Live Slovenia!
Welcome to the blog! Živeti Slovenija is a Blog for those interested in the workings of another country - in this case, the quirky and exciting Slovenia.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dipo Diving

Hello there!

Well, that was embarrasing!

NINE DAYS without blogging?

Well, it happens.

SO, in the last post, I described to you the niceties and problems of our apartment. A very large problem was the sparcity of furnishings.

Well, in Slovenia, where 8% of your monthly income is spent on cafe drinks, shopping seems to be a fad. Boy, is it ever.

There are two major shopping centers; one called BTC city (it really is a city, this shopping center probably is the size of downtown Asheville.) The other main shopping center is called Rudnik (said Rude-neek). It's not quite as big as BTC city, but it's the hotspot for furniture and furnishings.

Driving out there, we were confronted with large warehouse-like buildings the size of the average walmart, with all sorts of Slovenian names on them, like "Obi" and "Merkur" and "Hipermarket"

The main furniture stores were named Rutar. and Dipo! (puncuation marks part of name). Excuse me, did I say store? I meant indoor football field. Where the linebackers are rugs and quarterbacks are desks. We wandered rather dazedly through a field of stacked Rutar. rugs, trying to find something for under fifty euros. Really, if 8% of income is spent on coffee, 80% must be spent on rugs.

Dipo! wasn't much better. The store was an odd mix of plush multicolored sofas, desks made of (as dad put it) "glued together fake stuff" and other furnishings. In contrast were rows upon rows of yellow posters hanging from the ceiling sporting the creepy Dipo! mascot; a strange, elfish creature with a mohawk.

The path through the forest of "glued together fake stuff" was marked clearly by yellow tape. Arriving at the desks, Dipo! followed the trend set by Rutar.; there were two desks in affordable rage - 25 and 30 euros. For comparison, the next cheapest one was fifty euros (about sixty-five dollars).

BUT - several Slovenians had been price-comparing in the same way we had. Proof? The good desk was out of stock.

After making some other purchases, we were fated to return to Rudnik and Dipo! again and again trying to find something worth buying. Now, after a week of Dipo! diving and Rutar. rummaging, we may finally be done. But let me warn you - if a Dipo! appears in Asheville, DON'T GO! The exclamation mark after Dipo! is not about excitement.

It's a hidden warning.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Paradise...or is it?

Hi there!

Guess who it is? ME!

Oh wait, you knew that already?

JUST SO YOU KNOW, I haven't blogged the past few days because the internet was out.

So I'm not faltering on the first step.

Anyway, who remembers the description of the apartment we stayed in last time? It was maybe fifty by forty feet, or 66 square meters, if you can understand that. There were two rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a toilet room. Avery, Jia, and I were all jammed with our things in one room.

So when we first saw the apartment we are staying in now, we were ecstatic. The main room plus dining room and kitchen was as big as our old apartment. We all had (have) a room and there were two toilets. Anyone with four or more people in their family knows that one toilet for four people is not fun. So this apartment was glittering gold.

But that was just on the outside. As the faulty internet may show, some things were not as they seemed on the outside. After saying up thirty-six hours (see last post) and riding on three airplanes, a nice hot shower is definitely something you want. A nice warm shower would be good too. Or even a nice lukewarm shower.

But no, we got a nice freezing cold shower. Something (don't ask me what, I don't know even if I should) was wrong with the water heater. Freeze the dirt and grime off or just ignore it? I picked ignore, as did everyone else.

The one other major problem was, where do you sleep when you don't have a bed? True, we all had a room, but they were rooms brez postelja, as the Slovenes would say. Two completely empty rooms. And the floors, while very pretty, are hardwood. They weren't even soft wood.

Luckily, we had scheduled beds to be delivered, so we would not have to sleep on our hardwood floors...
...that is, if the beds ever got here.

We got a phone call, and since Dad was out, it was my duty to answer. I put on my slovene-speaking-english accent.

"Halo, we hav beds, but we are lost."
Uh-oh. Beds are on the way, but they're lost.
"You don't know where Presernova (said preshernova) is?"
We were lucky that it was Slovenians delivering the beds. At least they knew some local landmarks, and we got to sleep in beds.

Frankly, I was so exhausted at that point I could have slept like a log on the hardwood floors.