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Wine and Dine: Belgium vs. Slovenia

# 1 : Ordering wine and a water in Belgium

  • You: I’d like to order please.
  • Waiter: Sure. What would you like?
  • You: I’ll have a wine please.
  • Waiter: Excellent choice. White or red?
  • You: White, please.
  • Waiter: Coming right up. *waiter starts to walk away*
  • You: Oh, and could I also get a big glass of tap water please?
  • Waiter: We don’t have tap water.
  • You: Oh, you don’t?
  • Waiter: No, otherwise everyone would order water and we wouldn’t be able to keep the bar open, you know, we have to earn something. But we do have have Perrier, Vittel, Spa, Gerolsteiner, Tönissteiner in a bottle.
  • You: Oh. I’ll just have the wine, then.
  • Waiter: Great, I’ll be right back.

Note that the owner may complain to you how hard it is to keep the bar running, and how serving everyone free tap water could lead to the bar’s bankruptcy. And that hence, you should refrain from ordering it.

# 2 : Ordering wine and a water in Slovenia

  • You: I’d like to order please.
  • Waiter: Sure. What would you like?
  • You: I’ll have a wine please.
  • Waiter: Excellent choice. White or red?
  • You: White, please.
  • Waiter: Do you prefer sweet or sour?
  • You: Sweet, please
  • Waiter: Great choice. 1 deciliter or 2 deciliter?
  • You: One deci, please.
  • Waiter: Would you like it pure or do you want a Spritzer?
  • You: Pure please. And could I get a glass of water please?
  • Waiter: Of course, I’ll be right back with your order.

The Slovene bartender will ask you more than you will ask him. The process of ordering can be extensive that a flowchart of the process could be drawn up easily.

# 3 : Ordering a Fanta with your food in Slovenia can be tricky.

Do say: “Hočem Fanto, prosim” when asked what drink you would like to accompany your food with.

Because saying “Hočem Fanta“, as I would do, implies that you want a boyfriend delivered alongside your food, and not the lemonade. Please don’t be like me and always make sure to correctly declinate your nouns if you want to place your orders without making a fool of yourself.

Slovenian Gesticulations

# 1 : You want to leave the bar but you don’t want to say it out loud.

Solution: Perform a finger-walking move on the table when the bar is playing too loud music. This way, you can indicate you would not be terribly sad if to go elsewhere soon. It’s not that you think it’s impolite to say so out loud, but the music is just so damn loud.

# 2 : “The place was completely packed with people.”

Unlike Belgians, Slovenians are not that used to go to places where there are really a lot of people at the same time. And by that, I mean the kind of venues where your 5 meter trip from ordering at the bar to going back to your friends involves walking with four beers over your head, only to arrive with four half of beers ten minutes later. Usually after hearing at least 3 drunk strangers refer to your beer in the evergreen joke “Ah, is that for me?” in the process.

The few times a year Slovenians get to experience such typically Belgian situations, they will refer to the event with the gesticulation below, to point out they went somewhere where people were crammed together.

For this, Slovenians do the same move Italians apparently use for “Why are you doing that?!, “What the hell?” (source)

Slovenian Popular Wisdom

Here are some proverbs or other general “facts” Slovenes said to me about themselves and others that I personally found to be hilarious.

“Slovenians are made of sugar” – “Slovenci so iz zukra.”

Like sugar, which “melts” when you pour water over it, Slovenes prefer not go out whenever it rains unless their livelihood depends on it. Whenever they do go out in the rain however, the streets turn into a palette of colorful umbrellas.

By the way, Slovenes are really afraid of catching a cold, compared to Belgians, where some wear short pants deep into the autumn, or bike home from parties in just a shirt during December.

“Oh my god, you should hear thàt song”

Slovenians would put on Croatian, Bosnian or Serbian music “for a joke”, but a significant percentage of them genuinely or secretly, actually likes the music. Which is perfectly fine, of course.

Situations like these come up when one Slovenian quoted some lyric to the other at a party, meant as funny response. And then, “you should totally hear this song, it’s hilarious”.

“Czech language is hilarious.”

Apparently, Czech people sound to Slovenians as if they would put all nouns in the small form.

“You should not sit down on the grass in months having an R in the name, otherwise you will have a wolf in your butt” – “Ne sedite na travi v mesecih, ki imojo črko R”

As mentioned earlier, Slovenes appear horrified with the idea of catching a cold.

That is why according to them, you should never sit on the grass during the months Januar, Februar, Marec, April, September, Oktober, November and December. Grass sitting is best to be practiced during Maj, Junij, Julij and Avgust.

“Throw away potatoes if cooked more than an hour ago”

  • “Why?”
  • “Because they’re bad immediately.”
  • “No they’re not.”
  • “Of course they are.”

We’re still in an impasse on this topic.

“Wow, you have potatoes” (“Imaš krompir”)

Keeping in theme with the potatoes, “having potatoes” means as much as that you should consider yourself to be a lucky chap.

“You should wear warm clothes as long as you can in spring and wear the least amount of clothes as long as you can in autumn.”

Why? Ah, because they are afraid to get a cold, of course.

All joking aside, this one actually made sense to me.

“You have long cables.” (“Imaš dolge kable.”)

That means you are slow at understanding something that is very straightforward to others. Your long cables are causing the information to flow too slow around your head.

“It’s easy to splash around in the nettles with someone else’s d*ck.” (“Lahko je s tujim kurcem po koprivah opletat.”)

This particular yet universal proverb means so much as that it’s easier to spend someone else’s money ? .

(image source)

“To f*ck a hedgehog.” (“Jebati ježa.”)

Used in situations in which you are drunk but need to do some serious business in the morning.

The proverb origins from the fact that having intercourse with a hedgehog is likely to be a difficult and painful undertaking.

You can “appropriately” use it in a sentence “I’ve been drinking too much this evening, I’m so going to f*ck the hedgehog in the morning.”


  • Daniel Reply

    great job Hannes 🙂 it holds true

    • Hannes Reply

      Thanks 😉

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