photo: Ján Svrček
Amanda Surbey (AS): I like it when Le Monde [restaurant in Bratislava] has a special occasion menu (like on Halloween or Valentine's Day). I find the food quality and the service are consistently high, but the menu really shines when they can create something special. Never had a bad meal there. Good value for the money. Any of the outdoor cafes are lovely in the summer. Any of the ice cream stands around the city. The flavors are wonderful, and, at Sk7 a scoop, you can try them all.
TSS: What Slovak dish or drink do you like?
AS: In the winter I like roast goose with red cabbage. Halušky dumplings. Warm wine or medovina at the Christmas market. Freshly made langoš with garlic sauce. Slovak beer and wine are both excellent.
TSS: What is your favourite place to visit?
AS: On a recent trip to the High Tatras I had the chance to stop in Levoča. There is something magical about the town. The same day we visited Spišský hrad... it was late afternoon and the countryside below was bathed in a warm golden light. The castle ruins on the hill are spectacular. It's well worth the trouble to visit.
TSS: What struck you the most when you came here?
AS: How good Slovak wines can be.
TSS: Did you have any embarrassments or language faux pas with Slovaks?
AS: Many of my friends have heard me talk about how I went around for several days saying "dovidenia" (good-bye) instead of "dobrý deň" (good day) when I entered shops. Don't know how long I did it because no one corrected me or even batted an eye.
TSS: What advice would you give to a foreigner who comes to Slovakia for the first time?
AS: We were very fortunate to have an employer who really took good care of us when we moved to Slovakia. They helped us with all the administrative details of residency permits, housing contracts, shipping our furniture, etc. However, my advice to newcomers is to be patient with the settling in process no matter who your employer is. It takes time to work out all the kinks, and although you may feel as though your experience is exceptionally difficult, most expats have some snafu or funny story (well, it's funny after it happens, not at the time). It may take four to six months to truly feel at home. That's normal.
TSS: Will you have any lasting memories of Slovakia?
AS: The view from Spišský hrad. Celebrating New Year's on Hlavné námestie. Watching Slovakia win the hockey World Cup. The view of the city and the Danube from my balcony.