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.
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.