Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

LETTER FROM CANADA

Liberal excesses make even Trump sound normal

In Slovakia, I was seen as a dewy-eyed liberal. Back home, I am a stick-in-the-mud conservative without even a tattoo to mark him as chill.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a meeting at the G-7 summit. (Source: AP/SITA)

Several years ago I spent the night in Prešov, arriving after dark in a snowstorm. I was staying at a penzión owned by a family that had returned from the UK after years in exile. At breakfast the next morning, as the father cleared snow from the front sidewalk, I asked the son how it felt to be back in Slovakia after so long. He shrugged, his face a complicated mix of emotions, none of which resembled joy.

I think I understand his diffidence better now. Coming home is initially an unspeakable relief (familiar smells, sounds and places) that gives way to disquiet. Take language, for starters – in the quarter-century since I have lived here, people seem to have picked up a new argot. It’s all dude and awesome and chill now, with fistbumps replacing handshakes, and the TV telling me to “you do you”. Which leaves me with two choices – talk that way myself, and feel like an idiot, or speak the way I remember people talking, and sound like an idiot to others.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Slovak singer Peter Lipa remembers 1968 occupation through music Video

How was one of the few songs about the 1968 occupation created?

Peter Lipa

Yuri Dojc: I did not want to live under occupation

Slovakia is not even close to what I remember from my life here, says the Canadian-Slovak photographer.

Yuri Dojc today: "A reflection of an older man in the mirror with glimpse of an attractive woman , who is my wife"

We will not allow Ján and Martina to be forgotten

Statement from Slovak journalists half a year after the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová

Illustrative stock photo

Our emigrants’ stories: lessons in humanity

Slovaks who fled the 1968 occupation tell us what it means to be a refugee.

Pictures from The Gift pantomime show. Milan Sladek wrote it in the Swedish Goteborg in 1969 as a metaphor of Czechoslovakia's cohabitation with the Soviet Union.