Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bratislava: The Worn Identity

If the main buildings of Bratislava are well maintained, however, then it's also fair to say that many of the less prestigious buildings are showing signs of wear.

This is a very Communisty looking fountain, with no water and graffiti all over it.

As a former member of the Habsburg Empire, the Soviet block, and finally Czechoslovakia, Slovakia is finally getting a chance to go it alone. By now they must be pretty used to seeing the controlling power disappear into the sunset. I tried asking the girl at the hotel desk about the effects of independence on the national psyche, but she looked nervous and said "Yes". I think her English training may only have extended to questions about pillows and the minibar.

The English language was surprisingly widespread, and the people certainly didn't look poor, or recently-Communist. It seemed wealthier than Poland. Every second shop was selling fancy lingerie, so at least the Slovakian women are embracing consumerism.

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