Posted by on 30 Apr 2012. Filed under The Expat, Top news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

The Brit in Bratislava and Life in Slovakia

This is my second contribution to The Daily in a series of articles about my experience and the pros and cons of living in Slovakia!

As with many ex-pats, first impressions of this country were ‘mixed’, to use the term loosely. An ‘Eastern Europe Twilight Zone’, was the phrase that first came to mind as I touched down at midnight in Bratislava airport.

I was not greeted with Starbucks or McDonalds, but a dark arrival lounge with an instant coffee machine and some questionable looking ‘taxi drivers’, just waiting to charge extortionate fares to the poor naive tourists and drunken stag parties that wobbled through arrivals after a few too many beers on the plane.

Bratislava twilight over the River Danube

As an ex-pat in a foreign land, basic language and communication was the initial hurdle to overcome. I had learnt French and German in the past, but Slovakian I soon came to realize, was not going to be that easy. In fact, at first, it seemed nigh on impossible!

I admit, these first few months of wandering around supermarkets with absolutely no idea of what was what, and having a cold sweat at the thought of perhaps ordering a pizza, I did perhaps think I had made a huge mistake. Why leave ‘good old England’, where small pleasures such as tea bags, Sunday roast dinner and a morning paper through the door, were so easily attainable?

Ah, the wonders of hindsight! In my 2.5 years living here as an English ex-pat, it is incredible how much my opinion has changed.
I learnt quickly that the mentality here in Slovakia is one that can be misinterpreted. I was, as I am sure most ex-pats experience, prone to asking why most people looked so miserable and why the main topic of conversation was usually money or death! I noticed a smile here and there on the streets, though, and feel that with the arrival of a bit of western thinking over the last few years people seem a great deal more ‘open’ and positive minded!

As I sit and write on the Eurovea boulevard, the sun is shining and the riverbank is packed with young, happy and trendy individuals. Smiling couples walk by, there are dogs and children everywhere, and the bars and restaurants struggle to serve the surplus of customers drinking fresh lemonade and cold beer, whilst soaking up the sun on the outdoor bean bags. Two young men walk past in shorts and flip flops, hand in hand…..times are definitely changing! London it is not, but this country has definitely got character!

Fate has brought me here …. just like many hundreds of ex-pats. It’s incredible really. The culture and people are so very different to the modern western life in Britain and America… but I notice there is a certain type of person who can embrace this cultural change and make it an advantage for them and family! Here, almost anything is possible! There is not the rigid red tape system you find in England and every day I meet children and adults from all over the world adapting to and accepting the way of life. The more time I spend here, the more I see it’s really actually not as bad as some Slovaks will tell you. My friends and family who come to visit me in this strange ‘little big city’, always say the same thing without fail … ‘it’s like being on holiday here!’

Wandering the cobbled streets of the Old Town in Bratislava and discovering the hidden alleyways and old churches, I sometimes feel as though I am on the set of a Hollywood movie! Of course, life is not always ‘like in the films!’

I have had to become quite adept at dodging the enormous craters in the road and accepting most dishes I order will usually come with fried cheese…whether requested or not! But if you are ever in need of a friendly face, there are plenty to be found! The ex-pats I meet have all been so supportive and helpful, recognizing that as a newcomer here there are certain tips and techniques adapting to life here!

I discovered a great English book exchange, Next Apache, where you can while away the hours with a coffee or cold beer whilst surrounded by hundreds of books. The staff and clientele are friendly and open and the ambience is one that embraces newcomers. There is always a space at the bar to sit and chat to people from all over the world about what had possibly brought them to Slovakia. And some of the stories are truly incredible!

Bratislava tram (c) Marc Ryckaert

Socialising with the natives is slightly different! Most introductions begin with the question, ‘why would you move to Slovakia?’. Many of the people I meet dream of leaving the country to move to a ‘real city’. For example, London, Paris or New York! Ah London, a city where ‘the streets are paved with gold!’? Yet here I was, leaving those glittering streets, for a life in strange and small Bratislava! However, I can most definitely say I never saw any golden streets in all my years as a Londoner, and give anyone a day traveling on the London Underground in Rush Hour and I am pretty certain they would also loose any idealistic ideas that it is a ‘city where dreams come true!’. Give me the electric tram and a Slovak bus any day!

