I oppose calls for a snap election in Slovakia. Why?

The Prime Minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico, stepped down yesterday after many public protests took place following the murders of a Slovakian investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée. However, this move has not been seen good enough by many people and protests continue as people demand that the government dissolves and a snap election is called.

Fico’s ruling party SMER has a long and infamous history of dodgy links to oligarchs, and based on Kuciak’s last article also potentially to mafia. It’s safe to say they are possibly the most crooked party in the modern history of Slovakia. I despise SMER, I honestly do. I am ashamed they turned Slovakia into their private business and I completely disagree with their ideology.

But – the idea of the snap election scares me.

First of all, based on the latest polls, support for the LSNS – Nase Slovensko party is rising. LSNS is a neo-Nazi party, its members deny the Holocaust, they venerate the First Slovak State (i.e. the wartime Nazi state), and they advocate for the ethnic cleansing of Slovakia’s Roma minority. This is the main reason why I cannot support the snap election (as opposed to many angry people on my Facebook timeline). We, as the society, cannot let the history repeat itself.

At the moment, SMER still remains the strongest party in the Parliament as well as the government, and I see no other alternative. Out of the three parties I could potentially vote for based on their political orientation, i.e. centre-right, two are completely out of the question.

SAS is a liberal party I could support in theory, but it is led by the most Eurosceptic politician in the Slovakian politics (excluding LSNS). Moreover, Sulik, SAS’ leader, also held secret talks with LSNS in the past. In my view no decent human being should ever negotiate with Nazis, so I have no respect for him whatsoever. Another centre-right party, OLANO, is led by Igor Matovic, a guy who is as mentally stable as Donald Trump, which means another big no-no from me.

Lastly, there’s MOST that is in the current government coalition together with Fico’s SMER and SNS (right-wing nationalist party). Having betrayed the centre-right, their popularity declined significantly over the past two years, and they may not make it to the next parliament. I, however, do understand their reasons for 1) forming the coalition in the first place 2) not backing down and opposing the early election, as that is the only way to prevent complete chaos in the political scene. All I can hope for is that MOST is still electable in two years’ time when the next parliamentary election is planned, as otherwise I may have to find myself voting for SMER, an idea that truly grosses me out, but if that prevents Slovakia from being run by the Nazis, or from leaving the EU, I am willing to do it (although reluctantly).


Israel: Day 75

It’s official, this is the last post about my trip to Israel.

I left the Jerusalem flat at half past midnight, it took us another half an hour to pick up other people. It was a bumpy ride, the driver drove like crazy – really fast, and didn’t really pay attention to curbs…it wasn’t exactly a comfortable ride to be honest.

I got to the airport at 2am, and as the check in wouldn’t open until 5am, I spent some time at a cafe (and got latte #4 in 24 hs). Around 5am I passed through the first security check – a sort of interview where I was asked about what I was doing in Israel and who packed me, etc. Afterwards I went to the check in, I wasn’t pleased that only one check in desk was open, and people were cutting the line! Then I went through the security check, which took another 30 minutes (seemed like ages to me) and then finally a passport control, where there was another big queue. So since I started queuing for the security interview and until I left the passport check it all took 90 minutes in total! Crazy!

I was hoping to get some sleep on the plane, but I couldn’t, I wasn’t really pleased with the Slovak flight crew, the cockpit was open so often that I was really worried that either someone was going to hijack the plane or that one of the pilots was dying and they kept opening the cockpit to check on him. Those four hours on the plane almost drove me nuts.

But it was worth the wait. I safely landed in Slovakia and had my entire family wait for me there: Bella, mum, grandma and my uncle! Bella was really excited to see me and I was even more excited to see her, we kissed a lot and then I gave her a small gift I got for her in Tel Aviv a few weeks ago, and of course she helped me look for it, she’s such a good girl!

I am so glad I am back home, I missed my family SO much! Now I can get some proper sleep and not worry about cockroaches or any other stuff! And it’s soooo clean and comfy here!

I miss Israel so much, and I am so glad I had this opportunity to spend almost 11 weeks in that beautiful country. I got to know many nice people, and I hope I can keep in touch with at least some of them! I got to see so many beautiful places, so many sites, so many museums. I liked Haifa, its spectacular views and special atmosphere. I liked Tel Aviv even more, its beautiful beaches, museums and mix of the old and the new. But one place I loved more than these two combined, Jerusalem. It is such a special city, and to understand it, you have to visit it. It’s a holy place to three major religions, and you can feel the religious and holy atmosphere, it’s unlike all the other places I visited before. I cannot wait until I am back.

