In the summer of 2002 I was kicking my heels back in England after finishing up a one year teaching contract in Qatar. I was still very much in the process of cutting my teeth as an English teacher and keen to embark on another adventure abroad with a new position. Doha had been such a leftfield destination for my first taste of life in another country. But despite the challenges I’d really enjoyed it and felt a similarly offbeat choice somewhere in Europe could be an interesting move for my fledgling career in education. When I eventually boarded my plane to Bratislava a few months later, I had barely a clue as to what kind of city awaited me. Now, a solid sixteen years later, I look back on my time in Slovakia as one of the best years of my life.
To find out why, have a read through my short story series The Slovak Files, twelve narratives from my time in Bratislava and my action-packed trips around the country.
The Slovak Files is dedicated to Jon Crisp: best man, avid reader, enthusiastic co-director, dependable butler, champion of the bacon corn dog and all round partner in crime. I’ll never forget those Slovak days, nor indeed our subsequent reunions across the globe.