So that’s me….I compare the quality of life here with what I had in England and its incredible. For an extortionate amount of money I was living in a tiny, damp, rat infested flat in London, struggling for work and felt I might as well have taken wads of money every morning and flushed them down the drain! Travel alone was my entire salary and forget a casual meet up at the pub….prices of food and drink would leave you with a guaranteed empty pocket! And now? I hear you ask….well I have a lovely flat in Stare Mesto. I have work. I am admittedly struggling with this crazy language that when I ask what the basic rules are the answer is….’none’. But I am happy…..it’s not where you live….it’s what you make of it….and the more foreigners I meet here the more I am convinced this is true. I have met those who fled here to nurse a broken heart, other came to support their spouse who was offered a job here, I even know some who just needed a new start and thought, ‘why not Bratislava?’. And why not indeed!?

My Slovak Father in Law, recently told me that the most exciting thing about living in Slovakia was dying! Morbid, yes! But typical of the older generation’s mentality here. Yet as I sit here and watch the Danube sparkle in the sun, and watch the smiling faces around me, I think that I have moved to a land of life, potential and promise, for the natives and the foreigners alike!

Watch out for my next article on Life as an expat in Slovakia!

71 Comments for “The Brit in Bratislava and Life in Slovakia”

  1. Eminence Grise

    I’ve been living here for 15 years and I think that this article is utterly naive. wasted my time reading it.

    The Slovaks have what they deserve. That’s about it.

  2. NY

    wow Losgar, is sad you have to make up stories to reply to smart comments and critiques to your people. You are no better than the people you loath.

  3. Losgar

    I guess it was your sister then and by your daddy she meant you :-D

  4. George M

    You would need to be in visiting the middle of the Med to meet by mother, she has not been in the UK since 1972 and she has also been a cadaver for 10 years .

    Mind you I guess that is the only body your sad ass would be able to jump Loghead …a dead one .

  5. George M

    …yes and we have caught you out to be a total Liar Loghead . BTW . another lie yesterday you have refused to post another comment here, ever again, as JB was not following your Threats .

    So Loghead, along with Living in China, being a friend of an English Gentleman, a Policeman and Batman and Superman …what next ????

    ~~I met a lady who worked for the Capitol house and she arranged a tour for me there. Met Hillary Clinton Went to Ronald Reagan’s funeral, paid respect to him. ~~~ OH PLEAZEEEEEE !

    There are no double or double double nicks on here as JB has the control panel …Email address, IP Codes etc, etc …that fact is JB is far smarter than you …no real surprise as you are a dimwitted, shirt liftin, lying Slovak and he is a honest Brit !

    Ketly from out of the blue in support of Slovakia , what drugs are you on ? Have you got a bit of Losgar inside you ? Perhaps if you ask nicely he may put some there, as he seems that kind of guy. I guess you must enjoy having a sore bum, being a bike rider ?

    K, I suppose this very confused English comment sums you up , ~ am not a sophisticated urban person. The local Slovak people were very kind and helpful ~

    Ever seeh the film Deliverance ? No wonder you are so at home here and as an Yank .

  6. kelty

    Well, I just lost a nice long write-up of my experience in Slovakia. Wonderful computers! I will be much briefer this go around as I must get back to work.

    I came to Slovakia a few years back in need of some different culture and brought my bicycle and toured the western areas. I had a great time! Wonderful country in my opinion. I live in the US and it is far from perfect here. I will admit that I come from a rural farming background and am not a sophisticated urban person. The local Slovak people were very kind and helpful and I never had any problems except that 14% grade over some mountains!

    I am sorry for some of the harsh words I read here so I wanted to try and provide at least my kind words for the country. Nowhere is perfect. Most Americans are obsessed with money and material wealth. We have hungry children, homeless people, high dropout rates for our public schools, drugs and corruption and illogical politics too. Some people have it great here, but many do not.

    I hope to come back someday and tour more! I also enjoy the Slovak Symphony orchestra as I hear them often on my local public radio station!

    • Losgar

      Thanks Kelty!!
      I must say the same about Americans. When I lived in the USA I met just great people. I was amazed that question where I was from came out maybe after 2-3 minutes of talking to any American I met.
      Just now I started working with an American man /African-American exactly/ and he is just cool about everything. Talks a lot though :)
      Anyway in the US I met a lady who worked for the Capitol house and she arranged a tour for me there. Met Hillary Clinton :) Went to Ronald Reagan’s funeral, paid respect to him.

      What I want to say is: You don’t have to write on this web site where one English man messes up with everybody’s feelings how SVK was a nice place to travel. I proved that this English idiot was cheating already by catching him using more then one nickname /please see the comments above/. He created many nicknames and these nicknames just have nice little chats and live their own lives. Fascinating material for a shrink it must be.
      I met about 50-60 people from England and honestly half of them were very nice people, 10 were OK and 20 were real dickheads. 40% of the English people were just aggressive ignorants. Maybe I was just unlucky..
      However I don’t understand why this person is allowed to do whar he does. When he hurts somebody and the police comes to JB to ask a few questions it will be a “great” publicity, “great” motivation factor for his web site sponsors.
      Take care Kelty!!
      I hope you like the ice-hockey as Slovakia just made to the final at the World Championship :)

  7. Losgar

    I wonder if that pitiful creature – I really don’t know how to call him now because he was using about 6-7 nicknames f.e. George M and The Big Guy.. was finally exterminated.

