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Re: [Slovak-World] Re: Crossing the Danube

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  • helene cincebeaux
    Hi Ron, Enjoyed hearing about your trip - weren t you struck by the prosperity and the dramatic changes over the past 40 years! I am sure you remember the
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 1, 2010
      Hi Ron,

      Enjoyed hearing about your trip - weren't you struck by the
      prosperity and the dramatic changes over the past 40 years!
      I am sure you remember the armed guards, barbed wire, guard dogs, mirrors under
      the cars and buses, the searches through your suitcases, etc. And the required
      registering with the police was a process that took most of a day and was scary,
      even getting a visa was daunting and praying it would be granted.

      Also giving up your passport at each hotel and waiting for an hour while they
      laboriously hand wrote all your info into the file for the police. Sometimes the
      next morning they forgot to give your passport back too! And the daily payment
      which was required and ranged up to 10, 20 or 30 dollars a day.

      It is all so easy now - just flitting across the old borders. I think the young
      people haven't a clue what their parents and grandparents went through. I wonder
      what is taught in schools.


      From: Ron <amiak27@...>
      To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Fri, October 1, 2010 9:56:01 AM
      Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: Crossing the Danube

      I didn't hobnob with or interview politicians, but I was struck by the same
      thoughts this summer as I studied in Bratislava and crossed unimpeded between
      countries. This trip took place 40 years to the month after my initial trip to
      Slovakia. The changes in the language during those 40 years, or perhaps more
      accurately in the last 20 years, were impressed upon me by the professor. The
      jargon from the socialist days is gone and I earned a frown when my eye fell
      upon "fellow traveler" in an open dictionary and I had nerve enough to tell
      young fellow student that "that is one phrase you won't run across today".

      That was a small part of the changes that have taken place. Whether crossing
      borders, speaking the language (Slovak or English; both have changed), looking
      at the beautifully restored buildings or enjoying the new streets and
      infrastructure, the old country is happily gone and to travel in Slovakia today
      is to travel in an entirely different country than you would have encountered 20
      years ago.

      It is a fascinating experience I wish upon you all.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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