The "Old" Country…

One of the sidelights of the Italy trip was a chance to have dinner with an old friend who is on ‘assignment’ to Italy for a couple of years with his company.  I met with he and his wife at a little pizzaria (like they don’t have any of those…) and she is just bubbling with happiness.  I asked what was going on, and her hubby rolled his eyes, so I knew I was in trouble…LOL

She proceeded to tell me she was trying to track down family, and had found out her Grandmother had emigrated from Yugoslovia (now Slovenia) around the turn of the last century, just prior to WWI.

So she had decided they were going to go on ‘vacation’ and see what the place was like. She had managed to find her Grandmother’s original address in this little town/village, and on a lark wrote a letter to that address…

Low and behold, two weeks later she’d gotten an email from the town, from a person with the same last name as her gran, and saying he was her cousin twice removed!

She and hubby were invited to come visit, etc…

And that morning had gotten a letter from her Grandmother’s former address, again a relative who still lived there, and was the Chief of Police for the town/village.  The family still owns the house, and they are invited to stay there, and there would be a party for the “lost” (e.g. American) part of the family!!!

So she’s getting to really dig into her family’s history, and meet relatives she didn’t know she had, and how she’s frantically trying to learn a few phrases of Slovak, and… and… and…

And O.M.G, they leave in two weeks!

NOW I see why hubby was rolling his eyes! 🙂

I’m truly glad for them, as it’s not often today one gets chances like this; much less the ability to travel semi-freely to what was once behind the Iron Curtain.  I can’t help but wonder what her impressions will be…

And I can’t help but wonder how they will be received, considering the ‘curiosity’ many have about America.


The "Old" Country… — 6 Comments

  1. I hope and trust that long-lost Yugoslav ‘relatives’ aren’t like the Nigerian variety . . . has she verified their claims in any way?

  2. Here’s a complete list of all the words you need

    Dober dan – Hello.
    Hvala – Thanks
    Prosim – Please

    Use those words and they will love you. Enough of them speak English that you can get by very well, and by using a few important words, you impress them with your willingness to try.

  3. Peter- Dunno, and wasn’t going to ask. Her hubby and I talked the next day, and he IS back-checking…

    Sean- Thanks! I’ll pass it along.

  4. That’s really neat. I occasionally get contacted by family in Norway when they notice my birth name in use, and I agree with Sean. Knowing a few important words can go a long way.