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).


Hostel etiquette 101

I’ve decided to put together a guide how to behave at a hostel. Having spent 10 days at the hostel in a row, I now see myself as an expert in this matter.

From what I’ve seen and experienced so far, I would strongly suggest that people refrain from doing the following (unless you want other people to hate you or physically hurt you):

  • Don’t make phone calls while other people in the dorm are already/still sleeping. It seems like a common sense, but yet I’ve seen four different people do it. If people are sleeping in the afternoon and you need to make that phone call, fair enough. But if it is midnight, don’t be a total douche and just go outside, it won’t kill you.
  • If you have serious snoring issues that you are aware of, I would suggest you avoid sleeping at a hostel altogether. If you know you’re going to share a room with other five or I don’t know how many people, and you know you snore really loudly, you’re just evil. It can be extremely annoying and other people may not be able to sleep at all, even if they use ear plugs.
  • Don’t leave your stuff lying around in middle of the room and blocking everyone else. Yes, the space is limited, so sometimes you don’t know where to put your stuff, but try to be considerate of your neighbours, they have as little storage space as you do. If you’re not a naturally tidy person, just put your stuff into the suitcase, just like the other people.
  • Don’t knock on the bathroom’s door. If someone just got in, they won’t be finished in a second, and they still need to finish whatever they came to do there, knocking on the door repeatedly won’t speed up the process, but quite the contrary. This morning when people kept knocking on the door, I was ready to stab them with my toothbrush, and the constant knocking didn’t make me hurry up, but only annoyed the hell out of me.
  • Don’t slam the door when you enter/leave the room especially when people are trying to sleep. It shouldn’t be too difficult to open and close it gently.
  • Try to respect other people’s privacy.  Small talk is alright, but try not to push it. If people just woke up and are not fully functional yet, give them time to wake up completely.  Also, don’t ask too many personal questions and don’t be too nosy!
  • Don’t give people unwanted advice. If you have spent a few days at the hostel and met some new people, you’re not best buddies and haven’t known each other very long and very well.  Example of unwanted advice – I was advised to lose weight (cheers, mate). When my own family tells me I should lose weight, I get annoyed, imagine when a stranger tells you so.
  • Personal hygiene is a must. If there are many people staying in one room, you can smell everything – so if you think you are sweaty but feel too tired to go to the shower before going to bed, well, get some coffee and take that damn shower. If you spent the entire day wearing sneakers in the hot weather, and you feel your feet stink, hey, we can smell it too and it’s not pleasant! Also don’t leave the stinky shoes in question in front of someone else’s bed. Not cool.
  • If you leave the room for a longer time period, don’t leave your phone behind with the alarm clock still on and leave it ring all over again.
Hostel room I am staying at in Tel Aviv…