Archive for the ‘Life in Slovenia’ Category

The breakdancing dog

Monday, November 4th, 2013

It’s a tough contest but if I had to say which animal made me laugh the hardest, the honour would go to a dog I had when I was little, Fia the Doberman pinscher. It used to be quite common in Slovenia for parents to let their small children keep big animals. I suppose they hoped such a responsibility would instil some wisdom in either the kids or the pets, not to mention the added benefit of having would-be child molesters reconsider their life choices after losing a limb to a protective pet.

(Admittedly, keeping a dog wasn’t always the complicated affair it’s cranked up to be nowadays, as pooches used to have a set of clearly-defined duties – to chaperone the children, to protect the house, to abstain from mauling people without due cause and to refrain from passing gas indoors – which gave them a sense of purpose, and effectively prevented the likes of Cesar Milan from making a career trying to talk some sense into people who don’t know what a dog is for and what to do with it.)

In the rural areas where parents continue to expect their children to be smart enough to make it in the world without grown-ups constantly shielding them from all potential sources of harm, you can still see tots leading huge dogs, horses, cattle and whatnot, and when they’re not doing that they’re likely driving a tractor. From what I gather from my recent explorations of the Slovenian countryside, the age of eight is still considered ideal for country children to start operating heavy machinery. Anyway, my Fia was super clever about many things, a keen student of human nature and an astute exploiter of its soft spots, but like so many animals she tended to come up short when met with certain pitfalls of physics. (more…)

Slovenia: Why is it so difficult to leave, Part I

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

A funny thing you can’t help but notice if you happen to wander into the country called Slovenia is that it’s almost impossible to leave. It’s not like anyone is manning the borders; the country is in the Schengen Area which basically means everyone and their sister is roaming around freely. The traffic connections are superb and, with Slovenia being so tiny, you can step on it and find yourself somewhere else in a matter of minutes. Our neighbours the Croatians – who lay claim to a somewhat larger country which is as pretty as they come but shaped like a pair of spaying tongs – will gladly tell you that Planica (where our rather famous ski flying hill is) will never get a permit for a higher hill as then the skiers would be landing on Croatian porches, wreaking all kinds of havoc in the process.

(If it weren’t for the Croatians, we Slovenians would need to come up with our own jokes about Slovenia’s size but luckily enough our southern neighbours have been maintaining a steady supply of those for as long as I can remember.) (more…)

Methinks: Politicians, Part II

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

I never know with the Americans; do they even realise how wonderfully cynical they are? The current USA ambassador to Slovenia, His Excellency Joseph Adamo Mussomeli, who has earned quite a reputation for frequently voicing his opinion of our bickerings, recently said something like ”In the USA, politicians pretend to hate each other, but your politicians hate each other for real”.

(You gotta love this guy. He’s outspoken to the point of being brave, brilliant, with a great sense of humour. He succeeded in ticking off more people than all other ambassadors to Slovenia present and past combined. One of the few things about him that sort of fits what I’d expect from a diplomat is his undeniable charm and his skill at wooing the press – though he assures us that the media are always going for his throat.) (more…)

Methinks: Politicians, Part I

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Our former prime minister made it to the front page of Wikipedia recently, even if for all the wrong reasons:

 

Janez Jansa in international news

A flattering picture btw. (more…)

Regardless of what your mother said, you most definitely are Slovenian if

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Your whole attitude to life could be summed up by ‘You can do whatever you want with me but you’d better not interfere with my driving!’ – that having been said, here are some sure giveaways as to your Slovenian roots:

– Your car is worth as much as your house or more; if you’re renting, your monthly car payment exceeds your rent.

– If you see an expensive car following the traffic rules, you consider it a waste of a fine vehicle and start fantasizing about all the rubber you’d be burning if you could afford a car like that.

– If you see an expensive car breaking the traffic rules you consider it proof that all rich people are inconsiderate thieving bastards who think they can get away with anything and could sure use a good whipping. (more…)

Tell-tale signs you might be Slovenian, Part II

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

– You would never consider moving in order to land a better job.

– You will, however, backpack, hitchhike, climb, crawl and paddle your way from the Arctic to Antarctica and back just for fun.

– When abroad, you can never avoid running into your fellow nationals no matter how secluded your destination may be because they’re everywhere.

– Each time you encounter your fellow countrymen anywhere outside of your national borders you pretend to be glad to see them but in reality you consider your trip a failure and swear to seek out an even remoter place next time.

– You go to the Croatian coast each summer despite knowing it has one of the highest numbers of your fellow nationals per square foot on record and then complain under your breath about everybody around you speaking your language and feel like somebody robbed you of your holiday experience.

– You don’t necessarily go out of your way to make people from other former Yugoslav republics feel particularly welcome in your country but if you happen upon them abroad you couldn’t be happier and you’ll get drunk together and reminisce about the good old Yugoslavia until you jointly pass out under the table. (more…)

Tell-tale signs you might be Slovenian, Part I

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

You might be Slovenian if:

– You own a car, a house and some land and you’re always complaining about being underprivileged.

– Whenever somebody visits you apologise profusely for your house being such a mess despites the fact the whole place is next to sterile with no clutter in sight.

– No matter how broke you claim to be you seem to have little problem finding money for high-end sports equipment.

– You claim to have no money while going out for drinks every night and taking seaside vacations and ski trips several times a year.

– You believe a deep tan is a sign of health and athleticism and feel obligated to drop hints to this effect around fair-skinned individuals.

– You believe your politicians must be some sort of an experiment gone wrong and are under no circumstances to be considered a reflection of your national character. (more…)

Kdor ne jamra, ni Slovenc, jej, jej, jej!

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Pa se res je 😀

Jamranje je nas nacionalni sport in tako dobri smo v njem, da postane clovek hvalezen za lastno mizerijo, ce vec kot pet minut poslusa Slovenca srednjega sloja razlagati, kako njemu res ni lahko.