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107 replies
monique
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Interesting thread, papyr!

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sammohanty
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I just happened to see this and possibly later when I get a moment, I will read in its entirety, the very first feedback is clearly incorrect.

In NNJ, US, there is heavy penalty involved for residences, if bottles, plastic containers, papers and grass trashes are not clearly labeled and mixed with the regular trash. I have lived in NJ for most of my life and it has been regulated ever since.

Yes, of course the quality of life has diminshed tremendously in NJ but where I work in London is no better.

I now commute between London, Brussels, Tunis and New York, clearly Brussels is the only place where I found people to be quite happy and satisfied.

Belgium is another story. In Belgium, although my client is in Brussels, I occassionaly live on the outskirts of Brugge and people there have absolutely the best quality of life there. Good food, excellant beer, chocolate and stroll around the city with no care in the world. Just hate going back to NY.

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jboy_is_back
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Got to laugh at the comment about PHDs in america…. most grad students from the US
couldn’t put a nail in the wall straight or wire a plug. Fucking useless.

Harvard, Yale hell GWB got an MBA…. connections and money won’t
get you into Oxford, Cambridge, Pasteur Institute and so on.

Personally, a business degree I think is not an academic qualification… it’s
a bit of soiled toilet paper and American universities churn them out by the truck load!

Everybody here would agree that europeans have more going on upstairs than their american couterparts, what is obvious is we don’t give a flying fuck about the rat race and shitting on each other to get on. Take away my 5 weeks vacation and it’s game over… europeans would outperform americans if we had the same disregard for ‘quality of life’ like americans do.

Also, we’re only talking techincal here, europe blows the US out the water with regard to the arts.

America has no culture, no art, no real history cept fot the native indians

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[quote=jboy_is_back]Got to laugh at the comment about PHDs in america…. most grad students from the US
couldn’t put a nail in the wall straight or wire a plug. Fucking useless.

On the contrary, the phrase “Do It Yourself” was coined in the US. Most of the US born fellas, they can do it most of the work such as building their own decks to roofing which is unheard of in London. They are very handy and mechanically inclined. These guys are known for their inovation and imagination.

The only two things that everyone avoids is plumbing and electric work. Some of my colleagues have built their own bathrooms and even extensions.

On the other hand, most of the foreign grads at the top schools are from China, India etc have absolutely no clue on self work.

As per history, yes there is none. But then compare history to India, China, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia etc instead of US where it is for the natural wonders that tourists come in not history.

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papyr
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jboy_is_back wrote:

Also, we’re only talking techincal here, europe blows the US out the water with regard to the arts.

America has no culture, no art, no real history cept fot the native indians

Not true for me. Even though I am a European, I think American art is often worth observing. For instance, the music of R.E.M., Nirvana, RHCP, Louis Armstrong, The Doors, and many other great bands was composed and first performed in the United States. And I consider some of these to be a part of world’s cultural heritage. True, Americans don’t have cultural monuments that are several hundred years old, as we do, but that’s logical. Let’s compare the comparable – the architecture of today, the paints of today, the music of today.

If you have any questions about Prague or Czech and Slovak republics, ask me.
If you only want to search train or bus connection within Czech&Slovakia and/or to neighboring countries, use www.cp.sk or www.idos.cz search engines. For domestic transport, they also show prices.

papyr
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sammohanty wrote:
On the contrary, the phrase “Do It Yourself” was coined in the US. Most of the US born fellas, they can do it most of the work such as building their own decks to roofing which is unheard of in London. They are very handy and mechanically inclined. These guys are known for their inovation and imagination.

The only two things that everyone avoids is plumbing and electric work. Some of my colleagues have built their own bathrooms and even extensions.

I had to laugh a little when I read this post. Laugh because I was a kid who was born under communism, when it was very hard to get a plumber, an electrician or a locksmith when you needed them. Everyone here was forced to at least try to repair what needed to be repaired or to build what needed to be built with his own hands. I did all the repairs and extensions of the wiring in my apartment by myself. And just today, a tumbler in the lock of my room broke and got stuck between the door and the jamb, making the door unopenable. With a help of a screwdriver and a knitting needle, I managed to open the door, then dismantled the lock and now I’m going to buy a new one to install back in the evening. There is a great tradition of do it yourself here, too.

But I notice that younger people here now tend to call an expert when in need and pay them large amounts of money instead of trying to fix the problem themselves. At least that’s the difference between me and my best friend, who is 8 years younger than me (1979 vs 1987).

If you have any questions about Prague or Czech and Slovak republics, ask me.
If you only want to search train or bus connection within Czech&Slovakia and/or to neighboring countries, use www.cp.sk or www.idos.cz search engines. For domestic transport, they also show prices.

sammohanty
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I failed to mention that the colored glass bottles to be kept separate from clear ones. By the way, I see that in London too. They have separate storage areas for clear plastics, clear bottles and colored ones.

Newspapers to be tightly bundled and kept in separate brown bags.

All cans to be in a separate containers.

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I am really bored here in London. Thats why I watch these threads and the garbage haulers twice a week.

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mb
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sammohanty wrote:
I am really bored here in London. Thats why I watch these threads and the garbage haulers twice a week.

What do you do for a living that allows this kind of travel?

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

Jake the Peg
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papyr wrote:
jboy_is_back wrote:

Also, we’re only talking techincal here, europe blows the US out the water with regard to the arts.

