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Swiss are punctual, Scots and Slovaks love their pubs

In this summer series, foreign women share their experiences of living in Slovakia

In this summer series, foreign women share their experiences of living in Slovakia


ZARIN BUCKINGHAM
photo: Spactator Archives

ZARIN BUCKINGHAM from Switzerland is the director and founder of the Forel International Elementary School in Bratislava. She has been in Slovakia for over three years now. She is married to Dr. Thomas Buckingham, a cardiologist.


The Slovak Spectator (TSS): What is your favourite place to eat and drink in Slovakia?

Zarin Buckingham (ZB): I like Modrá Guľa for their excellent food and service. But I must say there are so many great restaurants and cafes in Bratislava, it's hard to choose.


TSS: What Slovak dish or drink do you like?

ZB: I really like the special cabbage soup they make here. Also, the potato pancake is quite delicious.


TSS: What is your favourite place to visit?

ZB: I love the mountains, and so I enjoy going to the Tatras.


TSS: What struck you the most when you came here?

ZB: The physical beauty of the people. I think that Slovak women are some of the most beautiful women I have seen.


TSS: What advice would you give to a foreigner who comes to Slovakia for the first time?

ZB: Try to learn the language a little and mingle with the general public. It is also very useful to know the laws.


TSS: What will be your lasting memory of Slovakia?

ZB: Certainly NOT the visa procedure!


TSS: What would you bring as a present back home?

ZB: There are a lot of beautiful handicrafts that I would love to take with me, if I ever go back. I love the embroideries.


TSS: What is the main difference or similarity in character between Slovaks and people of your nationality?

ZB: I find the Slovaks very friendly. It's much easier to make friends with them than with people back home. What is not similar is that people at home are very punctual. Punctuality does not seem to be first on the list here!



SUSAN BACO
photo: Spactator Archives

SUSAN BACON, an English language teacher from Scotland, is at the moment on maternity leave and on holiday in Scotland with her small son. She has been in Slovakia for almost two years with her husband Nigel, manager of the training centre at the British Council.


TSS: What is your favourite place to eat in Slovakia?

Susan Bacon (SB): For traditional food I like the Slovak Restaurant on Hviezdoslavovo námestie. It has great atmosphere, and it's an interesting place to take visitors.


TSS: What Slovak dish or drink do you like?

SB: I'm not a big meat eater, so my favourite Slovak dish has to be bryndzové halušky (potato dumplings with sheep cheese). Favourite local drink... beer!


TSS: Did you have any embarrassments or language faux pas with Slovaks?

SB: My main embarrassment with the Slovak language has been my inability to learn it well.


TSS: What will be your lasting memories of Slovakia?

SB: They will have to include the weather. We moved here from the intense heat of the Middle East, so I have really enjoyed the freezing cold Slovak winters!


TSS: What would you bring as a present back home?

SB: Wooden toys. I have taken lots back to family in Scotland. Everyone loves them and I return to Slovakia with a shopping list! Also the pottery from In Vivo is beautiful and very unusual.


TSS: What is the main difference or similarity in character between Slovaks and people of your country?

SB: I think Slovaks and Scots share an enjoyment of sitting in a cozy pub or wine cellar on a winter's day catching up with friends. Of course we are lucky here as we can move to the pavement cafes in the summer, while in Scotland this would mean getting very wet!

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