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Confusing Yes and No
since I came here I noticed people from abroad like me may actually get confused by the Slovak language cause they say "Ano" to say Yes and "Nie" to say No. So sometimes they are replying to you Ano and it means it is YES okay. :D
Infortunately there seems to be an attitude here that graffetti is hip and a good way to express!! Its not so bad when you see it on boarded up buildings but it was also on the lovely and ancient stone walls and just about everywhere else ...
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Taking off your shoes
If you're invited to a Slovak person's home do not forget to take off your shoes upon you arrival at his/her entrance hall. This is a common practice in Slovakia and you will be frowned on if you proceed to enter their living room with your shoes still on. Usually, you might be offered some visitor's slippers.
THE NON ENGLISH SPEAKERS...
The non-English speakers that I met in Bratislava were very helpful - ( compared to the Not Helpful Chezk non-English speakers that I met in Prague) in either way or another they all do their best to try and understand you and help you accordingly. Most of the young people do speak English yet I met others who don't but were still helpful and at restaurants most of the menus have pictures and are written in both Slovak and English.
A tip for Americans
Don't be so impatient here. You are not in America and things are probably not the same in many aspects. You cannot complain and critique how locals do things. They've been around for a longer time. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I didnt see many Americans here, but the few that I did see were frankly an embarassment. Whether you like it or not, you as a person or group, represent your country to the people you have interactions with. Please help to show these people that Yankees are all not impatient, rude, unilingual, fat bastards. Show them that Americans are more than they expected.
The Slovak language is very similar to Czech. Both languages belong to the West Slavic languages. All words are pronounced on the first syllable.
In my opinion it is always respectful to speak at least a few words in the local language:
Dobry den = Good day
Dovidenia = Good bye
d'akujem = Thank you
prosim = please
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I was surprised at how many places, stations, restaurants so on, even in the middle of nowhere, had no smoking sections or were completely non-smoking.
Beware in particular that at Bratislava Train Station, there is no smoking in the building, nor on the platform. There is the tiniest, tiniest sign on the platform itself, and even though the station is pretty rough, I saw some police telling some Slovaks to put out their cigarettes.
And you really wouldn't want to argue!
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Not friendly to American's (?)
It may just be me but I have not enjoyed my stay in Bratislava. Everyone seems quite rude to me. My colleague is African American and was actually PUSHED out of a resturaunt!
You won't find me coming here as a tourist!
This fountain is a meeting point when young people go out in the evening or in the summer you can find here tons of natives just sitting and enjoying free time here. It is in front of Grassalkovich Palace near the hotel Forum
Slovakia ice hockey champions 2002
Slovak ice hockey players became world champions of ice hockey in 2002, the player have been promoted by people to national heroes, The streets has changed its atmosphere very much, Everyone was congratulating to everyone, even the enemys became suddenly friends, whole nation was holding together. Street celebration in all cities, police was very acceptable, people didn`t of course abuse this, everyone was very tolerating to each other. I wish it would be like that all the time.The turists have survived really emotional experience. The ice hockey player brought the bronse medal year after that(2003), but nobody minded that, the situation one year ago had been repeated, as they brought gold. So maybe, the next years around april-may, you can experience the unofficial celebrations, but it`s question of luck.
If you are invited to someone´s house and want to give flowers, be sure to always give an odd number (even numbered bouquets are reserved for funerals). Also if the flowers are wrapped in paper, take them out before you present them.
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Bratislava Travel Guide
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