I’ve got some beautiful memories of the country I will always cherish, and I also have some physical mementos, like my terrible sunburn from Tel Aviv – those scars will remind me that no matter how beautiful the place is, I should never underestimate the power of the Sun!

(P.S. the final count of how many kilometres I walked while I was in Israel is…*drum roll*  471, 92 km)

Bye, Israel, I am already missing you.

Shabbat Shalom.

This blog post was co-written by Bella, who’s sitting next to me.

Israel: Day 74

This is my last full day in Israel.

I think my travel fever got pretty bad as I woke up at 2am, and I couldn’t fall asleep after that at all.
In the morning I almost got a heart attack, I called the shared taxi (sherut) company and tried to book a cab for midnight and they didn’t want to book my spot until I gave them an Israeli phone number to contact me at (and which I obviously don’t have).
There is a landline in the flat, but I when I tried calling my own number to find out what its number was, it didn’t work. Luckily the German girl helped me, we called her Israeli mobile from the landline, so I could call the sherut again and give them the landline number. I just hope it will be alright! The taxi is booked for 00:45, so I’m almost there!!!

Even though I was really tired today, I failed to take a nap as I was so excited the whole day! I think I may pass out at one point, as I really didn’t get much sleep last night and I am certainly not getting any tonight!!

And now…I finished packing and I am just waiting…

Israel: Day 73

I did a little bit of packing in the morning, then I cleaned my room, so hopefully it looks okay-ish enough for the next person to move in after I leave.  And today my family received a little surprise from me, and I hope they like it!


In the afternoon I went to the Old City, as I wanted to see the Western Wall one more time before I leave Israel. I was worried a bit, as several embassies recommended to avoid the Old City due to ongoing tensions. Yet, I went there, and I was so glad to be there again, however, I didn’t spend too much time in the Old City and was rushing to leave as I am really paranoid at this point.

Also, two months have passed since I visited the Western Wall for the first time, a lot of stuff has happened, yet, some things don’t change, I still suck at taking selfies!

After I left the Old City, I went up Yaffo road to meet with the German girl from my flat. We had dinner at one nice restaurant and laughed and talked a lot (one of the hot topics included complaints about the couple who is also living in the flat right now, and whose hygienic standards are more than questionable, e.g. how difficult is it to flush the toilet after number two?! They are driving us nuts).

Israel: Day 72

I did not sleep well at all last night, my room felt like a furnace again, I kept tossing and turning, and only fell asleep around midnight. At 3am I was already wide awake though, and I couldn’t fall asleep again. I gave up all my pointless attempts to fall asleep and in the morning I set off to the city centre. As I am getting very sentimental, today I visited area I have already been to. I walked around some places in the city centre thinking how much I am going to miss these places and wondering when I will come back. In the afternoon I went opposite direction towards Talpiot neighbourhood. All I say is that I am going to miss the city very much. I also asked some of my local acquaintances if they think it is safe to go back to the Old City and they said yes, so I hope they are right as tomorrow I want to go to the Old City one last time before I leave Israel.

Israel: Day 71

So whilst yesterday no caffeine in the world could keep me awake during the day, today it had a completely different effect on me. I was on fire! I wasn’t getting distracted at all!  I enjoy days like these as they don’t happen often. And it was despite getting little sleep last night (again), I don’t know what is wrong with those cats, but they were really loud again. I was playing with the idea of visiting some places, but then I decided I will leave it for tomorrow, as it was better to use my unbreakable focus on something else while it lasts.

Israel: Day 70

I may as well click control copy of the yesterday’s post and then do control paste!

I couldn’t sleep well last night again, and I would also like to express my deepest thanks to those stray cats that decided it was mating time in middle of the night. Thank you. Thanks to all that noise and inability to fall back asleep I was awake since 4 am, then I gave up around 6 to get breakfast and only after then I fell asleep again until 9. I felt sleepy the whole day despite getting more caffeine than usually.

I am thinking this may be a case of some very early travel fever? I have been here for 10 weeks now and I am really missing my family, and the smallest & the hairiest one (i.e. Bella) the most!