So. I was talking with one of my colleagues today, and she said something quite insightful and definitely informative from a 'native' POV. She was telling me about how, a few years ago, some cousins of her grandfather came to visit them in Slovakia, somewhere near Ružomberok. And about how they (the American relatives) were surprised that they (the Slovak relatives) had electricity, running water, etc. This attitude surprised my colleague -- she couldn't believe that they were so surprised! I am writing this on a laptop with a wireless connection. I am doing laundry in a machine, not by hand. The list goes on... While I find myself occasionally falling into the trap of romanticization, I'm also here because I'm interested in the present.
Can we all please agree to try to remember that being here does not magically transport us back to the 19th century?