    Hey, anybody in the cave?!?!?!?!? I have a banana for you, your favourite….. :-D

    BTW we won the 2nd match at the World Cup, come out and celebrate with me.

  8. Lol

    I find it funny. Especially to see how people react to his comments. How much they feel offended and hurt. When all they have to do is change website and all the words would be gone from their screens. It is indeed hilarous. I guess he is able to touch the buttons of some people, This is where all the offended ones should look into. Why his words affect them, the most obvious remark would be that there is some partial truth on his statements or at least that is what the offended ones actually think. For more info you should talk to your own shrink or bartender. Lol

  9. EXPAT

    GM (Gay Machine)…. George M (Juraj’s manželka??)

    Why with all the name calling all the time, I suppose my “lower IQ” won’t allow me to constantly call people names and try to bewilder them with such a high level of determination and skill. You are pathetic, and calling me anything other than what is exposed is just stupid. There is a reason I don’[t want my name all over this blog, it is because people like you would find additional ways to just harass and annoy me. GET A LIFE!

    I will not be put down for speaking my mind, but I won’t continue to use this forum as a way of communicating in a civilized way with such radical and aggressive taunts. Oh yeah, if you think my comment about meeting you on the streets was a threat, that was not the meaning, it is only saying you can write all you want from behind you PC, but in reality you would never say a word to anyone on the streets as you comment here in this blog!

    For the second time, get a life, live it the way you want, but stop repeating your low blows and non-humorous ways…no one thinks you are funny, nor serious, just pathetic!

  10. George M

    JB, this getting far too easy :-)

    Pohoda, If I throw a stick will you always chase it ?

    Enjoy the Speed Dating !

    • Losgar

      Hey you cheater, I think you just got busted!!

      Look at your ikon-smiley. How come that The Big Guy at the Back and George M. have the same smiley picture?

      How many nicknames are you using? Who can ever believe you again???
      Lady Gaga?
      Jaroslav?
      True Neville Chamberlain is back!!

      • Losgar

        I’m pretty sure you are also Al. You are just using this web site to write to yourself.

        Schizophrenia would be an answer that I’m willing to accept.

        Unbelievable!!

        JB what are you going to do about that? The least you can do is cancel George M account. Under this nickname he insulted most people here.

  11. Pohoda!

    like I said, typical reaction and again a spouting of incoherent nonsense just for the sake of it…..it’s one thing having an opinion which you’re fully entitled to, and I never disputed that, so get your facts straight and while you’re at it, you’re comprehension of your own native language could improve a tad! I’m nazi-like, yeah right…am I reacting offensively on every little difference of opinion expressed here…check your own personal comments for the nearest and closed allusions demonstrating a clear and consistent racist thread. Offended, I only get offended by comments from people with integrity, and only some people here demonstrate that!

  12. The Big Guy at the Back

    Yes Nagno, we have all levels of the evolutionary scale commenting on the this web forum , from a chimp to stand up hairy man .

    Losgar, let me know where to send your Banana please ?

  13. Magno

    I think is the best thing about this website and JB knows it, I really come here to read the comments. Lets face it in Sk nothing worth reading about happens in a regular basis.

    Oscar

  14. George M

    Pohoda, ~~~just a load of nonsense from highly opinionated people! ~~~

    Nonsense in YOUR opinion ….some of us have these other opinions, but you obviously are a nazi and would rather we all follow your own narrow life view ? But as you dont add to the debate , but moan and be arrogant ( saying nothing useful and be a website policeman, being offended perhaps ) we have to instead watch you whine on and on and on . The fact is, your own post is the kind of useless drivel we dont need on this comment area .

  15. Pohoda!

    not so much insulting as embarrassing JB, too many idiots who think the drivel that comes out from behind the comfort of their keyboard is worthy discussion or debate material…just a load of nonsense from highly opinionated people!

  16. George M

    Your gonna censor the comments, or the content of the comments ? Perhaps you should look higher up the comment tree and at the normal pathetic whining when you remove his expletives Slovak .

    Not sure why anyone other than a utter knitwit, or some twerpy `I cannot start my car ` girly, hopeless type could ever be upset by using slang English terms for by parts of a lads body . . Call a spade a spade in my view, a dick, a dick, tits tits etc ….

    • Losgar

      Your friend just got destroyed by the Daleks.

