decent paying job. Slovaks have a very different idea of what a well paid job is and easily think they are being paid well, whereas as a foreigner from the west you can easily see that prices in Bratislava are steep as compared to salaries. Just services are a lot cheaper. Slovaks are formal, neurotic in fact, and find all kinds of unwritten rules super important. Like vykanie and tykanie, taking off your shoes before you enter someone’s dwelling, etc. In public life and at work they are rarely spontaneous, but if you get to see the same people at an informal event they can be radically different and very spontaneous. Again, this odd dichotomy is blamed on communism since at work you could always be surrounded by informers, being spontaneous could get you into trouble. Worth mentioning: Slovaks feel looked down upon by Czechs and feel some envy towards Czechs but at the same time they also admire them. They have no problems with their neighbours, just occasionally you meet someone who does not like Hungarians all that much. Slovaks are rather racist and I have heard some outrageous remarks about so called colored people, but I have heard far more racist things said in the west… All in all Slovaks are very peaceful, almost passive, one cannot imagine a movement like the current yellow vests protests here in Slovakia. Slovaks don’t unite, labor unions are very weak which is one reason why salaries are so low, but this never go on strike mentality probably also attracts foreign companies as Slovaks will do everything to be employed. Slovakia has some beautiful nature, but I don’t care about nature at all, so I assume this is the truth. Slovak men are usually not flirtatious and the foreign women I have met in Slovakia were very negative about Slovak men, apparently communication, lack of tenderness, too small a range of interests and passions and a very stereotypical idea of what a woman should be like are often a problem. Far more positive are the reactions of foreign men when dealing with Slovak women. Slovak women are charming, elegant, often highly educated, cheerful, very feminine, graceful, have a great sense of humor, are grateful and appreciative and very considerate. The nature of Slovak women makes it very hard not to fall in love with this country.

PS

Of course I can’t restrict myself to ten sentences

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