Community Grapevine

Diplomats can benefit from duty-free outlet

It's been a secret too well kept: Bratislava once again has its own duty-free store for diplomats. Phoenicia Trading, a haven for tax-free shopping that opened in March 1994 but closed down at the end of 1995, reopened for business this spring under new management. The shop, hidden just behind Palisády 36 on Štetinova ul., stocks a range of alcohol and tobacco products, perfume, and a tiny selection of cosmetics at the customs-free price, which often works out to almost half of the regular price. Unfortunately only those with diplomatic status or embassy employees are allowed to buy; for the entitled, the shop is open M-F 9:00-17:00, and United Distillers (the makers of Johnnie Walker, among others) will hold a special "tasting" once a month.

Come out on Sunday, September 1, to Ben Hanna's last service at the International Baptist Church in Bratislava (at the Iuventa, Karloveská 64, room #205). He and his wife will be heading back to Texas to have their second child. The Hannas came to Slovakia two years ago to lead a small Bible study group, and started worship services; now they regularly have 30-50 people attend weekly services. Ben will be replaced by Bob Turman, a veteran of the church of more than 25 years who has served in Zambia and Southeast Asia.

Slovakia isn't likely to see elections until '98, but American citizens should start thinking about casting their absentee ballots on November 5 for the candidates back home. According to American Embassy staff, your state election office will send your ballot to you - if you are already registered. If you aren't, rush down to the embassy: they have general information about registering in each state, and contacts for election offices around the US. They recommend filling the application 60 days before the election to make sure it gets home and get processed, so early September could be your last chance.

Painting is not dead; at least that's what the British Council thinks. To prove it, they have arranged an international exhibition of young British painters called "New Voices," which is heading to Bratislava. British Ambassador to the Slovak Republic Peter Harborne will open the exhibit at 4 p.m. on September 5 at the Mirbachov Palác.

The Bratislava Hash House Harriers (a.k.a. the BSH3) will be celebrating their 100th run on September 9. The run will start and finish at the U Mamičky restaurant at Majakovského 9. Gird yourself for BBQ and swimming afterwards. The cost will be about 200 Sk per person. For more information, contact Matt Erickson at the American Business Center, 07/361-079.

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