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Friday, February 1, 2008

Best Country: Slovakia, Japan, or Djibouti?

You've probably noticed that I put up a poll asking which of the three countries on this site would you most like to visit. I think now would be a good time to give you my views about each of these countries' pros and cons hopefully, focusing on the pros.

Slovakia--I had a wonderful time living in this country. Outside of work, I was constantly on the go with friends. If I had any complaint at all, it's that I never had time to relax. I had a core group of five or six really close friends and they felt they needed to show me everything, and I mean everything, that Slovakia had to offer. Looking back though, it was probably the best time of my life.

I don't want to get too specific about this, but at work, there was occasional conflict. I wonder how much of this was due to 'communist hangover' and the developed habits necessary to survive that period in Slovak history.

All in all though, I had a good enough experience in this country to want to retire and/or spend extensive time there in later years.

Japan--The work environment was excellent and I found myself working longer hours than necessary just because I wanted to feel like a part of the team. There was a lot to see outside of work, but I found it difficult to replicate the social network that I had in Slovakia. Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of friends but not too many close friends. I attribute this primarily to the disparity in cultures.

Djibouti--Here I am in Djibouti with 10 weeks remaining of a six month assignment. Djibouti has been like no place I've ever lived before. It is definitely 'East Africa.' Frankly, for a Westerner, there's not a lot to do here. I've always been good at creating my own entertainment, but this time, it's been a challenge. Still, there are occasional surprises that make my day.

That's all for now!!

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