America has no culture, no art, no real history cept fot the native indians

Not true for me. Even though I am a European, I think American art is often worth observing. For instance, the music of R.E.M., Nirvana, RHCP, Louis Armstrong, The Doors, and many other great bands was composed and first performed in the United States..

American doesn’t even come close when you compare music, Europe has The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zep, Bowie, Queen, Radiohead, The Smiths, hell even Ozzy and Simon Fuller all more influential than just about anyone from the US.

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Jake the Peg wrote:
papyr wrote:
jboy_is_back wrote:

Also, we’re only talking techincal here, europe blows the US out the water with regard to the arts.

America has no culture, no art, no real history cept fot the native indians

Not true for me. Even though I am a European, I think American art is often worth observing. For instance, the music of R.E.M., Nirvana, RHCP, Louis Armstrong, The Doors, and many other great bands was composed and first performed in the United States..

American doesn’t even come close when you compare music, Europe has The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zep, Bowie, Queen, Radiohead, The Smiths, hell even Ozzy and Simon Fuller all more influential than just about anyone from the US.

So true as America is the birth place of rock and roll. It evolved in the ’50’s from the blues and presented an opportunity for these other bands to succeed. That is, after Elvis ran with it. And Buddy Holly, The Crew Cuts, Chuck Berry, and the list goes on.
http://www.angelfire…

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

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Jake the Peg wrote:
American doesn’t even come close when you compare music, Europe has The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zep, Bowie, Queen, Radiohead, The Smiths, hell even Ozzy and Simon Fuller all more influential than just about anyone from the US.

Actually those are all from from England, which over the past 50 years has more in common culturally with america than europe.

But if you really want to reflect on the era of dominance for european music over american, well Beethoven and Mozart sure kicked ass against those guys with wooden flutes and animal skin drums.

Jake the Peg
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MB wrote:
So true as America is the birth place of rock and roll. It evolved in the ’50’s from the blues and presented an opportunity for these other bands to succeed. That is, after Elvis ran with it. And Buddy Holly, The Crew Cuts, Chuck Berry, and the list goes on. http://www.angelfire.com/fl/boltman/50.html

The US might have been the birth place but the UK has defined and refined the genre, the US has been playing catchup ever since, think about most of the biggest, most influential and enduring acts have come out of the UK.

As for the UK being like the US the only real similarity is that both countries speak English.

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Jake the Peg wrote:
MB wrote:
So true as America is the birth place of rock and roll. It evolved in the ’50’s from the blues and presented an opportunity for these other bands to succeed. That is, after Elvis ran with it. And Buddy Holly, The Crew Cuts, Chuck Berry, and the list goes on. http://www.angelfire.com/fl/boltman/50.html

The US might have been the birth place but the UK has defined and refined the genre, the US has been playing catchup ever since, think about most of the biggest, most influential and enduring acts have come out of the UK.

As for the UK being like the US the only real similarity is that both countries speak English.

Got to give the bands credit but part of the success was due also to technological advances in media and travel in the 1960’s. This made exposure much easier and the recordings sounded much better. As with many things, you start something and then others build on it and continue to build on it. I think both did quite well.

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

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sammohanty wrote:

On the contrary, the phrase “Do It Yourself” was coined in the US. Most of the US born fellas, they can do it most of the work such as building their own decks to roofing which is unheard of in London. They are very handy and mechanically inclined. These guys are known for their inovation and imagination.

The only two things that everyone avoids is plumbing and electric work. Some of my colleagues have built their own bathrooms and even extensions.
.

I suggest you travel a bit more so as to open your eyes.

Strangely enough, I do plumbing and electrical work around the house but not woodwork and this is probably true of most guys I know, here in europe anyway

Electrical and plumbing is more technical than laying flooring or dryboarding walls….. nobody here does it because it’s too manual and sweaty… time maybe money but somethings are better left to people further down the food chain like Australians or Uzbeks to get mucky and sweaty

Fixing DVD players and stereos is much more the measure of Homo Sapians than banging two bits of wood together…. the Bronze Age is what defines us as intelligent beings , not playing american tree chimp!

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MB, To answer to your query, I am in IT Project Management and Business Development. In these days of the internet and telecommunications, I am glad I don’t have to travel too much. It is just too tasking.
Mainly the reason I am now in London to shorten my outward travels and a working on a new development.

However, this new project if awarded will be in North Africa so I am under a lot of pressure from family to return home.

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mb
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sammohanty wrote:
MB, To answer to your query, I am in IT Project Management and Business Development. In these days of the internet and telecommunications, I am glad I don’t have to travel too much. It is just too tasking.
Mainly the reason I am now in London to shorten my outward travels and a working on a new development.

However, this new project if awarded will be in North Africa so I am under a lot of pressure from family to return home.

sammohany:
I’m currently a comp science student (already have a business degree) and would love it if you could give me some advice on getting with a company that would allow me an opportunity like that. Would you suggest getting any certifications as well as the degree?

Thanks
mb

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

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You are actually in the right track. I have a MBA and then went into IT which gave me a head start into management much sooner than everyone else.

In order to get into travelling, you need to get into consultancy and become good. My reason of success is hard work, hard work, hard work. Of course you will need a little bit of luck to move ahead.

Remember always be truthful and transparent to the client and your company. That might bring a lot of enemies in the beginning but at the end you will be on a win-win situation with everyone.
Trust me on this.

