Re: [Slovak-World] Re: Crossing the Danube
- 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@...>
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
It is a fascinating experience I wish upon you all.
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