Foreigners Self-Isolating in Slovenia: Do You Feel Safer? Šepetalec Pašte, from Australia

By , 03 Apr 2020, 19:22 PM Lifestyle
Foreigners Self-Isolating in Slovenia: Do You Feel Safer? Šepetalec Pašte, from Australia All photos from Luke Peat

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Do foreigners in Slovenia feel more or less safe sitting out covid-19 here than in their home country, and what are their experiences? All the stories in this series are here. If you' like to contribute, see here or at the end of the story

Who are you, and how did you come to be here?

Ciao, I am Luke, or better known as Šepetalec Pašte. I’m a chef and my home country is Australia. I came to be here in Slovenia through a mate I work with in London. To be honest, I had to check the map to see where Slovenia actually was. After few messages back and forth I decided to take the gamble and come to Slovenia. I have been traveling around Europe for last four years, and have based myself in London for 3 years.

I am now working at Bungalow Portorož on the coast.

Tell us a little about your situation and sanity levels.

How am I? It’s a good question. My partner lives in Italy, which been hard because we can’t see each and offer support to other. I live alone and has been a tough not to have a pet or someone else to be with you in these times. It’s very challenging mentally, trying to stay positive and the fact is it’s still the unknown what is going to happen in the coming weeks. I’ve been trying to stay busy with cooking and exercise. I also have a good network of friends that checks up on me to see how I’m doing, and they been offering support. Even with this I still have my ups and downs every day, but we are all going to get through this!

When did you realise that coronavirus was going to be a big issue?

I started to realise that this was going to be a big issue when Italy started to have a lot of cases and the death count start to climb. As my partner lives in Verona I was more informed about what was happening, then they started to close down areas and regions. In the restaurant we noticed a big impact on the number of people coming to Portorož, as the coast is supported a lot by the Italian tourist and other nearby countries.

I think restaurants have suffered the biggest impact because they work on smaller margins with a high turnover, and the future of the industry is very uncertain. 

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What is your impression of the way Slovenia is dealing with the crisis? How safe do you feel?

I think that Slovenian is doing the best it can. On the government side I’m not well informed, to inform but this is a great opportunity for it to show some support for the people of Slovenia. I’m very lucky to have a great boss that is doing the best he can to support his workers and make sure they can survive through this period, and I think he’s setting an example for other employers to take the lead in this way. 

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How are things compared to Australia?

Coming from Australia I can say that I’m proud of how the Australian people are handling it, offering the jobseeker allowance to people that are now employed. However, many people in Australia have not really taken this so seriously, and as a result it’s going to take longer to recover.

I think Slovenians have done an amazing job to really stick to the rules and show respect for one another, so the country can recover a lot quicker and hopefully been back on track as soon as possible. As an outsider I am impressed on the way Slovenian people have handled this.

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What about official communications from the authorities, compared to your home country?

As my Slovenian is not the best I do count on a mate of mine, Tim, and Total Slovenian News to keep up to date, but I don’t reply on direct contact with the authorities.

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What's the one thing you wish you had taken with you into self-isolation.

Just one thing? I would have like to take a lot more with me, but I would have to say I would love to have my partner with me in these times, just to have her with me and to have someone else to talk to, to watch movies and someone to cook for, and the bonus is I’d have someone to wash the dishes. But other than having someone else with me I have mostly what I need here.

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What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself, and one thing you’ve learned about others during this crisis?

As I am alone through this period I have a lot time to think, and you really get to have a look at yourself and the person you are in how you handle such difficult times , I have learned that I am definitely stronger mentally then I realised. I’ve also realised where I want to be and that Slovenian is an amazing country. The people here should be proud of themselves as a nation, and they have always been very welcoming to me.

If you’d like to contribute to this series please answer the following questions and include a paragraph about yourself and where you’re from, and a link to your website if you would like. Please also send 3-4 photos minimum (including at least one of yourself) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Subject: Corona Foreigner.

Firstly, how are you? Are you alone/with someone? Tell us a little about your situation and sanity levels.

What do you think about the economic measures the government is taking, are they helping your business? (PLEASE IGNORE IF THIS DOES NOT AFFECT YOU)

When did you realise that coronavirus was going to be a big issue?

What is your impression of the way Slovenia is dealing with the crisis? How safe do you feel?

Now compare that to your home country and how they are handling it. What is Slovenia doing better/worse?

What about official communications from the authorities, compared to your home country?

What's the one thing you wish you had taken with you into self-isolation.

One thing you have learned about yourself, and one thing you have learned about others during this crisis.

 

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