Once you complete your comp science, get a certification on project management either through PMI in the US or get certified in Prince II if you are in Europe.
Certificate in PMI will get you anywhere and everywhere in the US. Simply because there are not too many folks certified and as things get more and more stringent, more and more firms are asking for a PMI certificate.
Certification in Prince will get you access to Europe, Middle east such as Bahrain or Dubai.
But an advanced degree in US will give you access to Singapore, Japan, India, China and Australia.

Mind you, if you can travel 100% of the time, then try Deloitte, Ernst, PWC, IBM Global services and might get you with your degree.

Before I left the US, I had a team of 52 including 8 PM reporting to me in 5 different countries. I am not very happy in Africa so i am contemplating quitting and going back home to NJ. So send me your CV to get a preview of what you do.

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Honestly, the biggest difference that I have noticed between America and other places in the world is the size of people. In America, many individuals lead less active lifestyles and their health suffers due to the lack of exercise.

Between Europe and America, I think that is the largest cultural difference.

However, I noticed it the most in China. I felt like a giant. I am 5’7, 130 lb (not lying about weight – ask my husband) American woman, but I had a difficult time fitting into the woman’s clothing, etc.

So, Justin and I are leaving on 09-30-08 to travel the world for a year or so. We start in Italy. I will be interested to look for these differences and more as we travel. Visit visit nomad backpackers.com to follow as we plan, travel and work our way around the world.

And Papyr, you have a great time exploring other cultures too!

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sammohanty wrote:
You are actually in the right track. I have a MBA and then went into IT which gave me a head start into management much sooner than everyone else.

In order to get into travelling, you need to get into consultancy and become good. My reason of success is hard work, hard work, hard work. Of course you will need a little bit of luck to move ahead.

Remember always be truthful and transparent to the client and your company. That might bring a lot of enemies in the beginning but at the end you will be on a win-win situation with everyone.
Trust me on this.

Once you complete your comp science, get a certification on project management either through PMI in the US or get certified in Prince II if you are in Europe.
Certificate in PMI will get you anywhere and everywhere in the US. Simply because there are not too many folks certified and as things get more and more stringent, more and more firms are asking for a PMI certificate.
Certification in Prince will get you access to Europe, Middle east such as Bahrain or Dubai.
But an advanced degree in US will give you access to Singapore, Japan, India, China and Australia.

Mind you, if you can travel 100% of the time, then try Deloitte, Ernst, PWC, IBM Global services and might get you with your degree.

Before I left the US, I had a team of 52 including 8 PM reporting to me in 5 different countries. I am not very happy in Africa so i am contemplating quitting and going back home to NJ. So send me your CV to get a preview of what you do.

Which PMI cert would you suggest? https://www.pmi.org/…

And am up dating my cv due to in the process of moving. Thank you for the help.

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

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Yes, PMI.org is the place to start, It will take you approximately 6 months to be certified but at the end it will be well worth it,

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papyr wrote:


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Jake the Peg
Right now I think it’s easy to compare Western civilised Europe with America, the Eastern half is like the wild west, places like Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Greece, Russia are complete shitholes, if I didn’t have to go their for work I sure as hell wouldn’t. The only benefit I see in Eastern Europe is that most places are dirt cheap and the landscape isn’t blotted with fatties, the women also tend to be very attractive and slim compared to the lumps in the US.

Hm, now I don’t know if Central Europe (Czech rep., Slovakia, Poland, Hungary) counts as Western or as Eastern Europe in this point of view. There is a huge downward difference when you cross the Hungary-Romania border, or a Slovakia-Ukraine border, but, there is also an upward difference when you cross the Czech-German or Hungary-Austria border.

There’s also a huge “downward” difference when you cross the Greek-Bulgarian border from Greece into Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, and an upward difference when you enter Greece from these countries, which is why Jake’s comparison is flat wrong…perhaps he’s never been to Greece and he assumes that it’s just like its neighbors. Greece is like Spain and Italy, not Bulgaria and Romania. It’s definitely not dirt cheap; it’s actually quite expensive, and has comparable incomes to Spain, Israel, and New Zealand. Since the 1980s, Greece has been flooded with immigrants from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, and refugees and political asylum seekers from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Palestinian Territories, and so on. The Attica region (greater Athens) suffered terrible urban planning in the 1960s and 1970s for a variety of reasons that I’m not in the mood to go into; while the city has improved tremendously since the late 1980s, and continues to improve, it’ll take many more years to fully recover from the 1965-1980 era.

Papyr,

To answer your original question: the overall standard of living in the United States is very good, comparable to other industrialized nations of the European Union, East Asia (Japan, Singapore, S Korea, etc), the Gulf countries (Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, etc), the Anglosphere (Canada, Australia, etc), and the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile). That being said, when making living standard comparisons with these other industrialized nations, Americans tend to mistakenly assume superiority by overlooking the pockets of incredible poverty and crime that do in fact exist in the United States (impoverished sections of Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles; rural Appalachia; economically depressed mid-size cities like Cleveland, etc), so there are imperfections which Americans overlook when boasting about their country. It’s a give and take: for the most part, the bureaucracy is not a problem here in the US (compared to many European countries where it can be a real hassle) and the level of customer service is better, but there are other problems like inequalities in public schools (rich districts versus poor districts) and the fact that American cities have yet to recover from the disastrous urban planning of the 1940s/1950s/1960s. Differences also exist in health care systems and labour. So, there are some things that are better in America, and there are some things that are better in the EU.