      Watch out Georgio you’ll be the next… exterminate…exterminate…exterminate…

  17. My apologies for anyone who has been insulted by certain people commenting on the site. We will try to keep this to a minimum in future.

  18. George M

    Why would I take a bet, when you will never keep to your promise. You been caught here lying about your life , your job, etc at least four times ? Why would I trust or offer my balls to a Slovak national that is already a proven liar, and believe and is bonkers enough to believe, Slovakia IHT will come in the top 4 …??

    Tell me this, how can you still play old men Satan and that lump of a defender Chuckup ?? Perhaps you should dig up Pavol Demitra up from his grave, he would offer a better movement even lashed to a warm radiator, than the entire current team .

  19. The Big Guy at the Back

    A liar, cheat and a change of mind when about to loose a bet , when earlier crowing how confident you were about Slovak hockey team being in the top 4 . How Slovak is that ?

    Talk about G.M and his lack of balls, when only two games into the IIHF WC you chicken out ?

    Mind you, you would have to get your Bum Rush pal who speaks English, to sow you balls back on again first to have any .

    • Losgar

      G.M. has no balls for the bet. Do you have?

      These are the conditions:
      1. As the world cup is already in progress I’m asking you to acknowledge that G.M. has no balls. This will compensate the 2 lost matches.
      2. If SVK doesn’t make it between the 4 best teams at the world cup I will leave and never come back to Daily news.
      3. If SVK makes it between the best 4 teams you will leave and never come back.

      I insist on all for 3 conditions. Do you agree?
      Just say you agree and the bet is on.

      Now I’m curious if you have just big mouth or big mouth and no balls.

  20. The Big Guy at the Back

    Losgar, if you want to get your jollies by likin your own balls, as all dogs do, then be my guest .

    btw, you lost to Canada already, 3-2 and will loose to Finland today …so bye , bye Lognar , I guess we can say !

    • Losgar

      If you want to be Winnie the Pooh dreaming about a big black “honey tree“ I won‘t judge you!

      About the bet: It‘s off the table. Georgio the brown pants must grow some balls first.

  21. The Big Guy at the Back

    Manda , there are different views on everyone .. Read this

    Usain Bolt in race row as Jamaicans accuse him suffering from ‘white woman complex’ due to his fashion designer SLOVAK girlfriend.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2139764/Usain-Bolt-fashion-designer-girlfriend-unsporting-race-storm.html#ixzz1tzfy1Rpo

    • Losgar

      I remember you Big Gay in the Bag, you were talking about black boyfriends about 2 months ago. Is it your fetish? Some kind of sexual fantasy?
      Or are you just racist? It might be both.
      It might be a desire for a bigger “honey tree”.

      I’ve noticed that foreigners on this web sites are rude to women. Some of them attack them directly while others just watch and do nothing. Shame on you all!!

      And more: This web site tolerates hiddden or slight racism, xenophobia and antiSemitism. And it looks like, except 2-3 normal people who protest against it just to get mocked back instantly, the others don’t care.

      Wow, bravo foreign friends, nice to meet you!!

  22. George M

    Manda, get a life or laid ..Geeeeeeeeez !

  23. Manda

    I really dont get it, George Michael. Do you get a kick from from all this hatred you throw around? You hate us Slovaks (and other nations it seems) with undying passion. Why do you come on this site and read news about our useless, no good, minging, dumb, lazy, dim-witted nation? Do yourself a favour and go home to your lovely-jubbly England. What a waste of life hating people and being pure miserable.

  24. George M

    …and I think , you should remove your head from up you own backside. Whilst the Irish are as thick and as big thieves as the Slovaks, ( going by their elected Officials and PM`s ) at least they do life wife a smile …….you know well go on, go on, …go on , go on, go on, go on !

    As for open mined expats, more like open headed, clearly my friend you have not been here long or dead from the neck up? I came here as open minded, but that soon wore off when fitting the first gas heating boiler and system in my new flat, the Slovak robber fitter tried to charge my FOUR times the actual price .

    BTW ~~~~you should remember that countries like Ireland and Slovakia didn’t rise to a higher standard through plundering and gaining riches through repression of others ~~~

    That is is your own misfortune to be born in a mud hut and grew up eating scraps of dog meat..I am quite proud that we English ran most of the world at one time, that is what super powers do , no ? . Sadly we did not finish some of our best work …Ireland was one of those country`s where we should have done a Dalek on the Nationalists and saved thousands of peoples lives .

    • and I think

      ……. god save the queen …. as for England being a super power … give us a break most of the strife in the world has its roots in your great nations bad decisions….

