Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Slovakia: Coal That Does Not Burn

SME newspaper reported this story (SLO) on Dec. 22:

One evening, a foreign truck with coal from Poland stopped in front of the house and store of Anna Pitáková.

Guys came in to ask the businesswoman if she would not buy some coal. When she told them that she did not need it they asked her for water for coffee. They said their car was broken and they must sleep in the village.

In the morning they came to the store again. They looked cold and said that the coal could be sold not for 15 but 10 euros per 100 kilograms and they would carry it to the basement: she just has to buy it, otherwise the car will not move.

Eventually, she bought it for 8 euros and also made tea with rum for them.

During the weekend she found out that the coal did not burn. Even mixed with wood or black oil. Even cleaning the chimney did not help. For four days she was not able to heat her house, until she dug out the old coal buried under the new.

“Maybe people will laugh at me, but some ended up even worse – I bargained for nearly half the price.”

Those others had also been fooled – by the guys from at least six similar cars – and they had paid 15 euro per 100 kilograms of coal that wouldn't burn. Common fine coal price (except without such comfortable transport) is about 17 euro.

Local police did not receive any notice of the fraud, although the fooled ones lost hundreds of euros.

Below are some comments (SLO) by the Slovak readers:

janosp:

In Poland they surely have no chance to sell such coal, they had to come to Slovakia to search for stupids.

HOVADO:

That they were fooled is not so big a problem. Problem is that these poor ones do not care. Everyone is quiet, no one lodged a complaint so I have a feeling that both sides are satisfied.

ay:

I expect that the named lady of course has the receipt or something similar so she could make a claim without problems ;)

Jemenlyn:

I'm a native of [Orava], though I don't visit it often now. But it always surprises me how there is a deep-rooted distrust, even animosity, against Poles. Such case is not the first and will not be the last. (How someone said that a Pole is not a nationality but a career.) [ But if you will discuss another topics maybe the same people will name them western culture saviors and Slavic blood brothers. ]

andy25:

Now this auntie could sell the [saved emissions] :DD

frank zappa:

This example shows what a stupid nation lives in Slovakia, and that such stupids have the right to vote.

dujlujhuj:

People are still not used to the “made in Poland” label? They do not know that when a Pole tells them it rains, it is necessary to go out and check?

rizlon:

Coal burns but not in such small stoves. It is technical coal that burns in high stoves made for much higher temperatures. [Another theory speaks about dirty waste rock from coal mine.]

karol34:

People often forget the golden rule: if something is too good to be real than probably it is not real.

3 comments

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site