Slovakia Update #101 – Snowboarding at Donovaly

I haven’t snowboarded in quite a while now, but boy was I in for a surprise. Today I visited the ski resort called Donovaly, and had the opportunity to snowboard in Slovakia. Although I think that I might be sore tomorrow, I had a blast while we were there.

We started our day in the early morning, eating a quick breakfast before heading out. There was debate whether or not it would be a good day to visit the slopes, and if we should cancel our trip or not. We decided that we would trust our gut feeling and try the slopes out. How much could we lose, as we would only be there for 3 hours. Once we threw all of the equipment into the car, we drove off into the clouds, where our mountain destination stood vigilant.

Arriving at the ski resort was a sight to see. Breaching our way through the low hanging clouds, we pulled into the parking lot of the resort, and began putting on our equipment. I noticed something that would bother me the rest of the day. The snowboard that I was using today on my trip, was borrowed from a school, not rented or borrowed from anyone. Anyway, what I noticed on the snowboard was that the left binding (the place where you put your foot for all you skiing nerds) was angled outwards at about a 45° angle. Inspecting it, I quickly found that the only way to re-adjust the binding was to use tools, and obviously we did not have on on us, so I just decided to live with it. How I would regret not noticing this earlier.

We then spent the next 3 hours making our way up and down the slopes, with me probably spending more time falling over than actually going down the slope. I guess you could say I was going down the slope either way, one was just less elegant than the other.

While snowboarding today, I noticed some very stark differences between the Slovak ski resorts and the California ones. Maybe it has been too long since I have been to a ski resort in California, but some of these things were just strange.

Everyone wears a helmet – Do you want to know how to spot the foreigner while skiing in Slovakia? Just look for the ones without helmets! Seriously though, everyone wears a helmet. My host family insisted on me wearing one, but I respectfully declined. Not that I would be going fast enough to actually hurt myself. Plus, I have already smacked myself in the back of the head once while in Slovakia, what is one more time?

Everyone skis – I took a rough estimate while taking the chairlift up the mountain, and by my guess it is a roughly 10:1 ratio of ski vs snowboarders. I assume that skiing runs in Slovak families, and parents teach their kids when they are young: leaving no option for choice later on. I am probably going to upset someone for this, but I think that skiing is for nerds. Maybe it is just the California mentality, but it just seems so… Lacking? I don’t know if that is the right word. I think making a comparison between skateboarding and rollerblading would be a good comparison. Sure, they are both fun, but no one is ever going to say “Whoa, look at that sick trick on those roller blades!”. I am probably feeling this resentment towards skiers because of how they treated me as a snowboarder at the park. Always in a condescending way, and all of the equipment there was designed for skis, and snowboarders just had to make due. Let me end this by saying this: if you ski, more power to you. I prefer snowboarding, and I think it to be superior in terms of coolness. Fight me.

Steeper slopes – After going down a more difficult slope than we were previously going down, I asked my host dad if it was one of the harder ones. He laughed, and said the entire section of the ski resort that we were on was the beginner section. I was at total loss. I know I am not pro at snowboarding (ametuer would be a stretch), but I have eyed black diamonds and more difficult slopes in California, and they were only slightly steeper in comparison. I don’t even want to imagine what the intermediate, or expert level sections were like.

Now I must include this, because I was absolutely infuriated at the time. To get back to where we parked the car, we had to take a special type of ski lift. It revolved like a chair lift, but instead of a chair, was a rope with a little cylindrical base at the bottom. The theory here was that you sit on the cylindrical base and cruise up the mountain. I had never seen one of these before going to this resort, and I was at a loss on how to asses the situation. My first attempt, I fell right off after about 10 meters. Not a good start, but I was determined to make it up the mountain on this. My host dad told me that I had one more shot at it, and if I didn’t make it I would have to walk.

After some careful planning, sheer willpower and profanity, I took the walk of shame up the mountain.

For lunch today, we went to a traditional themed Slovak restaurant, where we all had our share of traditional food. Unfortunately, the restaurant was a bit too dim to be able to take a good picture, but take my word for it that the atmosphere was so slav I almost dawned my adidas and tatratea unconsciously.


So that was my trip to the Donovaly ski resort. It was a fun and exciting trip, and I am very thankful that I was able to go. Now I am going to talk about some possible more or less interesting things: what I have been doing recently.

It has been a week since my last post, and in that time I have found myself work. I refuse to waste my time here, so I crawled the web for opportunities to earn some money experience online (can’t be too careful, someone might not like that). After a few days of relentless cold emailing and applications, I finally nailed a position. For those who are unaware, the online work market is extremely saturated, especially for the entry level. This is because in the past few years there has been a massive influx of people from India and the middle east searching for work online, as western markets used to offer a better pay more experience online than in their own home countries. However, as I said, the market is extremely saturated with people willing to work at ridiculously low prices, making it almost not worth your time to try and apply.

For the past 4 days I have been writing article after article for an unknown publisher, as a ghost writer. I am very satisfied with the position, as writing is something that I do quite enjoy. Believe it or not, outside of personal style writing I am actually fairly confident in my writing ability. So I have spent my evenings writing away, slowly earning a fair hourly wage, while at the same time building a portfolio for the time I wish to move up in the food chain.

So that is about all that is new with me. If you made it this far, I congratulate you. Not many can suffer through my tortue-like grammar mistakes. It’s kind of interesting, after pounding away at article after article, 1300 words (how many this post has) seems like nothing.

I would promise XYZ that I will post on here, but we all know how well that goes. I will try my best


4 Comments

  • G Man

    February 5, 2018

    And the thought for the day is…(drum roll please) proofreading is a good thing.

    Reply
  • Ginger

    February 5, 2018

    You are hilarious! Wear the helmet

    Reply
  • samuel

    February 26, 2018

    lol, I am Slovak exchange student living in US for a year, and we went skiing for president´s week when I had school break. The ratio of wearing a helmet was 50/50. I obviously wore helmet since we, Europeans, are used to do that. For instance in Austria, that has one of the greatest mountains in the world, has a law that says you have to wear a helmet while skiing or snowboarding. It is kinda weird that people in America are not used to wear it since it can save your life 😀

    Reply

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