June, 28 2022
In this blog post we are reflecting back to the 2021-2023 cohort's semester in Ljubljana.
As planned, Ljubljana is our base for the 2nd semester of EMTM. Honestly, I had little idea about this country and the city. but guess what, small BUT surprising and sustainable are 3 adjectives that best describe this city. I am here again to mark the closure of our Ljubljana semester before embarking on our beautiful, long-awaited summer. (despite my not-so-much excitement about the sun as a Thai guy who lived with the heat for my whole life). We have been learning about sustainability quite a lot in classes still many questions, doubts and reluctance remain as to how to be sustainable if things around us aren’t. Here in Slovenia, I guess, it becomes clearer how to put such ideologies into practice and make them accessible to all people. That’s how it grows bit by bit in a person like me who used to be among the most unsustainable folks.
Bikes have surprisingly become my main mode of everyday transport from day 1. It is unbelievably easy, affordable and convenient to grab a bike and go around the town. Here, there is a bike rental scheme called “BicikeLJ” where people can sign up for 3 euros a year. The app is available for both IOS and Android. Let me give you a glimpse of how easy it is to access this sustainable vehicle. Find the nearest bike station > unlock a bike from your phone> hop on it and roam around for 1 hour without any charge. The stations are spread out throughout the whole city and there are quite a lot of bikes anywhere anytime you need one.
If bikes do not sound so exciting, well, here, the city also provides you with a cool EV car rental. I found this out a bit late in the last month of my stay and guess what, I am so in love with it. The “Avant2go” app is what I am talking about. If you have a driver's license, this is an amazing way to conveniently and affordably check out around town in a long-distance or even places outside Ljubljana. You might think it can be expensive, let me tell you here, it’s 0.23 Euro per km with a minimum charge of 4 Euro and 26 Euro maximum for the 24h rental. Imagine moving from the school to the city centre with 4 people in the car, it will cost only 1 Euro each, actually cheaper than the bus. And don’t forget this is an EV car, you’re environmentally friendly.
One last highlighted perk of a student here is the so-called študentski BONI, which we all praise for. The meals for students here can become as cheap as 2 Euro with the main dish, salad, and dessert. The beloved BONI gives a discount to students up to around 3.5 Euro when buying meals from partnered restaurants (which are a lot out there in the city). We can enjoy this BONI around 30 times each month.
Sustainability used to be something, in my view, far-fetched. Well, I have changed my mind when I know there’s always a way if you really aim for it and it’s not a tall order after all. Start with baby steps and adapt to your lifestyle. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Appreciate the little changes you make and you’ll find the silver lining out of it.
Finally, we S(love)nia and can’t wait for Girona.
Happy summer break!
Written by Pitchakorn Punpornmatee, Student of EMTM Generation 2021-2023.