Interview s americkým konzulom Mattom (part 2)
- Matúš Grega
Ak ste ešte nečítali prvú časť rozhovoru s konzulom Matt-om, tak odporúčame (stačí kliknúť TU). V prvej časti interview sme sa p. konzula napríklad pýtali, prečo by mal študent zo Slovenska vycestovať do USA na Work and Travel? Do ktorej časti USA by vycestoval on? A mnohé iné ...
V tejto časti interview sa dozviete, prečo sa rozhodol stať konzulom, v ktorých krajinách pracoval predtým, ako prišiel na Slovensku, kde je jeho ďalšia zastávka, aké su jeho obľúbené miesta na Slovensku a mnohé iné.
Otázky a odpovede prinášame v pôvodnom znení v anglickom jazyku. Na otázky pán konzul odpovedal koncom roka 2019 a toto je druhá časť interview (prvú časť interview si môžete prečítať TU).
What is your most and least favorite meal you tried in Slovakia?
I think I could eat a bucket of demikat soup every day... I would die of a heart attack, but I would die happy. I don’t think I have ever had Slovak food that I ever thought was bad but man, you guys love your bread and potatoes.
What is the most favorite place you visited here?
Oh wow... that is hard to choose. I could tell you about the amazing hot water springs out in the woods near Orava, that I love to visit. Or the famous wonderland castle of Bojnice that always takes my breath away. Nothing quite beats strolling around Stare Mesto in Kosice and staring up at the beauty of St. Alzbeta Cathedral. Maybe I could say passing an afternoon in the cutest little village ever in Čičmany, or soaking in the sun next to the lake in Dedinky. Really I can’t choose, I can only think of the ones that I still need to get to. Dobšina Ice Cave is my white whale, everytime I try to get there, it is closed. But I’ll get there someday and if anyone has suggestions for good hiking routes in Poloniny please pass them along.
What do you miss the most in Slovakia from USA?
The best thing about America is that Americans are from all over the globe. Being American is an idea more than it is a heritage and all of the people from around the world that have come together because they like the idea of America and all the things it stands for are what makes America great. So in that vein, I miss the diversity of America. Hearing languages from everywhere in the world. Smelling different foods when walking down the street. Seeing people wearing different clothes from different places. It’s a magical thing and there really aren’t too many places in the world where you can get that experience.
Is there anything you would like to have in USA, like we have in Slovakia?
It would be great to have your train system! I love traveling around by train, it is so convenient, but in America, we don’t have very good trains. I would also love to steal your recipe for Pagáče and start every day with a nice warm and flakey pagáč :D
U.S. Consular Officer job
Why did you
choose to become consul?
I knew from a young age that I wanted to work with people from different countries, religions, cultures, perspectives, so becoming a diplomat seemed like a great fit. I decided to become a Consular Officer because I looked at my other colleagues at the embassy and they have to spend most of their time speaking with government officials or other diplomats and they don’t get to meet real people. I wanted to meet everyday people and learn about what really people think and how they see the world. Consular lets me do that by talking to anyone that happens to walk up to my window. It´s the best!
In which country did you work as U.S. Consular Officer before Slovakia?
I worked in Beijing, China and this is my second stop. I’ll be headed back to the United States to do a tour there for a few years before leaving America again for who knows where.
How did you like it here overall? Which country is your favorite and why?
Slovakia has been amazing!! The people, the nature, the history, the travel! If you follow me on Instagram you know, I love to get out and explore this country and for such a small place there is something amazing to see everywhere you turn. Pair that with the fact that the people of Slovakia have been so kind and generous to me, really what more could you ask for? I will admit that the food in China was a lot better though ;-) I guess we know why there are Chinese restaurants all over the world.
What is your next destination of your service? Are you able to choose your next country?
I am headed back to America for my next tour. Every couple years we move to a new place. When our time in one place is running out, we look around at other embassies and government jobs and see where there are openings and we apply for the ones we want. But just like any other job hunt, you have to interview and prove that you are the person that that embassy wants to work with. So you could apply to 20 jobs and all of them pick someone else.
What is the salary of US consuls around the world? Does it depends on country where do you serve? Does embassy provide you housing or it is up to you to find some place?
The salary is enough for me to live comfortably. All diplomats get the same base pay throughout the world. However, if you take in assignment in a country that isn’t very developed, or that is more dangerous, you do get incentive pay. Slovakia is so nice though that we don’t get anything extra to be here. Even though the pay is less here, American diplomats still want to be here and each open position gets 30 or more diplomats applying to be here.
Ešte raz ďakujeme p. konzulovi za čas, ktorý si našiel na toto interview a prajeme mu veľa úspechov v jeho ďalšej diplomatickej kariére. Veríme, že po troch rokoch strávených na Slovensku bude na našu krajinu spomínať len v pozitívnom slova zmysle :-)