Am getting tired of writing this kind of articles, but they are some of the most popular on this website and tend to spark debates. People write me and want to know more. They either vehemently disagree or applaud approvingly for finally saying it like it is.

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I don’t pretend to know everything about Slovakia, but I do like to observe people. So consider this my two cents in revealing the Slovak soul.

Some points will be positive and some will be negative.

No matter how harsh I may sound here or in other articles about Slovakia you should keep in mind that I CHOOSE to live in this country. Not only live, I have also learned the language and I keep learning how to speak it better every day. Out of all the countries in the world I have chosen to settle in Slovakia. I didn’t do that because I hate Slovakia. Am not that big a masochist.

So:

  • Lots of superficial people who care more about cars than about anything that’s going on in the world
  • Since few people care about much more than their job, their IKEA furniture or their lunch there are not many ideological fanatics around here. Of course there are some fanatics, especially on the right, but on the whole the people you will meet here are peaceful, easy going people who are not going to try and force some political agenda down your throat. Communism is dead here, anathema in fact, so the only fanatics you will find here are obsessed with suppressing women’s right, gay rights, and stuff like that. Stuff that makes them uncomfortable. When it comes to economics Slovaks are really completely clueless. They can’t distinguish between different political ideologies, have no idea about any economic theories, etc. Politics around here are about abortion or no abortion, raise taxes or not raise taxes, free public transport for old people or not, vague rhetoric about stopping corruption, etc. Basically you have to be a populist or you can ditch your political aspirations. But again: hurray, nobody cares. Ignorance is bliss.
  • Slovaks are all about live and let live, EXCEPT when it comes to the already mentioned gay rights, the right to have an abortion AND the culturally ingrained imperative of having to get married and the obligation to have children. There is enormous pressure on young couples to get married and reproduce. Those who don’t will NOT be left in peace. Especially childless, unmarried women will be harassed. There is no other word for it.
  • A scary influence of the Catholic church. Sadly Slovak Catholics are more about ritual than content. To a Slovak Catholic little ritualistic matters are a big deal. The way the priest is dressed matters more than what he says. Slovak Catholicism is all about habit, repetition. I suspect it’s so important because it is a way to maintain a spiritual link to deceased relatives. Since Slovaks have a gigantic inferiority complex and always think they are doing something wrong there is ENORMOUS relief in the fact that a priest can forgive after confession. Slovak Catholicsm is therefore feel good koolaid. It is almost never a call to action to actively improve the world and actively help people. Worst of all: it’s a secret way to feel superior to non-believers. And it’s a bulwark to defend one’s self against a modern world that offers too many confusing choices. People fear freedom more than a mild form of enslavement.
  • You know what to expect with Slovaks. I mean they are seriously friendly if you are friendly to them. In some cultures kindness is immediately taken as weakness and can elicit sadistic reactions, but in Slovakia friendliness leads to more friendliness. Not always, but often.
  • They will not correct your Slovak unless you’re boring them
  • A small minority of Slovak women is much more beautiful than almost all women in the west. When you are new here you might get the idea that all Slovak women are knock-out babes. That’s just because they so easily catch one’s eye. Actually most Slovak women are just ok. More feminine than in the west, but not more beautiful. Some women around here are however almost unrealistically, painfully GORGEOUS. And yes, those women do use their looks as capital. They would be crazy not to. The more expensive the car the hotter the woman in it. You will rarely spot one of those knock-out women using public transport. They have the pick of the litter and can choose a man that comes with all luxury the heart desires… Who can blame them? We all play with the toys the Gods give us. This may give the false impression that Slovak women are golddiggers. They are not. It’s just that those exceptional beauties land the men who are swimming in cash. The women with less physical assets will settle for literally almost any guy with a steady job who makes a serious effort to show he wants to be with her. The promise of stability is key around here.
  • Once a Slovak woman has found her stabile co-provider she can fairly easily be enticed into cheating on her partner. Especially if some years have gone by and especially when she already has children. Slovak life can be particularly uneventful, repetitive and unexciting, so if some guy comes along who can offer something out of the ordinary, some romantic attention, some passion, then bam, she will go for it. She will feel terribly guilty about it, but she’ll do it anyway. And get away with it. Because Slovak men assume Slovak women are asexual saints or something. Or just don’t care enough to notice.
