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Cosy and comfortable, they make you feel at home. Foto: EPA
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Believe it or not, that 'clickety-clack' noise a train makes is about the most romantic transport-related sound there is. Foto: BoBo
Every weekend it seems like half the country is out climbing a mountain, cycling through the countryside or rummaging around in the forest for mushrooms. Foto: BoBo/Srdjan Živulović

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Why Slovenia?

Slippers, wedding convoys, electrical plugs ...
16. July 2017 ob 07:18
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

Last time, I discussed why cobblestone, socialism, advertising and Rog's Pony bicycles all help to make Slovenia a better place to live than America. Here is some further evidence to support the same conclusion.

Slippers - Since your average tourist or business traveller is about as likely to see the inside of a local's house as they are to see a real dragon, most visitors unfortunately miss out on one of Slovenia's most charming traditions: slippers, or more specifically, the pile of slippers that all Slovenes have next to their doors for guests to use. Cosy and comfortable, they make you feel at home. I still vividly remember my first slipper experience when I came to visit distant relatives in 2002.

Wedding convoys - For the record, I'm personally opposed to weddings and sincerely hope that I never get forced into having to endure my own. But that being said, I always enjoy the incessant honking coming from convoys of flower and ribbon-adorned cars I hear every Saturday morning (except of course for when I'm trying to sleep off a hangover).

Electrical plugs - These probably get overlooked as unnoticeable features of everyday life, but if you grow up in the States you don't realise how flimsy and cheap looking American-style electrical plugs are until you experience the European variety. Of course ours are less than half the voltage (which I assume is somehow more efficient), but on purely aesthetic grounds European plugs can't be beat. Although while we're on the subject I have to say that those British 3-prong monsters are absolutely ridiculous looking.

Accents - Other than the regional accents of some native-speakers (see anywhere in rural America or northern Britain for evidence) and speakers of most Asian languages, virtually every accent in English automatically makes a person more attractive and interesting - good for at least half a point on the 10-point attractiveness scale. While the Slovene English accent isn't necessarily at the top of the list, it's a definite plus.

Trains
Believe it or not, that 'clickety-clack' noise a train makes is about the most romantic transport-related sound there is. But much like cobblestone and slippers, in America there's a noticeable dearth of passenger trains - at least in the West, where I'm from. Why? The distances are huge, petrol and flying are cheap (during Clinton's last year in office petrol cost around €0.16 per litre, and even now it's only €0.45), and the independence afforded by cars is pretty much a god-given right. Add it all up and passenger trains are more or less just props you see in movies.

Vacation days
OK, so the economy is crap and since everyone goes to university there are way too many qualified people for the jobs available, but for those that manage to find gainful employment the benefits are pretty sweet. Foremost among them is the number of vacation days you get: a legal minimum of 21, which is over twice (yes, twice) the standard amount given in the States. Throw in the (theoretically) infinite number of sick days and excess of public holidays and you have close to two completely work-free months per year. Good times.

Active people
Most Americans are fat and/or lazy - it's a fact, look it up. For instance, I haven't ran more than 100 metres or regularly ridden a bike since the mid-1990s. But I still like living in a city full of active people. Every weekend it seems like half the country is out climbing a mountain, cycling through the countryside or rummaging around in the forest for mushrooms. I even like those people on their ridiculous-looking rollerblades. Why? I guess mere proximity to active people makes me feel healthier by some kind of social osmosis, which I suppose is better than nothing.

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