I must disagree with the article "Culture Shock: Women and Children First? Not on the bus," by Matthew Evans, Vol. 5 No. 22, June 7 to 13. While living in the Bratislava suburb of Devínska Nova Ves in 1992, I was a daily rider of buses and trams for three months. I found Bratislava citizens to be more polite than, for example, US folks in crowded public situations. In fact, it was common to see Slovak men jump off the bus at a stop and help a mother lift her baby carriage onto the bus.
On one occasion (a bit embarrassing for me) an elderly lady, whom I judged to be over seventy, offered me her seat. At that time, I was a young looking (they tell me) fifty-five.
On a regular basis, I saw young people offer their seat to older folks. My observations during my 1992 and 1995 visits were that Slovak children were especially polite, respectful and obedient.
I doubt if social behavior has changed very much in the six years since I was there last.
14. Jun 1999 at 0:00