This site is many things to many different people. It can be a blog about living authentically. A site about American politics. A blog about Slovak women. A blog about Slovak culture or Belgian culture or western culture. At times it's a blog about the economics of every day life. It's a site about parenting. A blog about literature. A blog about psychology. There are blogs about dating, blogs about travel, blogs about money, blogs about teaching, blogs about dating Slavic girls, blogs about Palestine. It's a site for leftists. It's a site for progressives. A site for go-getters. In a way also a site for entrepreneurs. Maybe it's easier to describe what the people who regularly visit have in common. The readers of this site tend to be seekers. They tend to be people who are a bit dissatisfied with life and are looking for more, not just for themselves but for humanity in general. It's a blog for people looking for peace, love, empathy, solidarity and yes, also a good dose of excitement. Whatever brought you here, know that you are welcome. Feel free to drop us a line or to support us. We're always available for questions so we'd be happy to hear from you.
Slovakia is a safe place. The only violent death you should fear here is in traffic.
There’s not much violent crime here. Almost all the Slovaks I have met have proven to be honest people. Only once did I get the feeling a taxi driver was kinda ripping me off, but only very mildly. The people in charge do tend to be very corrupt. It’s not easy to become friends with people around here. Superficial contact is very possible over beer. Social interactions are very scripted here and not spontaneous. If you often interact with Slovaks they become very predictable. This is very odd to me. Not to mention boring. I don’t know enough about Hungarians to be sure about this, but Hungarians seem to be a lot more fun and way more sociable. Less scripted. This annoys me so much that eventually I will move to a different country. Sometimes I feel like am in sort of madhouse full of loonies. Sweet and ever smiling beer guzzling loonies, but loonies. Slovaks love children. I mean really love children. Not pretending to love children, because it’s bon ton.Slovak parents are what are sometimes called ‘helicopter parents’. They are constantly with their children and constantly giving them directions and orders or warnings. This is sometimes quite funny to observe.Slovaks are scared, nervous and worried and generally risk averse (except as drivers).
Slovaks do not wear their shoes inside the house. They are very sensitive about this. As if you’re carrying anthrax with you. I have noticed that my Belgian family and my foreign students do not have this reflex. I mention this because Slovaks have a lot of these little rules. This one of the most visible ones.
Slovaks want soup with their lunch. It may be one of the reasons why Slovak women tend to be thin. Soup fills and is low in calories. All very well, but I grew up seeing soup as a full meal all on its own. I do not like to combine soup with lunch. I always try to skip it. The soups are not bad and not very good either. It’s just either soup or some other dish for me. Not both at the same time. And I certainly don’t get nervous if I have to go a day without soup.
I find Slovak bread to be the kind of horrible stuff I would expect to only find in the haversack of the poorest guerilla fighter, but Slovaks love it and dislike Belgian bread. There are worst things to disagree about
Driving a car seems to come very naturally to Slovaks. The more intellectual they are the harder they find it to acquire this skill. Being an intellectual is very unslovak though, so almost anybody you meet is a natural born driver.
Slovaks start their working day early, but they also finish sooner. The same goes for Slovak schools. On the weekend many of them also get up very early. To go hiking, to go to church, to go to yet another wedding or to go to the market or some job. Lots of Slovaks work on the weekend. a small fraction of Slovak women between 18 and 40 (max) are what one might call ‘knock out babes’ or models. This may give you the impression that ALL Slovak women are the pinnacle of female pulchritude. No, that’s just because they steal the show. Most Slovak women just look ok. And like it or not, to get a stabile relationship with one of those model like women you will have to have a powerful source of income. One tends not to see them using public transport as most of them hook up with a guy with a fancy ride. The less pretty Slovak women are hard-working, tend to read novels and are fairly well-educated. You know, the kind of education that makes you suitable to work for an employer. Not the kind of education that lets them start their own business or gives them any profound insight into politics or how the economy works. Regular decent education.You can buy groceries at Tesco, Billa, Kaufland, Lidle, Coop and if you want to spend a lot of money: Yeme. There are some smaller chains as well. The quality is poor. The prices are ridiculously steep for very common items. For low quality potato chips I will have to pay about 50 percent more if not double than back in Belgium. The same goes for milk, tomato sauce and a bunch of other every day articles. A few years ago nobody wanted to believe me, but now more and more Slovaks confirm this. Slovaks accept this. Slovaks are unlikely to protest or go on strike. Labor unions are weaker than the French army during World War II and when it comes to organizing society for the better Slovaks are just as defeatist. Slovaks spend a lot of money. These people are shoppers. I teach marketing people at big companies and their research confirms this: especially young Slovaks spend what they earn. These marketing departments are even surprised by this trend. There are lots of fake self-employed people. Meaning that they work for one firm, but are self-employed. This is illegal in Belgium as the employer doesn’t have to pay your holidays and other benefits. I think employers are in heaven around here.The side-walks are not level and also the streets are often full of potholes. When it’s raining you have to stay as far away from the curb as possible because otherwise you can expect a tsunami with each passing car Slovaks LOOOOVE being in nature. A non-Slovak more religiously inclined friend has recently told me that they do this because it’s a form of spirituality. What they are really looking for in those woods is to be closer to God. So far this is the only positive sounding explanation am willing to accept. My own explanation is that Slovaks like to hide. And burn calories. It’s partly also because everyone is doing it. If you want likes on Facebook you need a pic of you on top of a mountain. Many Slovak women have a profile pic or a cover pic of them being somewhere on a mountain. This may sound funny, but an invading army might occupy Slovakia and as long as they can keep hiking and going to Church most Slovaks wouldn’t give a shit. In fact, Slovaks kinda dislike the idea that Slovaks are running Slovakia. They will not say this of course, but I notice that many Slovaks have zero confidence in the Slovak state. Or any other state. They do like France. Weird people… They tend to be critical of the EU
They like to say they are one of the most corrupt countries in the world. They almost never give you concrete examples of this wide-spread corruption. Am assuming it’s very real though. When you google it Slovakia does score very badly when it comes to corruption
It’s said that Slovaks are a people made up of herders. This means the world begins and ends with their parcel of land in nature and that as a people they would like to have a herder in chief to guide the flock so the flock doesn’t need to think too much. So far they haven’t found any capable herder.