      As for doing a Dalek since I spent most of my childhood searching for dogs to eat and redoing the mud plaster on the hut I lived in with my 18 sisters and brothers didn’t have too much time to focus on Dr Who …. (reading about them now makes them sound a little off putting though)

      but hey I am not a nationalist so hope your head finds the right place before it all caves in on you….

  25. Fruitcake

    George, how are better Irish than Slovaks?

  26. George M

    Huh ? You say and I quote ….~~~oh come on …. is not all that bad…~~~ and then write a ream of comment , as to confirm why it is ????

    You come from Ireland I note …says it all really .

    • and I think

      coming from Ireland yes probably does say alot for me ,o) thanks for the compliment …. as I am sure it was intended

      but definitely coming from a small nation makes one understand and have compassion for other small nations that are trying to build themselves up after years of repression … but like all nations small and large it is corrupt but only difference is the level of transparency has only had a few years to develop …… but you should remember that countries like Ireland and Slovakia didn’t rise to a higher standard through plundering and gaining riches through repression of others …. and that is the simple reason they are lagging behind your great nation ….. which I may add I loved living in and met some great people there…. so hold no animosity towards the more open minded fellow expats living here and would like to thank for imposing the high level of English we have …. without it definitely as an Irish person it would be more difficult for me to travel

      have a nice weekend and try to smile

  27. and I think

    oh come on …. is not all that bad…. yes Bratislava is rather like a ghost town in the summer and weekends…. what with all the clones spending time getting dressed to parade along the board walks in the summer and inside shopping centres in the winter… but these clones do provide some entertainment if you catch them in transit on the not so well paved streets struggling to hold their balance in excessive high heels it can be a entertaining comedy of errors – …. and their overweight male counterparts can usually be equally entertaining for their low IQ, asses hanging out of trousers …. but unbelievable arrogance in thinking they are wow gods gift to women… but hey these types exist all over the world so super that they are confined to the option of 5/6 shopping centres … then you know where to go to avoid them…. or find them
    Having lived in a few places in and around Europe but coming originally from Ireland I have to say if I could trade things Bratislava is nicer…. they only thing which would be super would be to liven the city up on Sunday morning with some open Jam sessions or Jazz sessions plus some Sunday papers …. combine this with the weather good coffee … what more could one want …. …..

    I know I know the smell of sweat in a bit crazy in city transport …but at least they have a functioning transport system, try move around Dublin by public transport you’d appreciate Bratislava’s version and just wear a nose peg or walk if it bothers you so much

    oh that and it would be great to see people laugh more….. but this is not just a phenomena of Slovakia …. Austria is the same….. …. and over the last 8 years living here I am still confused as to why the people don’t seem to enjoy laughing.. Slovaks have a great sense of humour, …. but for some reason it is strange to hear them laugh and enjoy themselves in public but rather they are more civilised in public that there “british/irish counterparts”
    ….. over my time spent here travelling in and out of Bratislava on the various forms of public transport the only people I see not so sombre and serious are the roma community and wow they shine like stars in comparison to the rest of the commuters

    as for those that live here and complain about it …. maybe it is time to move on… nothing worse that living in a country that you have nothing positive to say about it

    so Slovakia/Bratislava versus Expat lands…. given the weather for 7 months of the year is great….. the easier quality of life and a functioning school system that does not cost an arm and a leg to send your children to from a young age I guess that I am glad that I am based here raising my family and not part of the overpriced rat race that consumes alot time and energy in other regions of the world … BUT just as a simple recommendation Slovaks smile and laugh it won’t break you face or ruin your make-up

  28. George M

    Citizenship ? Christ who would want to admit be a citizen of this god forsaken hole .

    I know you forget you are Mr Dim, when you start foaming at the mouth, but perhaps you should read the Treaty your then Government signed to join the EU …they gave Slovakia to us all in the EU, to just piss on as we please .

    • Losgar

      Georgio, my man: Stop talking nonsence and get ready for the hockey match.
      I hope you won’t pee your pants as soon as the first player touches the puck.

      What a pity your team doesn’t play at the championship. The “Whining Wankers” didn’t qualify this year :-D

      • Losgar

        Georgio do you care for a bet? If SVK doesn’t qualify between the best 4 I will leave and never come back here.
        If SVK qualifies between the best 4 you will leave /with all the nicknames you are using/ and never come back.

        Deal??

        • George M

          Best 4 of what exactly, Loghead ?

          Ice Hockey is not a real sport , it is organised thuggery on ice skates, like playing golf with shin pads and a crash helmit … I also have to rate Slovakia as the ugliest team in the last World Cup ….were did they finish last time …errr almost last ??

          Sadly Sloavkia will not be going the the European Football Championships again ..still you personally have a chance in the World Bum Rash games in Bangkok . Boy-Girl- Boy etc .

