Point/Counterpoint: What Is the Capital of Slovakia?

A panorama of Slovakia's capital

Elliott’s Opening Statement:
Americans get a bad rap from foreigners just because we don’t know every little detail about their boring, insignificant little countries. But we can’t get defensive about it. The fact is, as citizens of the world (as well as the only country with the cojoñes to blow the rest of the planet off the map if we feel like it) it’s up to us to educate ourselves about the global situation.

Unfortunately, this means hashing out the answers to a lot of tough questions involving exotic cultures, unfamiliar geography, and food that looks icky. One of those questions faces us today: Brock and I can’t agree on the capital of Slovakia.

This is foolish, of course, because the capital of Slovakia is Slovakia City. That’s just how capitals work. Kansas City, Kansas. New York City, New York. Brasilia, Brazil–which is Portuguese for “Brazil City”. Sometimes places leave off the “City” part, like Luxembourg, Luxembourg, but when your country has a name like Slovakia you want to pretty it up a little.

It’s always possible that the name is in the Slovak language, which I imagine smooshes words together, much like the Slovaks themselves smoosh every part of the pig into the blood sausage delicacy jaternice.Jaternice In that case, the capital would be Slovakiacity, which is a great name because it fits perfectly in the tourism ad campaign I just came up with: “Slovakia — Feel the Slovakiocity!” Doesn’t it make you want to buy a ticket to Slovakiacity right now?

Not only does Slovakiacity have a great name, but I’m sure it’s a lovely capital, from the marble halls of the Slovakian legislature (Slovakialegislatureplace) to the nightspots of downtown and Little Estonia. Truly, it is one of Europe’s greatest capitals, ranking only behind England City, Franceville, Cittá Italiano, Germansburg, Russiatown, and Greekopolis.

Brock’s Opening Statement:
Frankly, I don’t see what the debate is. A definitive answer to this question can be easily found through research. As such, I tracked down a primary source: my doorman, Anton. An émigré from Slovakia, I spoke at length with Anton in his native tongue regarding his homeland. What follows is based on our conversation. Keep in mind that some specific details may have been lost in translation because I don’t know Slovak. I did, however, take very thorough notes as to the noises (mostly guttural) and hand gestures (choppy) that Anton made.

As best I understand it, the capital of Slovakia is the Slovakian. These are figurines die-cast in the likeness of famous countrymen like St. Gorazd and General Ján Golian that can be exchanged for goods and services. Obviously, the quality of said goods/services depend on the quantity, size and composition of the Slovakian. The most commonly trafficked figurines are two-inch tall pewter renderings of parachute inventor Stefan Banic. Small enough to comfortably fit in a pocket, Banics are generally used to purchase household goods: toiletries, food stuffs, potable water, etc.

Anton took a moment here to stress (short, heavy hand-chops, as if cleaving a chicken) that parents must not leave Banics lying about, as they present a choking hazard for young children.Hockey legend and proud Slovak Stan Mikita, seen here hoarding treasure.

Anyway, Anton trailed off after that, saying he had little experience with large denomination Slovakians, as back in his village, he was so adept at seducing wealthy old widow that he never had to pay for anything personally. He ended by saying that once, as a boy, he woke up the morning after losing a tooth to find that Bohuslav the Enamel Harvester (the Slovak equivalent of the Tooth Fairy) had left a 6-inch, silver plated statuette of hockey great Stan Mikita under his pillow. Interesting guy.

Elliott’s Rebuttal to Brock’s Nonsense
Wait… what? You think the capital of Slovakia is a series of tiny metal figurines (smallmetalmanstatueskas) of famous Slovaks? I can understand a desire to celebrate great men like composer Eugene Sucho, Robin Hood-like outlaw Juraj Jánosík, and Academy Award-winning director Ján Kadár, but there’s no way a major metropolis could be made up of tiny figurines. Where would people live? Inside the statues? How could anyone fit in there?Slovakialegistlatureplace

Also, think of the trouble their post office would have if, say, I wanted to mail some jaternice to my cousin Mikulás, a politician representing Slavs Vegas in the Slovakialegislatureplace? How would I address it?

Mikulás Kalan
Stan Mikita Slovakian

None of this makes sense. Is it possible you mistranslated “capital” meaning the official seat of government as “capital” meaning wealth or currency?

Either way, the area still needs its own name. I say it’s Slovakiacity.

Brock’s Rejoinder to Elliott’s Claptrap Bunkum
Elliott, not only is it possible I mistranslated, it’s probable. What’s even more probable is that Anton was screwing with me. Going over his story again, there’s a lot that doesn’t add up. For instance, I don’t know how the women in Slovakia rate, but I have a hard time believing someone with Anton’s facial features could woo even the loneliest of widows. The guy always looks like he’s just gone three rounds with Slovak welterweight and 1948 Olympic gold medalist Július Torma.Brock's produce, post-Anton

Come to think of it, my building didn’t even have a doorman until Anton started hanging out in the vestibule. He doesn’t have a uniform and he’s never once opened the door for me. He does sign my Fresh Direct packages, but when I get them, they’ve been opened and there are bite makes on all the produce.

Perhaps I should propose a new Point/Counterpoint topic: Is there a drifter squatting in my lobby?

In which Elliott and Brock make token concessions to the other’s argument, while remaining fundamentally unchanged as to the validity of their own rhetoric.

Elliott: Brock, I agree with your suspicions that there is a derelict living in your building. I would refrain from speaking to him or allowing him to use your bathroom when he’s “on break” (which is always). Don’t use this as an excuse not to give him a Christmas tip, though. Doormen never forget that.

I still find your understanding of Slovakian culture to be abysmal, however. Our only recourse is a trip to Slovakia itself so we can experience the truth firsthand. I’ll start looking for cheap flights from JFK to the Slovakiacity International Airport (Slovakiacitymetalbirdnestplace).
Pride of Komárno, Ivan Reitman
Brock: Sounds great! There’s a slight tingling in my spine, which I can only assume means I’m starting to feel the Slovakiocity! I’ll hit the currency exchange and get us some Slovakians, though getting a three-meter solid chrome effigy of Ivan Bella, the first Slovak in space past airport metal detectors may present a challenge.

Either way, when we get to Slovakia, let’s visit Ivan Reitman’s boyhood home. Apparently, he was born there.


CORRECTION: Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and the currency used there is the Euro. If you have any information as to the whereabouts of Brock Mahan or Elliot Kalan, email: missingwriters@whimquarterly.com.