Reader feedback: Change visible, why such pessimism?

Re: "Je tu bordel: Slovaks down on apparently better life", By Tom Nicholson, Vol.8 No.29, August 5-11, 2002

Slovakia has changed so much in last ten years it is unrecognisable to me. I visited in 1990-91 right after the "Velvet revolution". Stores were empty, no food was to be found, only plenty of vodka and drunks were everywhere. When I visited again in 2000, what a difference.

I have used public bathrooms, which were immaculate; restaurants are everywhere. People look good,

they do not stare at me as they did in 1990; I am part of the crowd.

I was telling my hosts how life had changed since the fall of communism, but they don't remember. My hosts were complaining, although I saw a bottle of Gucci perfume in their bathroom, which I consider too extravagant for me, although I have an above average income in America.

My young niece, who just finished law school and has been working for only two years, is buying a condominium and sends me post cards from her vacations in Spain, Turkey, France and Croatia. She can do this without help from her parents and without political involvement.

So this is what I see, therefore I really do not understand the despair of Slovak people. People just need to remember that

problems like corruption, alcohol abuse and the Roma situation were much worse ten years ago.

Adrianne

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