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Andy from Your Choice: My Culture Shock from England

Andy prišiel na Slovensko učiť angličtinu v januári 2017. Precestoval rôzne krajiny sveta, aby sa nakoniec na nejaký čas usadil v Trnave. Odvtedy učí angličtinu deti aj dospelých. Ako ale ľudia z iných krajín vnímajú našu kultúru? Čo je pre nich zaujímavé a iné? Čo sa im páči na našej krajine, na študentoch a prečo radi učia? Prinášame sériu vtipných postrehov od našich lektorov.

Since moving to Slovakia in February 2017 I have encountered many amazing and interesting surprises. Having travelled to over 14 countries in the last year I was keen to find out how Slovakia was different from my home in England and the other countries that I had visited. 

Over my first few weeks I used my tablet to note down things that really took my eye. 

As I took my first journey from Bratislava to Trnava I was surprised to see what seemed like such big and long trains, some of which were even double deckers. In England, long distance trains are not such a thing and people tend to drive more than use trains to get around.

I was also surprised at the train station which charged only €2.10 for a 40 minute journey. In England, I'd expect to pay more like €14 for the same distance.

As I arrived at my new job, I was warmly welcomed with a mix of greetings such as "Hello" and "Ahoy"  I asked a girl what Ahoy meant?  She told me that Ahoy means Hello and Goodbye!  In England Ahoy is a nautical term and something children would expect Sailors or Pirates to say.  It seems normal now but I took it as humorous in my first few days. 

Over the next days and weeks I continued to jot down everything that made me say... "Oh Wow!"

While taking the reins of my new English teaching job, I have been surprised to see such a great standard of English amongst both adults and children. It has always amazed me how people can speak in two or sometimes more languages.  I have met people in Slovakia who can speak up to five languages. This, for me, is the biggest difference between Slovakia and my country where over three quarters of people can't speak a second language. 

Unfortunately, I am sad to see the amount of people who use their phones while driving in Slovakia including the Police.  I am very pleasantly surprised to see how people are very courteous and patient when crossing roads.  As a car driver myself it appears to me that most people in Slovakia prefer to use designated crossing areas as opposed to running across roads and between cars like they would in England. 

Lastly, my biggest surprise and favourite part about living in Slovakia is the incredible weather. Such a British thing to say, right?  I was quite nervous to hear that I would be stepping off the aeroplane into temperatures below -12 C.  I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a beautiful white landscape of Slovak snow which is something most Brits dream of happening just once a year.  As time went by I was pleasantly surprised that the cold winter rapidly turned into Spring followed by Summer and temperatures began to increase.  Now we are in October the thirsty trees are shedding their dry leaves and I am getting to see my first glimpse of autumn in this beautiful country! 

Now, I can't wait to see the rest year and what is to come. 

Andy

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