Koningsdag and Slovenian national pride

*Za slovensko verzijo tega teksta kliknite tukaj*

Slovenians don’t have it. National pride, that is. Before anyone attacks me, let me make it clear that I don’t mean it personally: there are individuals, many of us in fact, who are proud of where we come from. But there are also many people who would prefer to hide when someone asks them about their country; who turn their noses up at Slovenian and worship English as their God; who complain about the country – the bureaucracy, mistakes – and don’t see a single good thing.  Continue reading…

When things go “Ouch” in the night

Visiting doctors in a foreign country

*Za slovensko verzijo tega teksta prosim kliknite tukaj*

Unlike in childhood, when my constant colds and fevers caused my parents quite a few gray hairs, I am rather healthy now. (Knock on wood or, since it’s conveniently close, knock on a glass table where my feet are). But no matter how healthy a person is, it’s impossible to avoid occasional pains. When I’m lucky it’s only a cold, during which I spend a couple of days sniffling, complaining and feeling horrible, then I miraculously recover without going anywhere near a doctor.
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How to find a parking spot for your bike

Or the adventures of living in the Netherlands

You know nothing, Katie Melua. There might be 9 million bicycles in Beijing, but there are 13 million of them in the Netherlands. However, Beijing has 20 million inhabitants and the Netherlands 16 millions, which basically means that nearly every person living here has a bike. If we exclude the people who are too old or too young* to cycle, it actually turns out that some have more than one bike. There, somewhere in the shed, is a spare bike just in case of a flat tire.
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And where are you from?

For the past two weeks, it seems as if that’s a question I’m constantly answering. I don’t only think that. I’m sure that this is the most popular question. Only in February, I had to talk about my country of origin:

  • in every first class lesson of the new programme,
  • in a meeting with a professor with whom I’ll be working on a project,
  • in a conversation with every new classmate,
  • at the dentist (three times!).

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