Meeting the mayor of Banska Bystrica, Ján Nosko, was more stressful than I thought it would be. Meeting a man that runs the town that I live in doesn’t sound like much, but trust me when I say it was a little nerve racking. Let me explain.

Right after getting out of school, I hurried to the designated meeting point that the four of us (Ashley, Nico, Nicole & I) would meet up. After my bus pulled into Namestie Slobody, Freedom Square in English, I met up with the other exchange students and some Rotarians. It was at this point that I was starting to feel a little nervous. What if I hadn’t dressed up nice enough? What if I did something rude to offend him? I was less worried about my personal reputation, I was more worried about that fact that I was meeting this political official as a representative of American culture and life. I had to make sure I was on my best behavior.

After walking through some type of government building, we sat down in a conference room. And waited. During this time, I kept running through my head what I would say:

“Dobry Den, volam sa Alex Franke. Som z Rancho Cucamonga, California.”

Finally , the time came where we got to meet the mayor. He was very kind to us, although I don’t know if he could understand anything of what we were saying. I must say that he had a very imposing demeanor, but not in a bad way. Thinking about it, that might just be all government officials, but I could really feel it from him. The most notable part of the visit, was when we all grouped together to take a picture:

“Say cheese!”


Anyway, I must give a big thanks to Mr. Nosko for allowing us to meet with him, and I hope that he enjoyed talking to us as much as we did. I have to give a big thanks to the gifts that he gave us, which include a book on Banska Bystrica, tea, chocolate, and a type of cake; all made in Banska Bystrica.


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