Former Russian karateka Andrei Volkov, who moved to Slovenia 4 years ago, teaches Slovenians all the subtleties of Argentine tango. The former resident of Moscow tells himself about the reasons for choosing exactly Slovenia.
“My wife and I were looking for a country that would meet our requirements. We found Slovenia. It is worth noting that we discovered this country through the Internet. We like everything in Slovenia, so we plan to stay here,” the master of Argentine tango says.
Before moving, Anton together with his wife Natalia for some time were reflecting upon moving to a European country where their family could take a foothold.
“Together we made a list of requirements that the new place of residence should have met. We found all this in Slovenia,” says the 47-year-old dance teacher, who has already lived in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hungary and the United States.
“We were looking for a safe, green country that has a suitable climate, where obtaining a residence permit is not a complicated procedure, with a location close to Russia where our relatives live, and with affordable prices. Since we wanted to send our children to school, we chose a country where all this would be possible,” Anton Volkov confesses.
He and his wife first visited Slovenia on one of the February days when they arrived there by train from Zurich, where they had lived and worked for a while. Anton is a dance teacher and his wife is a psychotherapist at the Young Institute.
He notes that Slovenia impressed him most of all by a sense of security and mutual trust.
“In general, Slovenians are very hospitable people,” he says. Anton did not notice any strange habits among the residents of the country. He also admires the conditions of life in Slovenia.
“Everything is better here than in Moscow. Nature, people, food, sense of security, ecology, education system, relations between people. However, there are only three things that are better in Moscow,” the dance teacher says, “Moscow never sleeps. In Moscow, you can order a manicure or a solarium at two o’clock in the morning. In Moscow, there is a wider offer of cultural events, and tango, no doubt, is at a higher level than in Slovenia.”
Anton Volkov also admires Slovenian cuisine, which he likes even more than the Russian one. He especially likes dishes that are served along the coastline.
“I think that this is a perfect combination of Italian and Slovenian cuisines. I simply adore seafood dishes included into it.”
It is worth noting that the Slovene Littoral (Slovene: Primorska region) often becomes the final destination of the Volkov family’s trips.
“We often go to Strunjan. Sometimes we visit Piran. We have also been to Triglav.”
According to the master of tango, at first it was not that easy in Ljubljana.
“It was difficult to find a suitable place for a dance school. After all, I did not know where there were good places in Ljubljana. I did not know anyone.”
Today he mainly communicates with the Slovenians, but he also has several Russian friends.
The Volkov family wants to stay in Slovenia forever.
“So far we have only a residence permit, but next summer we will submit documents for permanent residence. I expect that in 5 years we will also be able to obtain Slovenian citizenship.”
Anton understands that for this he will have to improve his knowledge of the Slovenian language.
“I actually understand the Slovenian language, but I almost do not use it, save for the language courses. I attended Slovenian language courses for foreigners. I am glad that all our children speak Slovenian and go to a Slovenian school. My wife also speaks Slovenian.”