          • Losgar

            I didn’t think so, even I gave you pretty good odds.

            You just don’t have the balls. Your life must be boring like hell. Feel sorry for your boyfriend, I bet he drinks a lot.

            BTW: Did you know that England was a world champion in ice-hockey in 1937? If you lived back then I’m sure you would feel like this is the best sport in world. You just judge people and everything around you by your own twisted standards. The more negative feelings the better. I pity you!!

  29. George M

    COWPAT …Start a movement ?? Firstly the only movement your low IQ could ever start is the movement you have each morning, when you sit on the big white telephone. Most of your No 1 & BIG thoughts are centered up there, no ?

    However, should or could I start a Slovak movement ? Do you actually think I want to shell out on all that free Goulash and free Beer to lazy blank Slovak? BTW, it is my country , I pay tax here and the am a Citizen of the EU …….

    Magno …are you really a fruit cake ?

    BTW . Note to my fingers. Must stop being funny, as COWPAT is a really serious person and must be taken seriously, even when he seriously threatening people in the street .

    • Losgar

      George, you son of a dishwasher!!

      This is not your country!! You weren’t born here, you don’t have it’s citizenship, people hate you here, you hate the people, been an EU citizen doesn’t mean the EU is your mama.

      You crazy idiot, will you just wake up?!?!

  30. EXPAT

    Wow, George, that is what you come up with? Social housing, really?

    1st off, you have no idea who I am, nor would I want you to. You comment on how stupid people are, but in your posts, I find many statments that just make no sense at all. If you want to change something about Slovakia, do us all the honor and start a movement! I would love to see who would follow you. It is just annoying to read how you always have such a negative responce to even the most basic thing. I suppose you sit at home alone and try to figure out why you don’t fit in or have any Slovak friends. Doesn’t suprise me a bit that you hate it here, you seem to hate everything. Why did you leave the UK? I bet they don’t miss you at all. People come from all over, it is not your Country, you came here for some reason, I am not sure why, but you are now here and must suffer, as you say. So to you I say this, suffer, enjoy your closed minded ways and simply let the world pass you by. I make the best of this place, sure it isn’t my home country, but it is now my home! If you don’t love it, leave it! Oh yeah, I would love to meet you on the streets, I am sure you wouldn’t comment to my face as you do in your posts!

  31. Magno

    Lol you really crack me up Georgie. I cannot deny I have a lot of fun reading your posts or even watching how you attack people that comment and write here. What really makes me wonder is how easy you are able to start picking on everybody without even knowing who they are or who you are really dealing with. Is not a threat or nothing of that nature, but simple curiosity, I actually find fascinating the effort and work you put on these threads. You most really enjoy it too or perhaps you suffer of some paranoia. Also is quiet interesting how openly racist you are. I mean you are clearly not a stupid man, so I really wanted to ask you. Do you really think that little of the fellow Slovak people or only you like to turn on people and have fun exchanging messages with them. I really hope is the second one would much more interesting.

  32. George M

    Expat , I just wonder given your limited English capability , that were you ever from the UK …?? Clearly there is a language problem in your writings , or do you just have a very low IQ …Were you born in Council or social housing home ??? Were people smoking in the house …??….Now to ….Go home ? Yes always a popular answer by the morons, that live on the planet zob . Thank god for the Afgans, the Libyans we Brits did not all just go home, we stayed and we helped to improve the country . As if we stay we will in the case of Slovakia .

    By the way, please stop buy the meat you eat in Tesco or Billa …it is full of nasty chemicals that clearly effect your brain and senses ….I can recommend a good Master Butcher in Hainberg ??

  33. Magno

    U r right, complaining is for pussies. Grow some balls Georgie boy, the world is bigger than the full of crap island you come from. Though, it is funny to hear about spoiled babies complains like yours. Keep going!! Lol

  34. EXPAT

    Slovakia is not the UK or USA….. Get use to it! George M…Why are you even here?
    I am sick of reading all the negative responces…they don’t even direct poeple to make a change, only your personal view of a situation you should’t be in! Leave, leave today!
    WE WILL NOT MISS YOU!

