How to recognize a foreigner in the TOP SECRET mode in Ljublana? (Blog)

It is my third day in Ljubljana now and even though I have been here for few weeks on Summer school before, I still feel like a foreigner. I am doing my best to not make it as obvious for the others, but it is really hard for me to tell if I am doing a good job. If you are wondering, how to recognize a foreigner in the top secret mode in Slovenian crowd, I have listed some possible useful hints for you!

  • this simple

    It was this simple all along!

    We hide our papers with hand-drawn maps made by our Slovenian friends and walk the streets super confidently. In the Ninja mode you don’t want the others to know that you still have no clue which direction the Aškerčeva street is and what is the difference between Cankarjev dom and Dom Ivana Cankarja.

  • The sudden confusion when the waiter asks us if we are eating on “boni”. What is that thing and why do I still not have it if it makes my eating routine easier?
ljubljana bike

Ljubljana, bicycle (photo by: K. Lalikova)

  • Struggles with the pavements and the bicycle section. Yeah, we have that in my home city as well, but it is not like I would get a serious jump-scare every time I accidentally step on it. Slovenes drive their bicycles FAST and pretty often. So we foreigners always check twice on which side of the pavement are we walking.
  • The forced smile and head shake when people guess where we are from according to our accent, yet they all guess the same country and it is really not even close to our home.
  • The super flattered smile when they compliment our Slovenian. Seriously, that will never get old for me. Especially if they skip the previous point.
  • Our stubborn insistence on speaking Slovenian. Me no speaky English. Moraš govoriti slovensko. (OK, I guess this only applies on the students of the language. The others are really lucky that Slovenes are so educated when it comes to English!)
lljubljana castle

Ljubljana street view, Slovenia (photo by: K. Lalikova)

  • Trying to not be obvious, we try to take the pictures of the gorgeous buildings and Prešeren’s statue (with his half naked muse in the background) in the least suspicious moments. Only Instagram can know our secret!


Yet, after all, I have to say I don’t really mind it when people can tell that I am new around here. I have only met Slovenes who were really supportive and friendly once they found out I am trying to adapt in Ljubljana and making an effort to master the dvojina of their language. And after all, the sooner I will find some good Slovenian friends, the better for me. So, the next time you will see someone jumping into the air when the bicycle passes by, don’t be shy and compliment their Slovenian. 🙂

KL, 2016



1 thought on “How to recognize a foreigner in the TOP SECRET mode in Ljublana? (Blog)

  1. This is how it has to be done, indeed. Many foreigners tend to stay together when they are abroad and never learn about the local culture and language. A friend of mine was here for like 8 years and never stopped to speak english. 🙂


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