Sun 22nd Oct 2006

Ten things what I learnt in Slovakia

1. The Slovakian word for ‘hello!’ is ‘ahoy!’ [insert your favourite pirate joke here]

2. Rommy’s dad, Ivan, was Slovakian pipe smoking champion 2005*. (He also came third in a national Buffalo Bill lookalike competition).

3. Because Coca Cola was banned under communist rule, Slovakia has it’s own version called ‘Kofola’, which tastes like a mix of Soda Stream cola syrup and cold coffee mixed with water.

4. All Slovakian women over the age of 40 have a collection of small, decorative pumpkins.

5. ‘Mas grasne oce’ is Slovakian for ‘You have lovely eyes’.

6. Fernet (a Slovakian spirit with 14 different herbs in it) is good for my voice.

7. 75% of all Slovakian bar owners are bodybuilders.

8. It is possible to play gigs that are more than 25 minutes long (no, really! It is!)

9. Lard is not always good.

10. Touring is bad for my liver.

*The rules of championship pipe-smoking: The object is to keep 3 grams of tobacco alight for as long as possible. You have one minute and two matches at the beginning with which to light your pipe – after that you must keep it lit using skill alone. You are allowed to talk and drink throughout. Ivan says he enjoys it because it’s one of the few sports in which the slowest wins.