  • Slovak men are rumored to be notoriously devoid of passion or originality in the sack. And stingy when it comes to giving affection during the day without the affection being a means to get to sex. A common complaint of Slovak women is that their partners only touch them when they want sex.
  • Slovaks have a village mentality no matter where you go. At least they are not arrogant.
  • They’re very family oriented. Lots of adult Slovaks tend to spend the weekend at their parents’ house. They leave Bratislava the first chance they get and go and sleep over at their parents’ house. To me this is quite strange, but I guess it’s sweet that they have family ties like that.
  • I disagree that Slovaks show much hospitality. You will rarely be invited into their homes, for example.
  • Bratislava is a separate universe around here. You could say that Slovakia and Bratislava are two different countries. Lots of Slovaks are very prejudiced when it comes to Bratislava. No matter what they say about it, the real issue is that they are envious and scared that they are somehow less because they are not in Bratislava.
  • Slovaks don’t like Slovak literature. And who can blame them? Slovak literature is usually more about style than about interesting content or memorable characters… You have to have Spartan self-discipline to read a Slovak novel cover to cover.
  • Slovak folkore music… If there is a hell then it can’t be complete with Slovak folkore muzak sreeching in the background. Burn all violins and banjos!!!!
  • Slovak food. If you eat it you will not die. Be content with that thought.
  • For the last time: all the stuff in Slovak supermarkets is overpriced. Slovaks are being ripped off on a massive scale. More expensive, less quality.
  • Bratislava is one of the most expensive capitals in the world and rapidly getting more expensive.
  • Slovaks will criticize you behind your back not to your face
  • Slovaks are not the kind of people that pull the trigger during a genocide. I mean this. I love them for it. Bless their gentle souls. Hurray for that. If pressed they will quietly handle the red tape involved in a genocide. Am quite sure of that too.
  • As mentioned in older post: Slovaks tend to love children. There is more respect and patience for people with children. A Slovak driver will do anything to not have to use those weird little things called brakes but they will stop for a woman with a pram.
  • Highly intelligent women are doomed on the love market around here. A Slovak guy is not going to put up with a woman smarter than he is. Slovak men are closet case machos. Too timid to be too obviously macho, but machos anyway.
  • Wild guess, but I think 98 percent of the Slovaks I have met are trustworthy in business dealings. Big plus. Maybe am just lucky with the people I tend to meet.
  • Simple humor.
  • They appreciate small things. I am afraid the younger generations will lose this appreciation for the little things in life.
  • They like to surprise with small gifts. There is something like a gift culture. I enjoy this because I find little gifts a great way to maintain pleasant relationships.
  • As someone who tolerates car ownership only in exceptional cases I find their obsession with cars particularly annoying. I treat a love for contemporary cars as a red flag.
  • Alcohol is the juice of male to male conversations here. If you don’t drink alcohol your chances of socializing with Slovak men drop dramatically.
  • Once Slovaks open their hearts for you there will always be a spot for you in there.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists are fucked
  • Decent public transportation
  • Slovaks will complain about anything related to Slovakia except the local nature, the beauty of their women and how close they are to Vienna.
  • Bryndzove hnusnicky… Sometimes the pride in a national dish is the fact that foreigners will try it once but not twice.
  • A Slovak’s idea of heaven is trudging in the mountains all day, eating something with cheese in the evening and sleeping in a cabin as far away from civilization as possible. If you trade the mountain cabin to a very secluded beach house it’s a sentiment I can relate to. I like my countries the way I like my women’s chests, only mildly hilly.
  • If you meet an extrovert Slovak they have some Hungarian blood
  • The worst crime in Slovakia is not taking off your shoes when entering a private home
  • According to the Pope himself two percent of all priests are pedophiles. Somehow there are NO pedophiles among Slovak priests. You can attack this comfortable myth at your own peril
  • Lots of Slovak food is a bit sour
  • Slovak men like to pretend they don’t like sweets (oh, but they do…)
  • Taking everything in consideration I would at present not want to be anywhere else.. But that’s partly because life’s made me into a person who has entrenched and has lost all appetite for adventure or risk, or basically, too much life. And Slovakia happens to be ideal to build entrenchments around one’s life, because nobody will try to push you out of your comfort zone. In Slovakia there is a very clear rhythm to life.

Call it a precious safe haven.

And, you know, love it or leave it.

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