To all the Slovak boys I've loved before

A new memoir recounts an American teenager’s year of romance and heartbreak in Slovakia during the country’s fledgling independence.

Sarah Hinlicky Wilson and her friend Peter picking cherries in Svätý Jur.  Sarah Hinlicky Wilson and her friend Peter picking cherries in Svätý Jur. (Source: Courtesy of S. Hinlicky Wilson)

When American Sarah Hinlicky Wilson and her family moved in 1993 from upstate New York to Svätý Jur, a small town near Bratislava, she quickly learned that the boys in her new neighbourhood were more than a little curious about the ‘Američanka’ next door.

Related article:In a year of grim tidings, Slovak migrant turns to the magic of childhood fairy tales Read more 

Seventeen at the time, Hinlicky Wilson was just finding her place in the world, much like the newly independent nation of Slovakia that had emerged following the split of Czechoslovakia just six days before she arrived.

Surrounded by Slovak boys, Hinlicky Wilson’s time in Slovakia was characterised by a “baker’s dozen” of admirers, chief among them a young man named Mišo, who “beamed between his dimples”. But her most persistent suitor, detailed in her recently-published memoir “I am a Brave Bridge: An American Girl’s Hilarious and Heartbreaking Year in the Fledgling Republic of Slovakia”, was the country itself.

“Slovakia, my first love, is my true love,” she told The Slovak Spectator. “I have lived elsewhere since, but no place has captivated me or moved me the way that Slovakia does.”

Sarka and the village

Pod’ von, pod’ von, Sarka!

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

Top stories

No single list of foreigners who are entitled to vote in Slovakia exists.

It is a simple question. How many foreigners vote in Slovakia?

The million-dollar question the state and towns can hardly answer.


24. sep
Reconstruction work on the Monument of Liberation and Victory, unveiled in 1955 in the Dargov mountain pass, which commemorates the liberation of eastern Slovakia from Nazism.

Police have finally found a very old book, arresting alchemy buffs

Set out on a Malá Fatra hike, avoid the Bratislava cable car from Monday.


24. sep
Not all stretches of the long-awaited D4/R7 bypass of Bratislava will open as originally planned.

Problems with Bratislava bypass opening continue

Not all of its stretches will be put into operation on Sunday as officially planned.


24. sep
Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo speaks to foreigners at [fjúžn] festival's "Ask the Mayor" event.

Foreigner’s community has a big voice, but it needs to be more organised

Bratislava Mayor Matúš Vallo addressed the questions and concerns of foreigners in Bratislava during a special Q&A.


23. sep
Skryť Close ad