On a less serious note, there are many foods, products, and services you might miss on the other side of the Atlantic. In the United States, it’s nice that I can run to the supermarket at 10:00 at night, or on a Sunday, and I can count on it being open. When living in Southern Europe (almost all of my time in Europe has been in Southern Europe) you gotta plan your days so that you won’t need to go to the supermarket, or any other kind of store, on a Sunday. Same thing with holidays. In the US, I can run to the store on Labour Day. I can’t do that in France on Pentecost or in Greece on Assumption Day. On the other hand, with few exceptions like New York and central Chicago, American cities are lifeless. Where are the people on a pleasant summer Sunday? Why aren’t the sidewalks and public squares filled with people strolling on a nice day? Where are the cafes and outdoor pub filled with people, and where are the old men palying bocci ball? Where are the public squares, is a good question. Luckily New York and Chicago [where I live] have changed tremendously for the better in the past 15 years, but they still lack something. Also, I miss Mediterranean summers. When I was a kid, I hated siesta, but when I got older, in my late teens, I developed a deep appreciation for it. What a great summer vacation: I go to the beach or on a daytrip in the morning, then come home, eat and sleep, then wake up and go out partying till dawn. Repeat the next day. Summers here in Chicago are great…but it’s just not a real summer for me. There’s summer, and then there’s summer.

Jeffromeister wrote:
The Mexican food is really pathetic.

I can’t possibly imagine being able to find good Mexican food in Atlanta with all due respect. The best Mexican food can be found in, of course, Mexico. In the US, you’d have to go to Los Angeles or Chicago [cities with large Mexican populations] and you’d have to go to a heavily Mexican neighborhood, to a restaurant where the customers are predominantly Mexicans. I know a great place in the Pilsen district here in Chicago that I’d be happy to recommend to you if you ever visit.


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Quote:
LTB: Americans tend to mistakenly assume superiority by overlooking the pockets of incredible poverty and crime that do in fact exist in the United States
Define “poverty.” Of what are they impoverished? What impoverishes them?

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Don wrote:
Quote:
LTB: Americans tend to mistakenly assume superiority by overlooking the pockets of incredible poverty and crime that do in fact exist in the United States
Define “poverty.” Of what are they impoverished? What impoverishes them?

I know what you’re getting at, but I’ve already answered that question, indirectly.

Let’s review:

luv_the_beach wrote:
the overall standard of living in the United States is very good, comparable to other industrialized nations of the European Union, East Asia (Japan, Singapore, S Korea, etc), the Gulf countries (Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, etc), the Anglosphere (Canada, Australia, etc), and the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile). That being said, when making living standard comparisons with these other industrialized nations, Americans tend to mistakenly assume superiority by overlooking the pockets of incredible poverty and crime that do in fact exist in the United States (impoverished sections of Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles; rural Appalachia; economically depressed mid-size cities like Cleveland, etc), so there are imperfections which Americans overlook when boasting about their country.

Many Americans think that theirs is the only country in the world that’s industrialized and has high quality of life (by world standards). This false conclusion is often drawn either by overlooking their own imperfections when noting imperfections in COMPARABLE countries (of which there are quite a few which I referred to in my previous post), and also by: subjective criteria and inexperience with foreign travel. Poverty standards in the US are the same as those in other developed economies like Ireland or South Korea or Kuwait (and the same poverty standards are increasingly relevant in emerging economies like Brazil and Mexico, as these countries industrialize and urbanize and slowly start to look more like the developed economies noted earlier). Many Americans will use the term “poor” to describe first world countries that are a bit less rich than the US (Spain, South Korea, Greece, Portugal, Taiwan, Malta, etc). Thus you should be directing your question to these folks, not to me.


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luv_the_beach wrote:
Many Americans think that theirs is the only country in the world that’s industrialized and has high quality of life (by world standards). This false conclusion is often drawn either by overlooking their own imperfections when noting imperfections in COMPARABLE countries (of which there are quite a few which I referred to in my previous post), and also by: subjective criteria and inexperience with foreign travel. Poverty standards in the US are the same as those in other developed economies like Ireland or South Korea or Kuwait (and the same poverty standards are increasingly relevant in emerging economies like Brazil and Mexico, as these countries industrialize and urbanize and slowly start to look more like the developed economies noted earlier). Many Americans will use the term “poor” to describe first world countries that are a bit less rich than the US (Spain, South Korea, Greece, Portugal, Taiwan, Malta, etc). Thus you should be directing your question to these folks, not to me.

This is the first statement you have made that I completely agree with.

Although I still think Greece is a shithole, comparable to the other crappy places I’ve been recently, I would even rate it as worse than most places I’ve been in Russia.

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Frown

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are you guys done..for real let me know when your done jeeeeezzz bunch of real light wieghts..read this and really think about things…think hard now…and its not just about america it’s about world history…. Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Forces:

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory.

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory.

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

oh by the way there is such a thing called the war of 1812

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As the saying goes, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? If Australia made a significant contribution to the liberation of Europe in the First World War, for instance, does that mean our severe socio-economic problems at home (namely the discrepancy between aboriginal and white health and education) are negated? And, even more so, what on earth does the US War of Independence have to do with the subject?

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Just back from 3 weeks in Russia and the Baltics…

Everytime I go to Europe, some things are more like the US. Noticeable this year….

1. Fewer people smoke in Europe than the last time I was there, 4 years ago. There are still more smokers than in the US and smoking is a lot more noticeable, but it’s not the overwhelming difference it was a few years ago.

2. Little girls… Decades ago, teenage girls in Europe dressed and acted like grade schoolers. Each time I go, the age for make-up, bling, stylish clothes, adult mannerisms is younger. The 9 to 12 year old “tweens” now look just like their sisters in the US.

