It’s been nearly three months since I’ve been in Slovenia, nine days since I posted a blog, and I’ve had writer’s block this week. So I decided, why not give you the scoop on what I’ve discovered in Slovenia thus far. Let’s proceed, shall we?
- Slovene is a tad bit harder than I thought it would be. Not that I was naive going in. I knew it would be no walk in the park, learning a new language never is. But Slovene has singular, plural, and dual conjugations. Masculine, feminine, and neutral nouns. And to top it all off, Slovene has a whopping six cases, a very foreign concept to a native English speaker like myself. This means endings change, ALL THE TIME. What’s funny is that native speakers don’t really realize they are changing endings. They just do. No thinking required. I now understand part of the reason why my mom never wanted to attempt teaching me Slovene. It’s A LOT. And as a native speaker trying to teach me all those grammar rules in an orderly fashion that she has probably never even stopped to think about, well, it would’ve been a challenge, to say the least. All these rules and ending changes make it difficult to speak. At least with Spanish I could actually say a few coherent sentences. Speaking of Spanish…
- I’m grateful to have spent 2 years learning it. As much as I disliked it at the time, it introduced me to the world of conjugations, making the concept less foreign and easier for me to understand and use now.
- Preparing your own meals is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. In fact, I quite enjoy it. I have complete freedom to eat whatever I want, however I want, and whenever I want.
- Also, I love buying my own groceries. I have complete say in what I buy and it’s never been easier to avoid eating junk. I just simply don’t buy it! What a concept.
- Writing this blog is one of my favorite things to do. I have always had a passion for writing and I’ve always been told that I’m good at it. And now, I have a platform to pursue it on! I’m finally doing something with my writing skill and passion, and it is a great feeling. In high school I thought of joining the school newspaper but didn’t. Instead I took theatre again, despite losing interest, simply to guarantee a class with my friends. Part of me regrets this. Instead of wasting another year doing theatre, I could have done something I actually cared about. But it’s all good. I have this blog now, and I quite enjoy this writing medium and the style I get to pursue through using it, something I’m not sure I would have felt if writing for a newspaper.
- Knowing that I, a girl from Texas, was going to live in a colder climate, I would have expected to be the coldest one in every room. The opposite is true. People here bundle up when they don’t really need to and not enough when it seems that they should. I guess I’m not used to it because in Texas, a coat and some boots would do the trick. As a Texan, I don’t really know how much to bundle up and when. Dressing in layers? Never heard of it. All I’ve ever had to do is walk to the car, ride to my destination with the heat turned up, and then walk out of said car for a painful few minutes before the artificial heat of a building would again warm me up. Here I actually have to wait on buses or spend longer periods of time walking around to get where I need to go. Often times I find I don’t wear enough because I think I’ll be fine, but then it gets dark or I’m out for longer than expected. Other times I find that other people are wearing way too much and I think to myself, “toughen up.” The amount of looks I get while walking to the gym in leggings that expose the bottom half of my legs is almost humorous. Every time I’m bundled less than those around me, I get asked if I’m cold. When the answer is yes, I force myself to believe otherwise, and I must say, I feel quite tough compared to my more bundled counterparts. Is it just me, or does it seem as though the higher your tolerance to cold, the tougher you seem to be? Since I find myself believing this to be true, when I do feel rather chilly, I tell myself to suck it up and that it’s not that bad. This actually works. Most of the time.
- It’s fun to have friends that are older than you. And I mean a lot older. Yes, most of my close friends here are only about 2-3 years older than me, but I also have some that are in their 30s, 40s, and even 60s.
- It’s even more fun to have friends from all around the world. I have learned so much about different cultures from those I’ve met. Different foods, traditions, customs, norms. It’s all so fascinating.
- The view of the Alps never gets old.
- Truly getting over jet lag takes a whole lot longer than I realized.
- Having good friends and community is so so important and such a blessing.
- Face-timing friends and family back home is super fun and brings me a lot of joy.
- Netflixes vary by country.
- Time zones make life interesting, and I find myself thinking about them from time to time (see what I did there? it was an accident, to be honest). Like how it will be 2019 here a whole 6/7/8/9 hours before it is in the US, or how I lost seven hours by coming here that I won’t get back until I return to the US.
- You can get used to just about anything.
There you have it, a non-comprehensive list of things I’ve discovered during my time so far in Slovenia.