TOP Slovenia Interview: dr. Peter Kamien

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A few weeks ago we sat down with Peter Kamien in Ljubljana. We could easily describe Peter Kamien as a German living in Slovenia, with a passion for fine cuisine. Peter Kamien is a doctor of psychology and was East European director of an international advertising agency. He has the most experience in the field of tourism, motoring, tobacco industry, direct marketing and is the author of a number of award-winning communication campaigns, advertisements and campaigns. He came to Slovenia on business and stayed for love. Today, he works as a writer: his popular travel blog about living and traveling in Slovenia has nearly 120,000 readers.

COULD YOU TELL OUR READERS WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND IN?

All my life I have admired people with ideas, full of visions, and creativity. I wanted to be one of them and because I was interested to know how it worked, I studied psychology. After completing my Ph.D., the then Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt took me into his campaigning team for the re-election for his second term. After that successful campaign, my career began in international advertising agencies first as a copywriter, creative director, and later in agency management. My job as Central and Eastern European head of a large international advertising agency finally brought me also to Slovenia, which leads to the next answer on your questions:

YOU ARE GERMAN, WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO SLOVENIA AND WHAT WAS THE TURNING POINT THAT MADE YOU MOVE TO OUR COUNTRY?

I had the task of finding a partner agency for Southeast Europe for our agency network. I found what I was looking for in Slovenia and the Slovenian managing director of the agency that I discovered in Ljubljana is today my wife. We lived for a few years between Vienna, where our Eastern European headquarters was and Ljubljana, commuting. 6 years ago I decided to move to Slovenia completely. Enough of driving. The answer to your question: I came to Slovenia on business and stayed for love.
Today, I am working as author, journalist and blogger: My popular blog, “Mein Slowenien” about living and traveling in Slovenia in German language has nearly 150,000 readers.

WHAT FIVE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE SLOVENIA?

Its diversity is breathtaking.
His hospitality makes you feel at home quickly.
His cuisine is heaven for an amateur cook like me.
Its green is so colorful.
Its water refreshes body and soul.

HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR FREE TIME?

Writing, painting, cooking, hiking, sailing, skiing, jogging, meeting friends. But there is never enough free time.

WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE DESTINATION TO TRAVEL TO?

Gorenjska, because that’s where the best of all Slovenian mothers-in-law lives, and she patiently teaches me the secrets of Slovenian cuisine.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GERMANY AND SLOVENIA?

Germans love successful people and their stories of success. The Slovenes do not allow each other any success. Being successful is suspect here. (The first Slovenian joke I heard was the one about the neighbor’s cow).

KRANJSKA KLOBASA OR GERMAN BRATWURST? WHICH TRADITIONAL SLOVENIAN DISH DO YOU LIKE THE MOST?

The Gorenjski krapi of my Slovenian mother-in-law.

WHAT DO YOU MISS THE MOST ABOUT GERMANY SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN LIVING IN SLOVENIA?

Weißwurst. (I am a Bavarian)

WHICH RESTAURANT IN SLOVENIA DO YOU LOVE GOING THE MOST?

Gostilna Čad in Ljubljana because of its beer garden (as I said, I’m Bavarian). To be honest: I like a lot of Restaurants in Slovenia.

DO YOU THINK THE MICHELIN GUIDE SERVE OUR SLOVENIAN RESTAURANTS RIGHT? WHO IN YOUR OPINION SHOULD RECEIVE THE MICHELIN STAR IN SLOVENIA NEXT YEAR?

I have my doubts. I don’t understand their choice of two restaurants of the six, I miss two and I hope they will be there next year: Strelec and JB in Ljubljana. Much more interesting, however, is the question of who will keep their star or stars next year?

WHAT ARE YOUR  MUST-VISIT DESTINATIONS IN SLOVENIA?

Of course, I have a few fixed points for my international friends who are here for the first time: Ljubljana, Piran, Bled, Bohinj, the Triglav National Park, Postojna and Lipica. But I don’t have any real “musts”. No matter where you go, you will find breathtaking points everywhere.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE SLOVENIAN SOUVENIRS TO GIVE AS GIFTS?

Fleur de sel from the Piranske soline, my Slovenian father-in-law’s home-distilled “schnops” and my book SLOWENOLOGIE (Beletrina). I was a German coauthor.

WHAT‘S THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON LIFE HAS TAUGHT YOU?

I have lived and worked in 16 different countries and learned what home means. The German philosopher Karl Jaspers says it better than I can put it into words: Home is not a place. Home is where I understand and where I am understood. Slovenia became home for me.

WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL MOTTO OR  PHILOSOPHY ON LIFE?

Stay curious. Be tolerant.