Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

God is a Brazilian, but human beauty is found in Slovakia

In this summer series, foreign women share their experiences of living in Slovakia
ALBENA CHTENIOVSKA-EGLOFF has Bulgarian and French roots. She has been in Slovakia for one year. A painter and fashion stylist, she is preparing a painting exhibition in Bratislava. Her husband, architect Pierre Egloff, is French-Swiss and works at the European Commission delegation in Bratislava.


ALBENA CHTENIOVSKA-EGLOFF
photo: Spectator archives

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

ALBENA CHTENIOVSKA-EGLOFF has Bulgarian and French roots. She has been in Slovakia for one year. A painter and fashion stylist, she is preparing a painting exhibition in Bratislava. Her husband, architect Pierre Egloff, is French-Swiss and works at the European Commission delegation in Bratislava.


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

Albena Chteniovska-Egloff (ACE): One of my favourite places is the Leberfinger restaurant, close to the magnificent park of Janka Kráľa, one of the most beautiful parks I have ever seen. This place is very convenient for families with small children, as parents can combine lunch and a walk in the park or along the Danube river.


TSS: What Slovak dish or drink do you like?

ACE: I am not very acquainted with Slovak cuisine, but I like the traditional Slovak dishes, which are quite different from our Bulgarian dishes. I like Slovak beer, tasty and light, so popular and traditional here that some people say that Slovaks drink beer as if it was water.


TSS: What is your favourite place to visit?

ACE: I have a two-year-old, so it's not easy for us to travel around Slovakia. Luckily there are plenty of possibilities close to Bratislava, such as Devín for walks and horse riding (ponies for children). For those interested in art, there's a beautiful art museum called Danubiana, along the Danube river, about 20 kilometres downstream of Bratislava. It's a fine building, a magical place which offers interesting and well-presented exhibitions.


TSS: What struck you most when you came to Slovakia?

ACE: I was surprised to realise that the Slovak and Bulgarian languages are much closer than I imagined. I am also impressed by the peaceful crowds of people biking and roller-blading along the Danube river embankment in the summer.


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

ACE: A foreigner who comes to Slovakia for some years should avoid the superficial impression a short-term visitor might have, by integrating into Slovak life as far as possible, which means that he or she should learn the Slovak language.


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

ACE: Handcrafts, carved wooden sculptures, wooden toys, ceramics from Modra, glass-works and paintings/graphics (Slovak graphic artists are famous).


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

ACE: The similarities between Slovaks and Bulgarians are the Slav origin (we both commemorate Saints Cyril and Method who evangelised the Slavs and translated the Bible into the Slavonic language) and our comparable recent history - the half century of communism. Our languages and mentalities are close, although our characters are different - Bulgarians are more extroverted, Mediterranean-style, while Slovaks are more reserved, closer to the Austrian and Hungarian culture.



PAULA PETRIBU OGLESBY
photo: Spectator archives

PAULA PETRIBU OGLESBY from Brazil works as the membership co-ordinator for the International Women's Club in Bratislava. Her husband Paul Oglesby is the Press Attaché of the American Embassy; the couple has been here for three years. "We like Slovakia so much that we extended our term for one more year," she says.


TSS: What Slovak dish or drink do you like?

Paula Petribu Oglesby (PPO): Bryndzové halušky (potato dumplings with sheep cheese) is my favourite (when it's well prepared!). I make a very good bryndzové halušky that is better than in some restaurants. Just because it's the national dish doesn't mean that you can find a good one everywhere. Wine in Slovakia is very good, but the excellent soft drink Vinea is something that I have found only in Slovakia.


TSS: What is your favourite place to visit?

PPO: Every town and city in Slovakia is unique. But the one that I loved best was Košice. It's too bad that it's so far from Bratislava! The city is very beautiful, St. Elizabeth's cathedral is unforgettable, and the main square is really enjoyable. Well, I'm a city person! The High Tatras and the Orava region are also incredible!


TSS: What surprised you most when you came to Slovakia?

PPO: I was astonished by the beauty of the Slovak ladies. It's just amazing to walk in the Staré mesto [Bratislava Old Town], it's like being in a fashion parade with a bunch of top models.


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

PPO: I come from Brazil, where it's also common to kiss friends, but we start kissing from the right side and here most of the Slovak people start with the other side. I need to be careful.


TSS: What will be your lasting memory of Slovakia?

PPO: It's hard to say: The view from the Slavín hill over Bratislava, listening to our guide playing the organ in the St. Catherine's church in the Kremnica castle, the first view of the Orava castle, taking the chair lift at Štrbské Pleso to Solisko, and celebrating Brazil's World Cup victory in Staré Mesto.


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

PPO: Books about Slovakia, especially ones with pictures of the castles.


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

PPO: The most noticeable difference is that Slovaks tend to be pessimistic while Brazilians are the most optimistic people in the world. You see people without teeth and no food to eat but still smiling and believing that tomorrow is going to be better because they know that God is a Brazilian.

Top stories

12 places where you can see the works of one of the best medieval wood carvers Photo

The works of the renowned Master Paul are not limited just to Levoča.

St Geirge Curch in Spišská Sobota

Ukrainian caught beauty of Nitra in video Video

The city under Zobor is beautiful also from a bird’s perspective.

Heatwaves to continue in Slovakia over the following days

More than 40 people collapsed due to hot weather on Thursday.

Foreigners: Events around Slovakia Photo

Tips for performances and other events in the Slovak regions between July 21 and 30, including a castle festival, a parkour meeting, a hip-hop dance and music festival, a festival of minorities, a special run,…

Onyx will perform at the Legits Blast event in Banská Bystrica