Georges: le meilleur!
Georges from Paris is certainly the most important person I met in Bovec.
He is already 34 years old but looks much younger, both phisically and spiritually. Moreover, he shares most of my interests and opinions. Therefore, it was very easy and natural for us to become close friends.
Georges's family comes from Magyarország (Hungary) and from Vojvodina (an autonomous region of Srbija), however he feels French at 100%. He can speak Serbo-Croatian very well and Slovenian quite well; he knows a lot about the Balkans and he loves Italia. He already speaks Italian but wants to improve it a lot before we meet again.
He was in my class at the summer school and he always praised me for everything. He often said phrases like "le meilleur!" ("the best!"), "quel homme!" ("what a man!"), etc., which made us laugh.
He got on well with everybody thank to his sunny character but he told me I was one of the best people he had met there.
We were quite sad the last evening when we said good-bye (he gave me one of the few, and maybe the most beautiful hug I have ever received from a friend) but we both look forward to meet again, hopefully very soon!
Antoine: a student better than the teacher
Antoine is the funniest person I met at the "Poletna šola". He comes from the outskirts of Paris and is studying at the language institute INALCO (where I also wanted to study before going to Trieste), but has already got a degree in engineering and one in mathematics.
He used to get dressed in T-shirt and shorts and to wear flip-flops, even when it was raining. He likes drinking a lot of wine and to get drunk (in familiar French "se bourrer la gueule", as he taught me).
If you stopped reading this tip here, you would imagine Antoine as a dissolute guy like many other. That's false. Apart from these particular tastes, he has a very deep culture in some domains, such as mathematics, (some periods of) French history and literature, classic and lyrical music. On the other hand, he knows absolutely nothing about pop music and painting.
But what made him worthy of admiration to my eyes was his excellent knowledge of the Slovenian grammar: he was in the same course as Georges and I (Slovene 2) and he could sometimes explain us what our teacher didn't know, e.g. the difference between perfective and imperfective verbs.
I keep a wonderful memory of him and we are already looking forward to meet again, maybe in Paris.
This photo was taken at the last party before the end of the courses and here you see all the attributes of Antoine I have written about (I don't know to whom the other foot belongs).
Jonatan: the angel I shared the room with
Jonatan from Deutschland is one of my two room-mates in Bovec. When I arrived at the hotel and got the room, neither he nor the other boy, Bernhard (who has not become a friend of mine), had arrived yet and I was worried. What if the other boys speak only Slovene and we cannot communicate?
Well, Jonatan brought a sunshine into our room. As soon as he arrived and shook my hand saying "Hello! I'm Jonatan" (in English, because he didn't suppose I spoke German), I understood we would become friends, which actually happened. His father comes from Slovenija, thus he was there to study Slovene, but he was in the Slovene 1 course, so we weren't in the same class, unfortunately.
I had great moments with him. One evening, after going to the WWI museum of Kobarid (it was the day after the excursion to the Mangartska planina, when Tanja attacked me), he came to bed at around 11 pm, while I was still reading a book. If he hadn't come, I would have slept few minutes later. Instead, we started talking about minorities, foreign communities in Europe, Muslims, in such a deep and passionate way that we really enjoyed it (although I sometimes had to ask him some German words I didn't know). We did agree on most points: he listened to my opinions about those topics with great interest and expressed his views. Well, we talked and talked... until Bernhard also came to bed (we always slept when he came to bed, with the difference I always heard him, while Jonatan never did!). It was already 0.30 am and we went on talking until 1 am or later. That was my first great night in Bovec.
Jonatan left Bovec on Friday, instead of Sunday, as a friend gave him a lift. When we were about to say good-bye, I thought he would be rather distant, instead he shook my hand... - "That's all", I thought - ...,hugged me and invited me again to Frankfurt (he had already invited me after only few days we knew each other)! Now, I don't want to hear any longer that Germans are cold, or I'll get very angry!
Enrico: quel homme!
Enrico is another of my new best friends. It was very easy to get in touch with him and it happened on the same day as I got to know Tanja. We talked a lot about national identity, minorities and Europe that day and we agreed on many points, even if I seemed too "Euro-optimist" to him.
However, I discovered later that Enrico was also a very nice guy to stay with. We had a beautiful time together and I must thank him for helping me complete the card that enabled me to get a pizza for free. To be sincere, I should also thank Tanja (I bet she is already exclaiming "Why on earth didn't he thank me in the tip about me?!? Boys are all the same! Blah!"), Pamela and others for the same reason.
Back to Enrico now. He comes from Gorizia, the town that was divided in two sides after WWII. Although his grand-parents are Slovenian, he feels 100% Italian and pronounce his Slovenian family name in the Italian way. He was in Bovec to attend a German course for beginners and it was funny to see him try to speak German with some Austrian girls who also tried to speak Italian but, after realizing that these foreign languages were too difficult for each other, both sides always ended by talking in English!
Enrico was one of the room-mates of Georges and he liked Georges's funny French phrases, although he didn't speak French. Whenever he met our French friend, he said "quel homme!" or something else. I hope I will meet him again soon.
Ian: the good Franco-Austrian giant
Ian is another guy I met in Bovec. He comes from Salzburg (Österreich) but his mother is French, if I remember well. That's why he can speak French almost as well as his mother tongue.
Actually, the reason why I got to know Ian is that he was the room-mate of my class-mate and good friend Antoine (see above), but I hadn't got the chance to talk to him a lot. Therefore, Ian and I didn't become close friends; however, I have a good memory of him and I would like to meet him again in the future.