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FOUND! ANOTHER  KOMARNO

Thanks to the magic of the Internet, we've just discovered that the small Canadian town of Komarno, Manitoba, has a larger namesake thousands of miles away in Slovakia (part of the former Czechoslovakia) in Central Europe.

Two months ago, in a story  about the world's biggest insect statues, we reported that the Canadian town of Komarno, Manitoba boasts a huge steel weathervane shaped like a mosquito, with a wingspan measuring 15ft (4.6 metres). The name Komarno was said to be Ukrainian for Mosquito.

Shortly after the story was posted, we were pleased to see this anonymous entry in our Guestbook: "Did you know that there is a small town (40 000 people) in Slovak republic (old Czekoslovakia) called Komarno, if you'd like to know more visit www.komarno.sk ."

Visiting that website, we were confronted by a page of incomprehensible words, but found the image of a Union Jack on the navigation sidebar, that led us to an English version, which said "The Komarno region is situated on the left bank of the Danube River, at the confluence of the Little Danube, Nitra, and Zitavy tributaries. It is not only the southern most point in Slovakia but also the lowest, with the altitude of this region rising only 110 ≠ 270 meters. In the flat lowlands near the rivers bloom countless acacia, bountiful in nectar, poplar and willow trees."

They probably have mosquitoes there too.

We knew very little about Slovakia (not to be confused with Slovenia) until three months ago, when one of our grand-daughters, Carolyn, a 24-year-old Sydney accountant, toured that country with two friends. She sent us frequent emails, and we followed her journey on the Internet, by searching websites of the towns and villages she visited. It was a fascinating trip through a country full of romantic castles, fortifications and legends.

Back in sunny Australia, Carolyn has fond memories of walking to the famous castle in the capital, Bratislava, in a brisk temperature of 0deg.C.

Slovakia's population is just under five and a half million. The CIA World Factbook says that in 1918 the Slovaks joined the closely related Czechs to form Czechoslovakia. Following the chaos of World War II, Czechoslovakia became a Communist nation within Soviet-ruled Eastern Europe. Soviet influence collapsed in 1989 and Czechoslovakia once more became free. The Slovaks and the Czechs agreed to separate peacefully on January 1, 1993. Historic, political, and geographic factors have caused Slovakia to experience more difficulty in developing a modern market economy than some of its Central European neighbors.

Continuing our online visit to Komarno, we found the website of Turner Military Textil (no final "e"). It has the curious URL (internet address)  http://www.usarmy.sk/ We're not sure what connection they have with the US Army, but they apparently make, or sell, at least 20 items of military equipment. The only ones we could translate were 04 Pulůvre, 05 Vesty, 11 Ruksaky, 13 Spacie vaky, and 16 Kompasy.

FRY A GOOGY ON THE BARBIE FOR BREKKY

Those Slovakian names of military gear seem to follow the pattern of popular Australian words such as barbie (barbecue), brekky (breakfast), bitey (biting insect), bluey (pack, equipment, traffic ticket or redhead) , nightie (nightdress), sickie (day off from work) and a hundred similar abbreviations which end with the ee sound, to the amusement and confusion of oversea visitors.

LINKS

 

Copyright © 2002

Eric Shackle

Story first posted November 2002

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