- -  Day # 267  + +

EU > Slovenia > Ljubljana

Joy and frustration

Ljubljana, SI (View on map)

Rainy days, the alarm clock ringing in the morning, bumping into somebody you just did not feel like meeting.. Some annoyances are universal. So are many of the things we all like: music, food, one or several places to call home. Today, I am asking people in Slovenia about what they like and what annoys them, hoping to get some culture specific answers.

Jernej (18):

..doesn`t mind a little lie to keep the peace
Dejan (25) loves his girlfriend , his home town Bled and playing hockey. He also likes summe, while he hates it when people tell lies, when they move ahead of him in a queue and when they just talk in a weird way. Lin (21) likes nature and friends. She likes when people are helpful and when they don`t judge every small mistake while they allow themselves to make much bigger mistakes at the same time. `I don`t like how materialistic some people are. The way many Slovenians talk to each other depends on how rich or poor their conversation partner is`, Lin says.

Urska (24) feels happy when people are honest and appeal to her for her expertise. `I like it when tourists in town walk up to me and ask me about the city. I try to think positive and whenever I don`t manage to do so, getting some exercise usually helps me to grab myself together: jogging, skating or pretty much anything that you can do outdoors.` When one of my friends is having a hard time, I will try to help him or her find solutions to the problem. I also like honesty, also if it`s about something negative. If I feel like somebody is overcomplaining and just looking for somebody to dwell along in their sorrow, I will just tell them that I will be honest with them and do not want to listen to whatever they keep complaining about. I don`t like it when people take something without asking or when clients in the hotel where I work keep changing their mind. But whenever I get angry, I try to stay calm and find a solution. Just like I would do in any challenging situation I find myself in.`

Jernej (18, photo) also likes honesty, but he prefers diplomacy when the truth can be painful: `I see no harm in leaving painful details out, when the situation can potentially hurt somebody.` Jernej does not like it when people think of themselves as better than he is, mostly because he likes to be on that side himself. `I am very competitive and I want to be better than others in every discipline that has my interest. When it comes to sport, I don`t mind losing, but I obviously prefer winning.`

Like many of his fellow Slovenians, Jernej does not like crowded places `where you can`t move, can`t breathe and can`t talk to each other`. He also hates having to wait in a queue for too long, especially when he needs to get his marks written in his index, the small book that contains all exam marks in university.

Out and about
When I ask Jernej what he likes and does not like about Slovenia, he replies that the country is too small and not sufficiently patriotic. `Slovenes are hardly recognisable. Many Europeans can`t even locate our country. They would easily mistake even our country for Slovakia.`

Matej (21) is most happy when he`s traveling. `Only social obligations, friends and families are keeping me in Slovenia for most of the year. I do try to travel for two months in every year. The plan for this year is to drive a van through Bulgaria and Romania to Turkey, possibly followed by an extension of that journey in western directions, towards France. Matej, like Jernej, does not like places where there are too many people. `When I go out, I prefer to be able to talk to one person or a small group, without others or their noise intruding.`

Matej (24) feels best when he is driving his car, a silver-coloured Ford Mondeo. `I like sunny days as much as I like rainy days. It`s great to drive a car. You get to see the landscape and make some speed. Out of the different countries I have taken this car to ? Italy, Austria, Croatia and Germany ? I don`t think I need to specify why I preferred Germany.` Matej only goes driving when he already feels happy. `I don`t use it as a way to cheer myself up. In that case, I will just watch a movie.` Matej is unsatisfied with the way some people treat him. `If you ask for a favour, in a shop or anywhere else, they will sometimes treat as if you`re not even a person. That`s disgusting.`

Peter (24) is very disappointed by the Slovenian authorities. `I don`t like when people tell me what to do. I like making music, but there are very few facilities in Ljubljana for practicing and performing. And whenever you find a suitable location, it will be closes down within half a year, making room for another new shopping mall`, he says. `There was only one art cinema in town, but also that one recently got closed down. Everything and everybody needs to be productive and efficient, but in a way that is not mine.`

Peter enejoys listening and producing electronic music. He mentions Mouse on Mars and Aphex Twin as his current favourites. Peter`s preferred way of turning depression into happiness is to light a joint or to call one of his friends and complain.`

Andrej (24) enjoys music because it allows him to dance. `I dance to any kind of music, but folk and tango are my favourite types`, he says. Andrej gets annoyed by people who call themselves expert while being no good at what they should be doing: `If a mechanical engineer is supposed to fix something and makes a mess out of it, making you think I could do that better by myself`.

Niza (23) does not like it when she asks people for help, without them being able or willing to help. `Sometimes you expect people to know something, or to be able to tell you something. I tend to feel disappointed if it turns out they don`t know either.` On the happier side of the spectrum, Niza likes to watch football. `I would also play if there were a girl`s team, but there`s no suitable one around. So I`ll go jogging instead.`

Enlarge photo | Link to this article