3. Weight difference. I didn’t see as many pencil thin women and I saw a lot more moderately overweight and fat Europeans on this trip. Americans are still heavier on average, but the Europeans seem to be catching up.

4. Tourists. There are more tourists each year but a much lower percentage of the obvious tourists are American on each visit. You can no longer spot the Americans as easily. There were tons of tourists in plaid shirts and white tennis shoes and not one of them spoke English. The loud people and obvious complainers weren’t speaking English.

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cause someone said that the only war in america was the civil war. the war of 1812 was americas first war….mate…im sorry i just get tierd of the whole say america is this and that..i know thats the thing to do now ah days and it may get you an extra beer at the bar but come on…and dont get me wrong i dont like everything about the people here in america but the country is great…and why i put that dwight eisenhower speech up there cause everytime i read that it makes me think of the great things about my country and the other countrys that faught for the people of europe and what we can do when we come together and stop thinking one is better than another

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Don’t forget you helped us out too; and certainly, I don’t think America is so bad otherwise I wouldn’t be planning to go there!

Speaking of which, where are some interesting places to go while I’m there?

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well when are you coming this way…what do u want to do?just sight see ,rock clime ..historic sights..

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Jake the Peg wrote:
[ Although I still think Greece is a shithole, comparable to the other crappy places I’ve been recently, I would even rate it as worse than most places I’ve been in Russia.

Jake,

Whatever it is that happened to you or that you [think you] observed, your impression of Greece is highly inaccurate.

It’s one thing if you simply didn’t like the country for leisure/tourism purposes…maybe you felt people were rude, or you didn’t like the climate, or the landscape, or Athens isn’t an attractive city [we all know that]…but when you describe its living standards and econonomy as a “shithole”, and you try to pass this off as an observation stemming from extensive travel experience, then that’s where you’re flat out wrong.

Maybe something bad happened to you that has tainted your feelings towards the country, or maybe you spent your very limited time in the country in the wrong places, which isn’t hard to do. For example, if [during your business trip] your hotel is located in the Karaïskáki district which is home to Kurdish gangs and Albanian street children forced by people traffickers (or even their parents) to beg for money, and that’s all you see, then I can see how you left with that impression. As someone said earlier, mass migration can make parts of 1st world countries look 3rd world. Especially when you’re Europe’s California or Arizona: right on the border bearing the brunt of immigration, while the rest of the EU refuses to help, like Sweden who picks and chooses which assylum aplicants can enter, while boatloads of people wash up on Greece’s shores every day. (Imagine New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Pennsylvania refusing to help California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas patrol the southern border).

Beyond that, it’s completely baffling why you were left with such a horid impression of Greece, to the extent that you “wouldn’t even bring your family anywhere near” that place; I guess you’re unaware that the country is a top tourism destination, and is well-known for having a ridicusouly low crime rate and being family-friendly (except in some areas overrun by drunk British and Scandinavian tourists). As for standard of living: no, it’s not Luxembourg, but it does rank high on quality of life, way above Ukraine and Russia; closer to Germany and South Korea, actually. But as long as you admit that what you “still think” about the country is grossly inaccurate and based on a very limited visit, limited time in the country, perhaps being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and/or not knowing anything about the country, then at least you’d be an honest person.

No need to get defensive, no one’s questioning that you’re a well-travelled person. But you really did get the wrong impression from one particular country, for whatever reason. I’m deeply sorry you didn’t get to know that country at all.


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

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kingshanethe1st wrote:
well when are you coming this way…what do u want to do?just sight see ,rock clime ..historic sights..

Well, I’ve scheduled about 2 1/2 weeks for the US and Canada, somewhere around a week of which will be spent in Portland, OR. It’s probably better to give me tips in the thread I started here, rather than getting off topic.

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Don:

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I don’t like it when I hear Europeans say health care and education are “free;” it comes at a very high cost that you have no choice about—unless you can vote.

Well, let´s compare the “very high costs” then.

Health care:
Apparently, good health coverage costs (on average) $12,000 per year for a family of four in the USA. At least, that´s what I have read. Correct me if I´m wrong.
I live in Austria; we have compulsory health insurance, it is 7.65% of the salary. My salary is EUR 42,000 per year, so my contribution to the health insurance is EUR 3,213 per year (this includes coverage for the Mrs and my two daughters). You see – that is much less than in the USA.
The maximum yearly contribution is EUR 4,209 – if you make more than EUR 55,000 per year your social security contributions don´t increase with your salary any more. So – even if you are very well off, it´s not more expensive than in the States. If you live on small wages, it´s very cheap.

Education:
In my humble opinion, it is the duty of a society to invest into the education of the next generation. Apart from the moral obligation to provide equal chances, it also makes a lot of economical sense. Those who go to university usually end up making more money than those who don´t – hence pay more taxes. In the end, education is still paid by those who benefit from it. The difference between America and “free “ education in Europe is that there is no financial risk involved here. The fact of the matter is that especially kids from poor backgrounds are kept from studying if they have to pay for it. They just don´t want to end up with a huge debt after they graduate. In contrast, you don´t think twice about going to uni if your parents are going to pay for it anyway. In the end, society as a whole is better off if it makes sure that all bright heads get the best possible education, regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds.

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Santa Klaus,

Where is a good place to go for snow in Austria for Christmas? What hostel would you suggest?

Papyr,

What about Ljubljana? Any snow? And about expense in regard to other places? Can you suggest a hostel?

