I keep this photograph among my important possessions.
I’ve never personally used an instant camera–never even held one in my hand. The shot is from an event in my home town of Bratislava, organised by Kia, the car manufacturers, when they opened their first plant in Slovakia.
It was in one of the squares in city centre, where they set up a stage for traditional Korean performances (I remember we watched some cool drummers). Among the promotional material they were giving away, like key rings and stickers and bags, that sort of stuff, I don’t really recall exactly, they did Polaroid shots for people.
As you can observe, there is a Kia car in the picture and those two people in front of it are myself and my younger brother! I was 23 and he was 12. I had already left for UK by then, but was back for a visit.
So, the year was 2004. An interesting year, because that was when Slovakia (with 9 other countries) joined the EU. Here in UK, you bet they had a lot to say about that and not in a good way. But on one news program they also said that with Kia now establishing themselves in Slovakia, potential other car manufacturers will follow and the country might one day become a second Detroit. Amazingly, to this day, it was the only positive thing I heard about my country on British TV ever. Now fifteen years later, we have Brexit and car manufacturers are leaving Britain.
And that thing with second Detroit became true.
Obviously I wasn’t the one who took this pic, but I was the one who took the pic of the pic, so is it my pic or is it not my pic?
So last week I started this series that I named Random and Weird Phone Shots, or RAWPS for short and I decided that I will only post these on Thursdays, one because it happened to be a Thursday and two, so that I could make it a Throwback Thursday. And throwback this is, as it’s from 2011. I still remember how I was walking down the street past this recruitment agency, when I saw this job advert in the window. I had to stop and take my phone out.
I have posted this pic on several sites at that time, I even wonder if the agency found out about it. I’m sure they’d probably think it’s tired by now, that I’m laughing at an old joke that has not been funny for five years but–come on. All of us that had to deal with recruitment agencies in our search for employment have had out fair share of frustration and if they expect us to have immaculate CV with qualifications and experience for a basic admin job, I don’t think it’s unreasonable of me to mock them for advertising a position for a fluent speaker of a language that doesn’t exist. The applicants are supposed to be experienced even though for experience you need to have been in a job before, which you aren’t because you’re looking for one (was it the chicken or the egg that came first? I never know) but they are incapable of doing a ten-second Google search for what the language spoken in Austria is (it’s German, of course). And then, it’s close to my heart, as I’m from Bratislava, the city that borders Austria (also Hungary; it used to be trilingual but that is another topic).
I am remembering another occasion when I was asked whether I spoke Libyan. (“You mean Arabic?”) When I told my brother this, he said “Even Gaddafi couldn’t speak Libyan”. Well…
Maybe I should take up Mexican lessons. I like the food.