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Is this a true story? Wow, we are so so spoiled here in USA.
This became symbol for me of middle-class expectations in Slovak culture — specifically, concept of CHOOSING to live with less.
It’s odd though, that here in Bratislava it seems the first question out of anyone’s mouth is “what kind of car do you have?” followed by “do you own your apartment?” I think the rest of Slovakia is quite different, though. My wife’s parents share bicycles with her uncle and aunt who live in the same village.
Odd indeed — from my experience, first question would be “Have you found job yet?” followed by “Have you found better place to live yet?” !
RE: Difference between Bratislava & rest of Slovakia ~ Yes! This (and permeability of Bratislava-R.O.S. border) fascinates me…
Yes, it’s fascinating just how many people, particularly in their 20s-30s, come to Bratislava to go to University and find work. (And it’s interesting to see them all pack the trains when going back home en masse for holidays and weekends). But we have witnessed first hand all too often this very real atmosphere of materialism that people in Bratislava seem to get caught up in. We’ve come across many people who are genuinely perplexed that we rent and aren’t interested in buying (and couldn’t afford to anyhow). I think there are quite a few people with humble backgrounds from out in the country who come to Bratislava for better jobs and a higher standard of living, and, it could be coincidence, but to us it seems *some* of those who have found it seem to have suddenly become preoccupied with status and material wealth. We have a few friends originally from Bratislava who relocated to Prague (and elsewhere), who complain about this very phenomenon, saying it’s much worse in Bratislava than even Prague. Friends and acquaintances of ours sometimes talk of being ridiculed (at work, for example) for being “poor” CPs, or for not having cars and taking the trams/busses. I obviously don’t want to overgeneralize, but it is something we’ve encountered a fair amount, and it’s a topic of conversation that comes up somewhat often. We often hear people from outside Bratislava say, “oh, you know how those Bratislava people are.”
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