07 March 2009

Prešov = Pittsburgh = ♥

I've always said that I can't go out in Pittsburgh without seeing someone who either I know or who, upon seeing me do something stupid, would not tell my mother. It's like that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when cousin Nikki is like "the family knows" and then tells Toula how word got back to the family.

This is a good thing. And, it's the same here in Prešov. Yesterday, in the space of about an hour, I saw three or four people on the street who I knew and who knew me and we stopped to talk.

It reminds me of something I read in the Slovak historian Ľubomír Lipták's book Changes of Changes: Society and Politics in Slovakia in the 20th Century:
"...Let us remember that Košice never pretended to the position of capital city, since the arguments about the eccentric position of Bratislava apply just as much to it. The Košice geographer argues that conditions for the origin of a centre of 'metropolitan type' exist in the east just as in the west. ... 'However, the eastern sense of reality creates a mental map of a different type, with its centre not in Bratislava, but in America...'"
I've said over and over again how normal and natural it is for me to be here, but seriously, I'm so at home. Here in Prešov, people dress like in Pittsburgh, eat like in Pittsburgh, drink like in Pittsburgh, speak like in Pittsburgh (or does Pittsburgh do everything like Prešov??) -- whereas in Bratislava one would feel compelled to dress and act like western Europe, except that in Bratislava such style and attitude don't come across as natural the way it is in Rome or Paris.

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