Thank you both-

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

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Vienna doens´t get much snow… it is usually just freezing cold here without the snow.
You want to go skiing as well? I suggest to fly either to Salzburg or Innsbruck, spend a night or two there and then go to a ski resort for the rest of the week.

If you go to Salzburg, stay at the YoHo. There are unfortunately not a lot of hostels in the Austrian mountains, but that is a pretty good one: http://euro-youth-ho…
Bad Gastein is only an hour from Salzburg by train, the hostel is right opposite the train station and the ski lifts are only a short walk away. I habe been there two or three years ago, it´s a pretty cool place.

In Innsbruck, there are not really any very good hostels, but it´s a lively student town and you can even get to the slopes from there with public buses.

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oldlady wrote:
[Sadly, very true. It’s almost impossible to get international news — BBC is really the only television source and 1 or 2 of the best and biggest newspapers.
I also get evening news from Berlin, Germany on CableTV.
Quote:
American university level education is still the best in the world. Europe’s currently trying to upgrade its universities to worldwide standards — very quietly trying to copy the US without admitting that’s what they’re doing. …
I think you need to prefix your stated opinion about American University Education with something like: “IMHO!” You write “worldwide standards” but you mean “US Standards.”
You write as if you are working in Human Resources at a US University.

One of the unforgettable characters I ever met in my lifetime was a Norwiegan Arctic Explorer, a graduate of Norway’s Military Academy: Berndt Balchen. I would put him up against most US Military Academy graduates during WWII. Balchen set up an Arctic route for US built aircraft to be able to fly from the US to the UK, and probably contributed more to the defeat of Nazi Germany than any other single individual.
Balchen was Admiral Fletcher’s pilot when he overflew the North Pole and later, with Amundsen, the South Pole.

How many languages do you speak? Most US Colleges and Universities have dropped a language requirement for 2-years of foreign language study. That’s something in which American University education comes up short.

Without going into more detail, I’ll just say I disagree with your statement regarding American University Education.

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oldlady wrote:
Sadly, very true. It’s almost impossible to get international news — BBC is really the only television source and 1 or 2 of the best and biggest newspapers.
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Although, as much as I like to harass our trans-pacific cousins, I have to admit that according to several of the most accepted University rankings, the yanks come out on top- usually dominating the top 20.

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Santa Klaus wrote:
Vienna doens´t get much snow… it is usually just freezing cold here without the snow.
You want to go skiing as well? I suggest to fly either to Salzburg or Innsbruck, spend a night or two there and then go to a ski resort for the rest of the week.

If you go to Salzburg, stay at the YoHo. There are unfortunately not a lot of hostels in the Austrian mountains, but that is a pretty good one: http://euro-youth-ho…
Bad Gastein is only an hour from Salzburg by train, the hostel is right opposite the train station and the ski lifts are only a short walk away. I habe been there two or three years ago, it´s a pretty cool place.

In Innsbruck, there are not really any very good hostels, but it´s a lively student town and you can even get to the slopes from there with public buses.

Don’t want to ski. I’ve never had a Christmas with snow and I’m trying to go somewhere. Most places from Salzburg to Prague to Edinburough say no guarantee on getting snow. I’d like to go somewhere fairly inexpensive that will definately have snow or I want to go to Nice. I’m not to interested in going somewhere that is cold if I can’t get snow with it.

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Fifey wrote:
Although, as much as I like to harass our trans-pacific cousins, I have to admit that according to several of the most accepted University rankings, the yanks come out on top- usually dominating the top 20.

Well, never trust a statistic you haven´t faked yourself.

1) I suspect the yanks also dominate the bottom 20. There are huge quality differences between the American universities – much less in, say, Germany.

2) Be careful with what is compared in the first place. We do have those elite instututions like the MIT in Germany, but they aren´s called “universities”. There are, for example, the Fraunhofer Institutes (they have invented the MP3 format!) and the Max Planck Society. They are only for post-graduates, not regular students – that´s why they don´t appear in the university rankings.

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mb wrote:
Don’t want to ski. I’ve never had a Christmas with snow and I’m trying to go somewhere. Most places from Salzburg to Prague to Edinburough say no guarantee on getting snow. I’d like to go somewhere fairly inexpensive that will definately have snow or I want to go to Nice. I’m not to interested in going somewhere that is cold if I can’t get snow with it.

Hm… I won´t GUARANTEE anything but I´d say there is a pretty good chance for snow in Salzburg. There is a lake district near Salzburg (Salzkammergut), you may want to look into that. Unfortunately no hostels there.

I have stayed here several times:
http://www.treehouse…
A nice little hostel in the countryside of Upper Austria. They usually have a lot of snow.

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Santa Klaus wrote:
Well, never trust a statistic you haven´t faked yourself.

1) I suspect the yanks also dominate the bottom 20. There are huge quality differences between the American universities – much less in, say, Germany.

2) Be careful with what is compared in the first place. We do have those elite instututions like the MIT in Germany, but they aren´s called “universities”. There are, for example, the Fraunhofer Institutes (they have invented the MP3 format!) and the Max Planck Society. They are only for post-graduates, not regular students – that´s why they don´t appear in the university rankings.

The Academic Ranking of World Universities is Chinese, and the THES – QS World University Rankings is British, if I’m not mistaken. And they do record Institutes of Technology and suchlike. RMIT, for example, is generally fairly well placed.

It doesn’t matter if they also have some of the lowest rankings- chances are that,if (for example) you are a student in the US there is a well regarded university that is nearby for you to attend. As it stands, I do not have figures for lowest ranking universities, and you are only guessing that the US has a large amount of sub-par institutions.