  35. EXPAT

    If you hate Slovakia so much, then GO HOME! Nothing is stopping you from leaving, and we are (well I am) sick of hearing all the complaints about the Slovaks…they are not all BAD!
    I have lots of friends here, lots of people I don’t want to be friends with (so I leave them alone) and people I would like to be friends with (we will see).
    So when people complain, they should change their lifves by changing their habits. The busses stink during the summer, even the winter…get over it! If you don’t complain about the smell directly to the source you are talking to no one. Try carrying a bottle of deoderant and spray anyone who stinks…maybe they will get the meaning of your actions.
    I said to my cooleague the other day after stepping onto the bus, I love Slovakia in the summer, all tha ladies are not scared of showing some skin, however I also hate it as the next person on the bus is a man that just can’t understand that we all don’t enjoy his funk or the odor of whatever he has been drinking from his breath.
    I do love this city, it is filled with wonderful things to see, fun things to do, and in time it will keep getting better! Look at what we have now, oposed to 10 years ago! HUGE improvement!

  36. chris garden

    Life is what you make of it. If you look for things you don’t like, you’ll find them.
    If you don’t bother with them, they won’t bother you.

    Bratislava is a fantastic city, with great people and
    interesting discoveries to be made.
    Make the most of your life. Don’t like it here? Go somewhere you will like.
    If you like complaining, that’s cool too. As I said, make the most of your life.

  37. Pohoda!

    Chill out guys…there are many good things and bad things about living everywhere you go…lots of them discovered or undiscovered depending on your personal circumstances…….if your personal experience so far has meant discovering only the bad here, then I’m sorry for your extreme lack of luck!
    If you are not happy here, it could be you are the problem so stop complaining about it….maybe it’s time to make some tough decisions!

  38. Manda

    Go home, George M.

  39. George M

    Al pal, thank you for you amazing insight in to Slovak life …Come back again soon.

    God yes, the smelling of booze, smoke breath, old unwashed clothes, piss & sweaty people and most over the age of 45 on the trams and buses season, has started again . A whole generation of people, that do not feel the need to shower at least one a day, out of some habit, or because they claim they are saving cost by saving water use . Use a spay under the armpits ….forget that costs two euro and I must buy my cheap bottle of Vodka to consume tonight make me feel better about life .

  40. Al

    In 2 terrible years living here I never found a single foreigner happy about it.. i m just dreaming to leave asap.
    U really gotta be kidding me.
    A city without a soul, a ghost city..with nothing to see and do..people dressed like if they just jumped out of a fashion designer nightmare… never seen people see so careless about the common grounds… decay everywhere while skyscrapers are just rising aside…
    U forgot the disgusting sweat smell into the transit…
    I could go on like this for days.

    • Ryan

      Just to follow up on Al here. Me and my foreign friends love our mini discussions on the pro’s and many con’s of being a foreigner here.

      Regarding the city, if you give me 30 mins with a pencil and paper, I could walk all around the city and give you a map of it.

      And what is there to do in this lovely city anyway? Shopping anyone? Soon we will have like 5/6 shopping malls. And when the weekend comes, in any big cities around the world. It comes to life. But here, on weekends, it’s like a ghost town. You’ll find yourself wondering the streets of old town with Italians and other foreign people. Where did all the Slovaks and Bratislavian’s go to?
      Well, they’re off to their mini villages and towns and leaving good old ye BA with no people except in the shopping malls. Oh dear..

  41. Ryan

    My Mrs sent me this article to read in the hope to shed some light to my life here in BA as a Brit from North London.

    There was many things in here that I can honestly say are true. I remember the first time I came here to visit my GF back then and how the taxi driver charged me nearly 20 euro to get from the aiport to the main train station. Never again.

    One of the hardest things being a Brit ( but not white British ) Filipino to be exact is that people here tend to stare. I mean stareeee, not for a mere seconds, but they look you up and down and you wonder if you got shit on your cloths. LOL.

    So yes, I do like the fact that it takes me 15 mins to get to work from my usual 1 hour to get to Baker Street or other parts of London where I worked.

    Also, it’s great that you write this Article in Eurovea, cause I’m sure all you see are very trendy people with over expensive cloths and nowhere to go :)

    But, I cannot be all negative. I have been here since May 2009 and whilst it aint all that. I am quite happy here with my wife and daughter, plus my Mortgage :)

    So yes, whenever I need to re-charge and feel the buzz of a city crowd, I just take a flight with Ryanair to London or take a train to Vienna and re-charge my battery :)

  42. Dave Crawford

    Nice article Abbie, you echo many of my sentiments. Please try to explore this beautiful country, it has many wonderful jewels that put BA in the shade.

  43. another expat

    I absolutely agree on that feeling about SK right now, but would like to see a comment from mid-february when we were suffering thru the -15C weather. Not a lot of happy faces then.

  44. George M

    What can I say other than what total baloney . Not working for the Slovak Tourist Board by any chance ?

    Oh right, you married a local . So all stary eyed, excited, still in romantic love and been here just 2.5 years … Just about time when people start to realise that this place is not what it seems and not fair .

