Have you ever been to a Turkish prison? Do you own a gun? Ok, it is not that bad, no one asked me these two. I think I’ve heard them in an old American movie and I found them so amusing that they kind of stayed in my head until now. But, all expat people living in another country, regardless from where they are from and where they moved to, need to handle a certain amount of absurd questions and comments from local people associated with the generally known stereotypes of their home country.
Similarly, as British people get asked if they know the Queen and Australians get asked if they have a kangaroo at home, here is a list of what questions needs a Slovak girl answer in Slovenia 🙂
- Oh, you are from Slovakia? I’ve been to Ostrava in 1985.
This is a typical statement from people in the age category of 50+.Because they’ve been to Ostrava (which is not even in Slovakia but in the Czech republic) 30 years ago, they TOTALLY know how it is in Slovakia and warn everyone around to better not go to that country.
- Aha, you are from Slovakia! I am going to Poland now.
Nice. Good for you. What should I say? Although Poland is our neighbouring country, I didn’t live any close to its borders, I’ve been there only twice and don’t really know much about it (but I do know some cool Polish people though 🙂 ).
- Have you ever been to the cinema?
Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? Ehm, what!? Are you seriously asking me this?
- If you take a bus, there is a Wi-Fi onboard.
Wow! Bang, this is the 21st century!
- So how is Slovakia? Is the socialism still so bad?
And how are the current relations among the Yugoslavian autonomies? This would probably be equally ridiculous question which I could possibly ask. Oh common, please wake up from the past and improve your knowledge of the current political situation in Europe.
- Ehh, you are from Slovakia………silence……open mouth……silence…surprise…unsaid questions hanging in the air…what, why, how…?
This is my favorite one. Slovenes are not used to meet foreigners who just moved to their country (ok, not all, don’t kill me). The best situations comes when they found out that you are foreign after they’ve been talking to you for half an hour. Their face expression is then the best.
7. You are from Partyslavaaaa?
Well, the Slovakia’s capital Bratislava (where I lived the past few years of my life)is quite popular because of its bars and pubs and many visitors from all over Europe who come there to party, celebrate a New Year’s eve and so on. Surprisingly for me, quite many Slovenes have experienced a party weekend in Bratislava, therefore some of they think that we just sit in clubs all day.
- Do you drink Absinthe?
No. Not sure if I ever drank it. Should I?
- A zastopaš? Ha, see, she understands us!
An illustration of a common reaction of people after they realized that you actually understand their language.
- Is it expensive for you here?
I have always found the rivalry between countries of Central and Eastern Europe kind of amusing. They compete with each other, compare their living standards and are endlessly happy when they see that they are better from some other country. This doesn’t apply to Slovenia and Slovakia only, but the other Central and Eastern European countries as well. And yes, Slovene people are so pleased to hear that it actually is a little more expensive here that in my home country 🙂
- I come from Ljubljana. That is the capital.
An additional explanatory statement of Slovenes after I’ve just asked them where in Slovenia they come from. Some people clearly underestimate my orientation abilities and geographical knowledge of this country.
- Do you also eat pizza in Slovakia?
No, when we are hungry, we go to hunt. We kill an animal, bake it on a fire and eat it.
And, these do not need a commentary:
- Do you have highways?
- Do you drive a Russian car?
- Do you speak Russian?
Of course, I am not saying that aaall Slovenes are like this (don’t want to create any more stereotypes), and actually I have come across similar questions also from people from other countries I have visited before. I need to add that I have actually met here also people who know a lot of stuff about my country and other countries, who have a good general overview, have been to Slovakia recently and so on. But anyway, stereotypes and prejudice are still a part of the beliefs of society. Well, at least we have something to make fun of 😉
So, what about you? Have you ever been in a Turkish prison? What was the most absurd question you got about your home country? I will be happy for your experiences and comment below the article or on my social media:
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