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Re: [S-R] Cousins Visiting US Shelves

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  • amiak27
    Caye, You reminded me of my experience in 1993/94. I spent a year in Latvia and Lithuania working on US embassies. We rented apartments and lived on the
    Message 1 of 20 , Jul 6, 2007
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      Caye,

      You reminded me of my experience in 1993/94. I spent a year in Latvia
      and Lithuania working on US embassies. We rented apartments and lived
      on the economy. My few words of Slovak were enough to assure I would
      survive - pivo a chleb (beer and bread) among them.

      This was shortly after communism fell and the stores still had a
      meager selection of offerings, and foods were still seasonal and
      somewhat limited. Even so, life was quite good for us "rich
      westerners" who could afford products when the local monthly wage was
      around $30. The variety and quality of some things like pickles and
      other farm / home made products put ours limited variety in the west
      to shame. We may have 8 to 20 brands, but the taste and quality is
      homogenized and bland.

      After a year living over there I returned to the west (Western Europe
      and the USA) and for about three months would sometimes be struck
      still in a grocery store, baffled by the full shelves, the excess of
      variety of brands and types of foods. Several times I had store
      workers come to me and ask if I needed some help as i stood there
      stunned. After three months that stopped happening, but then and for
      a full year after I could be in any every-day situation in America and
      all of a sudden look at my surroundings and wonder at the quality - of
      the lighting, the carpet, the fresh paint on the walls, or any other
      common quality item we never think twice about.

      I hesitate to put this out in public because this simple observation
      should NOT be take and overly critical of what I did experience. It
      was a great year and I am very happy to have lived it. We have our
      major problems in the west, and I also came back with an appreciation
      for their views on our materialism and our decadence.

      As good as our material life is in the USA I have had only one family
      out of many I know in several countries express an interest in moving
      to the US.

      Ron


      --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, Caye Caswick <ccaswick@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > I can see why they don't return -- my cousin was so
      > awe-struck by the grocery store -- she nearly burst
      > into tears -- we have an obscene amount of things
      > available here -- it's totally disgusting really.
      >
      > She even mentioned to me that she loves it so much
      > here that she will have a hard time going home in
      > September -- even though she knows not returning would
      > break her mother's heart.
      >
      > Pray for me that I don't have to hog-tie her and chuck
      > her on that plane -- lol, good thing I weigh a lot
      > more and am determined.
      >
      > ;-D
      > Caye
      >
      >
      > --- James McGrath <jamesfrankmcgrath@...> wrote:
      >
      > > I have more experience with Romanians visiting than
      > > Slovaks, but the same basic principles apply. Lots
      > > of
      > > people come to the U.S. and then don't return.
      > > Particularly when someone doesn't have a strong
      > > reason
      > > to return - finished high school, not in the midst
      > > of
      > > a college program, no work, property or family
      > > responsibilities - all that counts against someone.
      > >
      > > Those who come on visitor visas and then stay spoil
      > > things for a lot of other people. :(
      > >
      > > James
      > >
      > >
      > > --- amiak27 <rmat@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > > Now that the topic of visiting cousins came up, I
      > > > will say I SHOULD be
      > > > hosting a cousin this summer, but the US Embassy
      > > in
      > > > Bratislava had
      > > > other ideas. I was visiting in Slovakia at
      > > > Christmas and agreed with
      > > > one family to host the 17 year old daughter this
      > > > summer. Funding,
      > > > insurance, round trip tickets, letter of
      > > invitation,
      > > > guarantees,
      > > > school time and parental permission were all
      > > > arranged.
      > > >
      > > > Then she and her dad went to Bratislava for the
      > > > interview and her visa
      > > > was denied. No reason was given. I think it
      > > > stinks. I asked my
      > > > Senators to look into it and I am still waiting
      > > for
      > > > an answer.
      > > >
      > > > Do US citizens have a 'right' to travel abroad,
      > > yet
      > > > we cannot invite
      > > > visitors to this country?
      > > > Is the US so afraid of a 17 year old, what she may
      > > > do or see?
      > > >
      > > > I have worked for the Federal government and know
      > > > how arbitrary its
      > > > burro-crats can be, but this is beyond all reason.
      > > >
      > > > Ron
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
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