Finally, while the German postgraduate research institutes you mentioned are well regarded, they are for postgraduates! I know I’m stating the obvious, but these institutions are not particularly relevant- you have to study somewhere first.

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Fifey wrote:
The Academic Ranking of World Universities is Chinese, and the THES – QS World University Rankings is British, if I’m not mistaken. And they do record Institutes of Technology and suchlike. RMIT, for example, is generally fairly well placed.

I just checked those rankings – the postgraduate Tech Institutes I mentioned are NOT listed there. So – the whole ranking is problematic as it lists all the really good American Tech Institutes (because they are proper universities), but not the German ones (because they aren´t according to their narrow definition).

Fifey wrote:
It doesn’t matter if they also have some of the lowest rankings- chances are that,if (for example) you are a student in the US there is a well regarded university that is nearby for you to attend.

Not if you can´t afford it.

Fifey wrote:
As it stands, I do not have figures for lowest ranking universities, and you are only guessing that the US has a large amount of sub-par institutions.

Guess what, I was guessing wrong! I just copied the QS rankings (their top 400) into an excel sheet and sorted by countries.
The USA has 93 in the top 400 with an average ranking of 166. (37 in the top 100 and only 20 in the bottom 100)
Germany has 34 in the top 400 with an average ranking of 257. (only 3 in the top 100 but 15 in the bottom 100)
Dutch Universities seem to be quite good – 11 universities in the top 400, average ranking 117. None of these in the top 50, but 10 of the 11 in the upper midfield (ranks 53-155).

Fifey wrote:
Finally, while the German postgraduate research institutes you mentioned are well regarded, they are for postgraduates! I know I’m stating the obvious, but these institutions are not particularly relevant- you have to study somewhere first.

Well, they ARE particularly relevant because they attract the best scientists and some very good research is done in them. They are an essential part of the German university system, so it´s a bit misleading they aren´t included in those rankings. Still, it is a sad fact that the German “regular” universities are terribly underfunded.

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I suppose the point I was trying to make in that last one was that German uni students have so study somewhere first!

I’ll have tp hunt around for the top 400 list- it looks pretty interesting.

I’m sure the yanks would have some sort of state support for uni students, and only some full fee paying places. Mind you, they are not big on that sort of thing – universal healthcare and income support being two examples.

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Fifey wrote:
I suppose the point I was trying to make in that last one was that German uni students have so study somewhere first!

The point I still make is that the rankings are misleading. How does a university end up with a high rank? I imagine the criteria are things like scientists per student, books per student, yearly budget per student, number of degrees per year etc. Now imagine I am the German science minister and I´m frustrated my schools rank so poorly. I just came back from a fact-finding mission from the MIT (rank 9). I found out that´s an all-purpose tech institute, while in Munich there is the tech university (which does nothing except teaching students), three Fraunhofer institutes and eleven Max Planck institutes (which do everything except teaching students) . I am going to tell the lads in Munich that it´s nonsense to have so many different institutions – can´t we save a lot of money alone on administration if we throw them all together? That´ll be no problem because they all get their entire budget – from ME! Let´s call the new thing “Munich Institute of Technology” in short MIT.
The number of students will still be the same and absolutely nothing will change for them, except they will have a different logo on their degrees. The ranking will change a lot, though – because all of a sudden, there will be a much higher budget per student, more scientists per student, more books (15 libraries become one)… while the number of students stays exactly the same.
I´m quite sure that monster institution will end up a lot higher than Munich´s tech uni alone (rank 78).
Surely the German press will celebrate me for improving our schools so much! Wink

Fifey wrote:
I’ll have tp hunt around for the top 400 list- it looks pretty interesting.

Indeed – I was surprised the Dutch do so well and also that the three unis in Berlin seem to be better than most other in Germany. I studied in Berlin and went away after two years because my uni was very obviously very bad. I continued in Vienna and the uni here was A LOT better. Anyway, according to that ranking, it isn´t: Berlin´s tech institute has rank 188, the Vienna tech institute only rank 244. I have no idea what they compare, but in every respect I cared for, the uni here in Vienna was way better than the one in Berlin.

It would be very interesting to have a look at their raw data, just to find out what they really compare – and make a reality check on what is comparable in the first place. Apart from that, it would be interesting what happens outside those top 400. Apparently, there are 4,236 “degree-granting institutions” in the USA (source: http://nces.ed.gov/p…) while only 93 of these appear in the ranking. Germany has 391 (source: http://www.destatis….) and only 34 appear.

Fifey wrote:
I’m sure the yanks would have some sort of state support for uni students, and only some full fee paying places. Mind you, they are not big on that sort of thing – universal healthcare and income support being two examples.

The German Greens once tried to push an idea I liked: sort of a reverse pension fund for students. Every student would get a scholarship (of course only if he wants that money) if he signs an “education treaty” with the government. You would get money for five years to go to school, in return you´re obliged to pay a slightly higher income tax for the rest of your life. There sure is some moral hazard in the idea, but the advantage is that students don´t end up with a huge loan. Exactly that is keeping many kids from poor families from studying. The idea was dismissed because it was from the Greens.

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Fifey wrote:
I’m sure the yanks would have some sort of state support for uni students, and only some full fee paying places. Mind you, they are not big on that sort of thing – universal healthcare and income support being two examples.