Finding drinking buddies for superficial conversations is easy. The road towards alcohol here is wider than the waist line of people in Jackson, Mississippi.
It’s unlikely you will be invited into their homes. So many people I meet here only want to go to bars or meet in a park or a mall or want to go for a walk. Where I am from you are invited into people’s homes. You will read anywhere else how Slovaks are so incredibly hospitable… Am sorry, but that’s just not true.
Slovak waiters and waitresses are very serious
No, Slovak women aren’t flirting when you have to deal with them professionally. They are just always smiling and overly friendly. Believe me, once a Slovak woman does start flirting you will have no trouble noticing. Just don’t take their friendly professional attitude for flirting. Out on the street avoiding eye contact at all costs is the norm
A Slovak woman who fancies you will actively pursue you. They’re all little dictators pretending with Oscar winning performances to be submissive
Married Slovak men are completely pussy-whipped though at first glance they may seem to be the dominant partner. They’re hardly allowed out of the house by the ever so sweet cookie baking wife
Slovak women who marry foreigners are a bit different in this, but still… In a marriage a man is supposed to be making money or doing chores or at least have the decency to keep himself busy alone in a quiet fashion. Any other activity is considered a treat AND a threat. (God, why am I still here?)
Slovaks will criticize all restaurant food, because… it wasn’t prepared by their grandmother. They are less critical of exotic food because their grandmother never made that.
The Mongols were practically born with a horse between their legs. For Slovaks it’s cars, cars, cars… Yes, I have mentioned it before, but it’s worth repeating
They will complain behind the waiter’s back and not to the waiter’s face. In this my culture is similar
Slovaks are eerily naive when they are emotionally tied to something. They think they have the only non-pedophile Catholic priests in the whole wide world.
Slovak Catholics don’t like the current Pope. Too progressive. Slovaks only respect strict sullen patriarchs. Even the local feminists will eventually bow to any dominant male with some authority
If something goes wrong here Slovaks still blame everything on the legacy of communism. A system they tend to sum up as ‘you were not allowed to travel’. A system that’s been gone for 30 years. Truth be told the communist style bureaucracy is still alive and kicking here.
Relatively clean streets and parks
At night you can hear some drunks yelling from time to time and during the day traffic is perpetually busy, but otherwise it’s very quiet around here.
Reliable if not always modern public transportation. The situation is improving almost daily. I like this very much.
There’s quite a difference between the west and the east here. Everything is better in the west. With the possible exception of the food. Prices are also lower in the east. As are salaries.
Alcohol flows more rapidly the further east you go.
Lots of Slovaks behave like fitness was invented yesterday. They talk a lot about food, health and fitness. If much fitness gets done I don’t know, but it’s certainly being instagramed and written about in online bios.
Lots of young Slovak men take steroids to beef up
Slovak online profiles are also almost rigidly scripted
On the weekend Bratislava is almost empty. The exodus of the capital already starts on Thursday evening. Hiking, trips to cottages and to smaller cities and villages. For me this is the best time to be in Bratislava. With half of the inhabitants gone it’s almost serene. I have entire supermarkets to myself.
Tourists tend to skip Slovakia for the most part. They may stay in Bratislava for one or two days and then they are off to Vienna or Budapest. I quite like living in Bratislava, but I understand that there is not much to do here for tourists.
I know the internet is overflowing with positive articles about Slovakia, but that’s at least partly because the people creating that content need clicks and being super positive about an unknown travel destination gets you clicks.
The food is ok. But I’m not a foodie whatsoever…
As I have mentioned many times before, of the 190 plus countries there are in the world I assume Slovakia is somewhere in the top 20 as a place to live in. When it comes to safety, material wealth, location… If you really love to be in nature then I suppose Slovakia has much to offer. Personally my thirst for nature is generously quenched with the occasional tree line along Bratislava’s streets and a good look at the Danube a couple times a year. So yes, if nature is high up on your list I’m sure your Slovakia experience will be much different from mine. I like other stuff. And I have my own personal (and obviously strong) reasons for being in this somewhat boring almost forgotten country.