piatok, mája 11, 2007

Time for a break

I don't know what this site is for or where it is going any more. I think I need to take a break from the internet for a while.

Bye for now. Hope it made you smile sometimes.

štvrtok, mája 10, 2007

Not quite ready for the knacker's yard

It's sad to see an old car, which started out as the fun little runabout of some metrosexual end its days as a beast of burden. Or maybe it was never like that. When I first came to Slovakia I remember arguing to dissuade someone from buying a huge gas guzzler and they argued that while British people might like an economical car, people in Slovakia only bought small cars because they were cheap, and if you wanted to prove that you were not poor in Slovakia you had damn well better get yourself a jeep, even if you just want to pop to the shops and back.

nedeľa, apríla 29, 2007

Are Czechs bad people?

So I was sitting with my son in a cafe and I was catching up on what was happening in Tyzden Magazine and my son catches sight of some people from Slovenska Pospolitost carrying a big flag. He likes flags so he asks me "Daddy, who are they?". "Bad people," I answer. "Czechs?" he asks. But after that it's just a lecture about how there are good and bad people everywhere...

But where could he have picked it up from? Or are children's brains some sort of random crazy idea generation device? (Locke vs. Chomsky anyone?)

I have to start watching it with him and politics. For example, he thinks the name Robert Fico is really funny and walks around singing it with various intonations. The PM is such a vain fellow you can imagine him having us locked up for lese majeste if he heard about it.

štvrtok, apríla 26, 2007

Luxuries

Things are looking up in Zilina economically thanks to the new Kia factory. We have all sorts of foreign managers coming here to work or just take a look and they need new hotels, new restaurants and so on. The process of adapting to the new needs is still at quite an interesting stage. For example, writing an English menu is still a skill that most places are just learning, as the picture to the right shows. It reads more like a witch's potion recipe than an enticing advert:

  • scampi salad
  • crab nipper
  • frog-thigh
  • cuttle-fish
  • shark steak
  • little octopus
  • dish two-man

I think the last one is my favourite

streda, apríla 25, 2007

Get the Facts! Potholes exclusive!

If you think the Slovak political scene is a bit too exciting, maybe it's time to head somewhere more sedate.Why not give the Tiraspol Times a try. At the time of writing, the top story in forgotten Transdniester is:

"After a harsh winter, new potholes appeared in many roads throughout Pridnestrovie."

It then goes on to detail the shocking holes in the wonderfully named city of Bender.

I thought it was a joke but Radio Free Europe reckons it's a serious paper encouragin human rights and all that.

It's slightly spooky that I came to this site because Google Mail recommended it to me.

Maybe they're getting to know me a bit too well.

sobota, apríla 21, 2007

Slovensko.coma

I think the author of this piece (one AlexW) actually thought he was helping to make the internet a nicer place but in its amazing partisan attacks on Marxists (anyone who doesn't share the author's extreme views - note the dismissive aside about global warming) and its insulting reference to drivel it's clear that it is motivated by a desire to be an internet cop. Personal attacks do ensue he writes. The queer impersonal grammar is clearly designed to disguise the fact that often it's him who's doing the attacking.

"Can anyone on Slovensko.com (traffic cop) explain why certain good posts were removed when there was no vulgarity, insults, or heavy-duty personal attacks between the participants?"

Did it ever occur to you that the deleted post have NOTHING to do with Slovakia? I think your boat landed here by mistake. Slovensko is a site for the promotion of Slovakia, to provide information about SLOVAKIA, and to help people traveling here. It is not a site for spewing silly drivel. (Speaking for myself, not an official of Slovensko)

The Internet is full of thousands of political, general interest forums, and blogs where the Marxist, anti American, anti, or pro anything crowd can feel at home. I participate in other forums where I DO talk politics, the man made global warming swindle, and numerous other topics. This forum is not the place for that.

Having been a member here for over 5 years, I have seen the Pommie fool(Pommie is a colloqial term for one clown that has posted under many names), his many clones, and other rude disruptors come and go. It has always been a problem. Personal attacks do ensue. Witness the vile Pommie attacks on Estika. Left unfettered for over a month, the site deteriorates rapidly. Last year it got so bad that the General Discussion forum was deleted.

If you want to talk about Slovakia, I am sure it would be welcomed. Otherwise, I think you should load your boat with lemons, a Marxist crew, and sail off to another port. There are so many sites where you could feel right at home.

Well, I am not going to give advice and information and do free translations to promote the talking shop of some right wing fantasists. And so goodbye to the last public Slovak forum site that I used. I'm sure there are interesting mailing lists out there, maybe some decent blogs but it looks like a lonely old Internet for me for a while. Oh well, at least I don't have to waste my energyplaying to someone else's agenda.

I think I'll open up the comments here again and see what we get. Can anyonerecommend a good Slovakia-related discussion site where I don't have to pretendthat it's some Shangri-la beyond politics and the rest of the world?

štvrtok, marca 08, 2007

International Women's Day

Prime Minister Fico's party SMER, organised a party for International Women's Day, a day that originally celebrated women's struggle for equality but in Slovakia became a mark of patronisation, as men thanked women for the hard work they did, without thinking that maybe women would rather men took a share of it. The Prime Minister took part in a number of sketches to show how silly it would be if men tried to do women's work how hard women have to work and how much men sincerely appreciate it:

Fico folds curtains on stage

As you can see, a good time was had by all.

I'm off to do my housework now. That is all. Thanks to SME for the images.

Strong is the stupid in Carrefour

My mother-in-law had a very successful trip to our Carrefour hypermaket yesterday. First the cheese counter:

Mother in law: Don't you have maasdam?
Assistant: Yes we do, here.
Mother in law: That's not maasdam
Assistant: Yes it is. It's just pronounced differently [probably meaning that it has a different name but…]

For Slovak fans, that phrase should be len sa vyslovuje inak

Meanwhile, at the checkout the assistant insisted on reenacting the Romans go home graffiti scene from Life of Brian and made her sign here credit card slip six times until she got it looking the same to the assistant's satisfaction. Loops were in the wrong places apparently. I'm not sure you're even allowed to sign multiple times. Surely the proper procedure ought to be to ask for additional ID.

Carrefour is in a very strange situation. The French parent company wants to disinvest from Slovakia but the original plan to sell out the shops to Tesco was banned by the Anti-Monopoly Office. So the shops are sort of in limbo, waiting to see what will happen to them. And maybe this affects the quality of the staffing.