EVS Diary

First and second impressions

Of course, the changing (mostly bad and cold) weather and everyone fleeing the city for Easter did not help. I arrived here on April 1st after a 16 hours bus ride. On my arrival day, it SNOWED ! Two days later, it was Easter and everybody left Bratislava. So, I must say I was under special conditions while discovering the city for the first time !

On the way between the bus station and my new place, there was nothing special. The neighborhood is full of little streets between grey buildings from the communist era that all look alike. That’s where I live now. I also noticed that the sidewalks were not really in good shape !

So here I was, in grey Bratislava, going up a grey broken staircase in a grey building. And then, Gabi opened the door and I entered in a very nice apartment, decorated with taste. The contrast between the outside and the inside struck me. And maybe this impression represents my experience in Bratislava. At first sight, there is noting really special, but once you immerse yourself in it, it’s full of opportunities ! People nicknamed Bratislava “the little big city”. Indeed, you will feel cosy here, it’s not overcrowded but as a capital city, there is always something to do, especially for the foreigners : there is a quite big couchsurfing community, language exchange meetings, facebook groups dedicated to expatriates and so on. So, it’s quite easy to make new acquaintances.

The difficult part is to go out there, you know, out of your comfort zone. Where the magic happens. But as I came here with no fellow EVS volunteer at BDC, I have no choice. And it’s good because sometimes when you arrive in a new place in a group, you may rely on your companions too much and not always for good reasons, just because it’s easier. But the magic doesn’t happen when it’s easy.

So, now that I have settled down here and got to know the city better, I think I’m falling in love with it ! Life’s crazy uh ? But what is a city ? A certain amount of place, an atmosphere and PEOPLE. And now that the last element have come back after Easter, I can see all the hipsters enjoying the spring in BratisLOVE !


Claire Billon-Grand

Photo : Kurt Bauschardt Licence Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

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