As an American university student, I guarantee you that the state support for students is ridiculously small. Most of the time, it’s either loans or nothing, unless you’re basically at poverty level. Middle-income people, who typically can’t afford to pay for universities out of pocket, usually don’t get any sort of grants. If the kid is lucky and very smart, they may be able to get a scholarship but again, that doesn’t usually cover everything.
I myself was very lucky in that I take standardized tests well and managed to have a high enough score to get a scholarship to my university, in addition to a government grant due to the fact that my mom is disabled and can’t work. If I hadn’t, there would’ve been no way I could have afforded to go to my university, without saddling myself with ridiculous amounts of loan debt.
Also there’s a thing here where universities in each state give lower tuition to residents of that state, and people from other states have to pay about 3 times as much for tuition there (My university, for example, in the 2008-2009 school year costs $6452 in-state versus $18212 out-of-state). So quite often you may have to settle for a not as good school (or a school with a less distinguished program in what you want to study) because it is in the state you live in and thus more affordable.

I am leaving from Atlanta, GA with $1200 for 14 days
London, Salisbury, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh, Inverness, Edinburgh, London
Requesting help with Nightlife, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Rouen with $1500 for 15 days
Venice, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Rome
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Sights
I am leaving from busan, SK with $1000 for 13 days
Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Bangkok

2008—Language study abroad in Paris, France
2009—Archaeological field school/dig in Lau, Fiji
2010— Birthday UK trip!
2011— Teaching English in South Korea
2012— ????

mb
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The rankings sometimes include how much money is donated to the university from alumni, etc. Here, in the USA, we have tier 1, tier 2, tier 3 (where I am), etc.

My first degree is from a tier 3 university. We are in the top ten in the nation for producing Rhodes scholars. I am currently at a college (not uni) that has much less money, resources, standards, etc. but it is still a tier 3 school. Academically there is no comparison.

In these world rankings for example, I see colleges that are ranked below my first uni yet they are harder to get into and I see higher ranked unis that are easier to get into. Academics is not all that is taken into account.

I assume the USA also has a wider variety of scholarships to offer. There are scholarships based on your physical makeup such as height, weight, right or left handed. I’ve heard of a language scholarship if you speak Klingon. At Vassar you can change your middle name to Herrington to get a free ride provided you get accepted. Look through the Federal Catalog of Domestic Assistance and you’ll see many scholarships for ethnic groups.

I can’t seem to find one for those of us who are pursuing a second degree.

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

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mb wrote:
papyr wrote:
MB wrote:
Where are you going to intern? Got this in town: http://www.umc.edu/

Think they will accept me as a graduate of Charles Uni?

They accepted a japanese intern who couldn’t speak english.

Hi after a long time. So I graduated, got my M.D. and started to work as an intern on the Radiotherapy and Oncology Dept. in a hospital in Kladno, a 65-thousand town near Prague, about 10 miles from Prague airport. I have a 1-year contract that expires Aug.31, 2009.

As for the employment itself, its not bad. I have to be there at 7:30 and can leave at 15:30, Monday to Friday. Plus one weekend per month. We are not crowded with patients since our radiation therapy machine is undergoing reconstruction, so there is some time for a tea and chat. Among superiors there is only one pedant doctor who reads documents written by me, randomly, in order to see if I forgot anything, so bosses are OK. Nurses are also OK. Patients are not very OK, but what would you expect at the cancer ward. I get 25 free days a year, plus 5 as a bonus for taking some of the radiation.

Now comes the weird thing. It’s the salary.
If I work just Monday to Friday from 7.30 to 3.30 and nothing more, my net income omes to 12.400 Kc/month, which is €470/month or US$ 7.860,- a year.
If I also work on one weekend (two days) and one state holiday (third day), I receive 15.700 Kc/month netto, which would be €600/month, or US$10.000/year.
In December, I received Christmas bonus of Kc 4000 in my salary, so it reached almost 20k (19.800 Kc, or €750, or $1.046), but that was just a Christmas gift and won’t repeat itself in the following months.

Isn’t it a little bit too few for an M.D., even if we take into account that he is just after school? What do you think?

I think it’s ridiculous (not to mention nurses who do all the nauseating tasks and earn just 2/3 of what I earn). In the Czech republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland, doctors’ and nurses’ salaries are all alike. Low. A jukebox repairman gets 150% of my wage, a bus driver 200%, a construction builder 150-250%, a plumber up to 1000%, an electrician 200-1000%, I.T. serviceman 1000% and more, a bank clerk 300%. A cash register lady in a large hyper-market earns about 80-90% of what I, medical doctor, earn for the same working hours.

For the fans of Futurama the series: Ever thought dr. Zoidberg’s exaggerating his poverty?

Here is what I can offer:
I am 29, I graduated this year at 2nd Medical School of Charles Uni, Prague, and have the title of medical doctor. I am currently undergoing specialisation preparation in Oncology and Radiation Therapy (year 1 of 6), I have worked for 4 months now at such ward. I am a citizen of Slovakia and a citizen of the EU. Of Western languages, I am fluent in English and intermediate in French.

And here comes a question, maybe some of you will know the answer:
What country should I leave for to be able to afford a flat just for myself, my own car so as not to be a part of bus commuter crowds every day, and maybe afford to raise offsprings,
while keeping the same kind of job (a physician at the cancer ward)?

If you have any questions about Prague or Czech and Slovak republics, ask me.
If you only want to search train or bus connection within Czech&Slovakia and/or to neighboring countries, use www.cp.sk or www.idos.cz search engines. For domestic transport, they also show prices.