    To Quote you ~~ last few years people seem a great deal more ‘open’ and positive minded! …..Pray where ?? Have you missed the last election result, why it happened and how this country has stepped backwards 10 years !

    ~~always say the same thing without fail … ‘it’s like being on holiday here!’~~

    Yea right, because no one actually really works here for a living, have you not noticed how full the shopping centers are mid week ?? …either they do a few hours at some Government office or they skip out to a meeting to have coffee with their mates !

    ~~~ as a newcomer here there are certain tips and techniques adapting to life here! ~~~ , yep, your right , shut your eyes to the injustice, the corruption, in fact turn off you brain to anything that spoils your picture of reality and if you come to Slovakia with the IQ of a goldfish , you will fit in real well with the other local pond life and bottom feeders.

  45. Brennan

    Abbie. You have spirit and vitality. Sometimes, in my experience, and added to compassion, that is the only language you need to speak. You are already fluent! X shlala gahle (stay safe in ndebele)

  46. EXPAT

    Abbie,

    Funny you write this, but so true in many ways. I recently traveled to London for a week of training. I felt cold, wet and unwanted in most places. As an American in Europe it is not always the warmest welcome. As for here in Bratislava, I feel at home. This area reminds me of where I grew up in Pennsylvania and I truly don’t have an issue with the life style here. It is frustrating sometimes to not speak as fluently as I should, but I enbrace that the Slovaks want to talk to me in English to improve their potential. It doesn’t help me with learning Slovak, but once I dish out a few hundred euros I should know how to communicate like a child in theis country!
    Slovakia has accepted me for the past 5 years, and I do feel at home. It is not the RITZ, but I didn’t live in Hollywood with all that is golden! Anyway, Vitajte a veľa šťastia….. We are not alone on this planet and not alone in Bratislava!

  47. Natasha Marron

    Cheap rent, cheap food, cheap drink and most importantly SUN which as an Irish Gal is totally unheard of in Ireland. Slovensky Abú

    • Brosnan Lockesley

      You might get cheap rent in some small vilage in the East of Slovakia, but in BA ,if you want a decent place to live in and not a rat or shite hole, you will pay dearly. it’s cheap fpr some Ex Pats. but not the Slovaks. many people who come from other towns to work in BA have to share an apartment with 4 or 5 other people ‘cos they cannot afford a place of their own. Personally , I’m okay , I pat 700 Euro per month and I live 17 km’s out of town. the place where Im live will cost in the center about 1500 Euro and you people call that cheap. ? The Government here are so blatantly corrupt and don’t care.The main railway station, Hlavne Stanice is disgusting . You people must be living in a plastic bubble. I have been here 10 years, and it’s enough. I’m leaving and very happy about it. I’m going back to Sweden where the average salary is 3,800 Euro per month and you can buy an apartment like mine for 92,000 Euro compared to this one, 155,000 Euro …NO it is not cheaper to live here. Why do you think many Slovaks go to Austria and Hungary to do the monthly big shopping, because it’s cheaper. Have a beautiful day. :-)

      • Grant

        Try living in London or Dublin, then you’ll know what expensive is. Bratislava is cheap. Not as cheap as other towns, but unless you’re actually from Zilina/Presov/Nove Zamky, I doubt you’d want to live there.
        The fact that you CAN go to a country with lower supermarket prices is a bonus, so yes, it IS cheap to live here.

        • James

          ‘but unless you’re actually from Zilina/Presov/Nove Zamky, I doubt you’d want to live there.’

          Why not? (Just out of interest.)

          • Grant

            Nothing strictly against them, but they are tiny and very remote in comparison to where most travellers come from or could live. In most countries they would be considered villages.

          • James

            In China perhaps. There, cities with over 1 million don’t make it onto some maps.

            But Zilina has a resident chamber orchestra which plays once a week, it has its own theatre, it has ‘Stanica’, an arts/exhibition/concert/general cultural space which puts on quite experimental things (not to all tastes but never uninteresting), new Korean and Arabic restaurants have opened within the past month, it has a swimming-centre with 50m pools both inside and out (just 1.60 Euros for a swim). Its football team was in the Champions League two years ago (OK, they lost 0-7 in one game but are Shrewsbury Town or York City ever going to get that far?).

            And the countryside around (Vratna, Velka Fatra, Sulovske Vrchy) is beautiful by any standards – and far less ruined by tourism than (eg) The Tatras.

            Only problem is the relentless commercialism that saw the utterly hideous Mirage shopping-centre thrown up. But then some people can’t get enough of McD’s or M and S.

            Without even thinking about it, I could name a double-figure list of British towns of 100,000+ that have a lot less going for them than Zilina does.

          • George M

            Because Zilina is a Dump perhaps !

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