Living in a cheap country

If I am going to leave my job, I have to spend less.  Some people live in their car or under a bridge.  I’d rather consider a much cheaper country.  Let’s face it, the US is not cheap.  I realize you get what you pay for – but maybe there are some non-homeless, less standard options to control the cost of day to day living.  In all the articles on living outside the US in retirement to control costs, I haven’t yet seen Slovakia highlighted.  I’m an optimist.  It’s just an oversight.

As an American, I don’t understand what living in a cheap country looks like.  I don’t look at the Christmas lights downtown and think “Wow, wonder what those cost”.  I like the lights.  I kinda feel entitled to the lights.  Honestly, I have no idea what austerity looks like.  In the 70s it was buying those “no name” brand super market products.  A white can with big black letters which said “green beans” was my idea of austerity.

Austerity is more of an every day reality in Slovakia.  In a country where the average person makes about 1000 dollars per month, austerity is potholes, graffiti, a dead dog on the highway. I’m not sure I can give the services up which keep my life quite so pristine.  I’m also not sure I can afford them for the next several years.

Living in Bratislava is a good test.  It’s also a humbling reminder of how easy we American’s have it.  But so far, so good.  Austerity does not imply a lack of good people, interesting architecture, fine arts and great wine and food.   We have friends, opera, and 4 dollar pizza with a dollar beer.

It’s only been a bit more than 3 months since we moved here.  Time will tell.  As of right now, I think living in a cheap country, for a medium or long term, is an option.  And for the moment, I’m just figuring out my options.

Categories: Ruminations

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