A full table
Yesterday, we were having a nice cup of coffee with my parents. The intention was actually to take a nice Sunday walk again because the weather was supposed to be good. Unfortunately, it remained cloudy until later in the afternoon and it was damp and cold. The past 4 Sundays we were able to make beautiful walks with beautiful sunny weather but today we didn’t feel like it. That’s why we invited Mom and Dad to come have dinner with us. After dinner, we of course had coffee and a piece of apple pie that I baked. The conversation turned to the typical Dutch biscuit with coffee. Two cups of coffee, two biscuits, and then they are neatly put away again. Why on earth would the Dutch be known as stingy abroad ;)?
When I tell Slovenians about this custom, they are always amazed and laugh about it. Are the Dutch the only ones to do this? In any case, it is approached very differently in Slovenia. The table will be full in no time at all when you come to visit. Especially when you visit somewhere for the first time, or at least not regularly. For example, coffee, liquor, and a glass of wine and/or beer are all served at the same time. Not like in the Netherlands where you first get a cup of coffee and about 10 minutes after you finish your second cup, you are offered a glass of wine OR a glass of liquor or beer. Funny actually. In addition, all kinds of goodies are served. Usually, the hostess has baked something sweet herself and there are often cookies from the store as well. But that is not everything. Because in Slovenia you have to eat! So meat, cheese, bread, boiled eggs, and other food are also served. In short, the table is completely full in no time.
This probably also differs slightly per region. But I still remember how amazed my parents were when they first came to visit my in-laws and saw what they served them all. The spread of bread is also very different here. It already starts with the slice of bread itself. In the Netherlands, a slice of bread is less than an inch thick. For people in Slovenia, this is ridiculous. The bread here is usually cut by hand at home and those slices are at least twice as thick. A lot of cheese and meat is then put on and often pickles or bell peppers. This is then called a “sendvič”, i.e. a sandwich. When Bine came to the Netherlands with me for the first time, he had no idea of our customs. Eating bread at noon was already strange to him because they eat warm here. And when he saw those thin slices of bread, he looked a little confused. But as a true Slovenian, 3 slices of cheese and 3 or more slices of sliced meat went on it. I saw my mom’s eyes widen as Bine piled up his slice of bread, hahaha. Later she »complained« that she had to buy 6 ounces of sliced meat that week instead of the 2 ounces she normally took for a whole week ;).
Of course, every country has its own customs. I like it very much here and my parents are getting used to it more and more as well. The Slovenians are generally very hospitable and that is just nice when you, as a »foreigner«, come among the local population. Everyone is always very interested in where you come from and what brings you to Slovenia. They want to know everything about you and especially the alcohol flows freely during those meetings. That’s just part of it. If you are not used to that and decline the offered drink, some may annoyingly continue to insist or even react somewhat insulted. It is just part of their culture and you will have to accept that if you want to live here or connect with the locals on vacation. There are worse things in life ;). Cheers again!
PS: Because I don’t have any pictures of sandwiches and full tables, I chose some random pictures of beautiful spots for this post :).