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Europe » Belarus » Minsk Voblast » Minsk
October 17th 2006
Published: October 17th 2006
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This is it...This is it...This is it...

The appartment blocks where people live. Stunning huh? :)
I know now how easy it was for the Germans to get stuck going "shit, it's fucking freezing all of a sudden and we forgot our jackets." A week ago I was going out with a T-Shirt on (although this did get some funny looks and Marina's Dad thinking I was insane) because at 12C it really wasn't all that cold, especially without wind. A week or so later and it's -1 at 11am this morning. Not only that but there is something really cold about the air here, I suppose it must be to do with the humidity or something, but even when it was 8C my face felt like it was about to fall off after 30mins outside.
Anyway, apart from that I guess I should make an effort of update. Well I ended up getting a flat of my own for a while, there was a bit of a misunderstanding with Marina's parents and we all decided it would be better for me to live somewhere else, to be honest I'm much happier as I hate being a house guest. It was US$20 a night for a one room place with a kitchen, bathroom and fully furbished of
Having lunchHaving lunchHaving lunch

A very cool place in the city centre where you choose from a myriad of small dishes and just pay for what you take.
course. Not too bad actually and really close to the city center, only one tube stop or an easy 15 min walk. Getting to Marina's place is two tube rides and a bus. All pretty easy when you know how, luckly I've never been lost as I wouldn't have a hope in hell of asking for directions in Russian!
As for the country, well it's different, that's for sure. It feels very much like being in the USSR, the attitude that people have is still very much like that. There is no room for being an individual here. Even small things such as people will stand right beside you in a queue (oh, also they don't line up back, they line up to the side, if you get what I'm saying), there is no such thing as personal space. People talk to strangers as a matter of course, I've been in strife so many times because someone will just start talking to me and of course I have to crack out my favourite Russian phrase: "Ya ne govoru po Ruski".
The money is crazy, US$1 is about 2000 Belorussian rubles and is all in notes. You can get notes of
I did itI did itI did it

I had McDonalds in Minsk. Here's a Big Mac!
100000, 50000, 20000, 10000, 5000, 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20 and 10. So get $100 out an atm, buy a coke and suddenly you have about 2kg worth of paper stuffed in your wallet. The people here are very good with maths though, having to deal with such big numbers all the time!
Socialising has been fun, Marina has a group of mates from her Uni, which is 95% female (I've been there, it was great 😉) and so we've had them round a few time and been out with them. The only alcohol you can really buy here is beer and vodka. You can get a bottle of decent vodka for about $2 and they drink it in big shots. Every shot it counted and preceded by a toast, some numbers have special toasts, 3 to love, 7 to orgasms etc. At the Bday party I was drinking with one of Marina's girlfriends and after #15 everything got a little blury. In fact I don't remember much at all, but at least I coma'd before I could do anything too embarrasing. Turns out her girlfriend had been only drinking half shots and had actually started to substitute vodka for
LeninLeninLenin

The big man himself makes alot of appearances around the city
water in her shot glass! Haha. Tricked again on tour.
We went to a pretty cool club the other night, the best thing was proper alcohol! Although at western prices. Still it was nice to have a decent rum and coke again.
today we are taking a train to another city called Mogilov (don't know how to spell it in English) and are meeting some friends of Marina's there. It will be good to see a bit more of the country. On saturday I'm flying to London and will start to look for work in the Uk. The holiday's over I'm afraid and after 3 months of earning no funds I'm flat broke. Anyway, sorry I can't be more detailed. I'll try to stick a few pics up.


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At the partyAt the party
At the party

I'm pretty messed up on vodka at this point...
DancingDancing
Dancing

I love it when drunk girls dance ;)


18th October 2006

Hello again
Hey great to see your blog, it felt like you were miles away behind some...well... iron curtain or something! I guess what travelling does it make one feel priviledged to be a kiwi, aussie, yank or whatever. Life in some countries is pretty tough. But no matter where you are ya can still have fun aye!! Great photos, you will be sorry to leave such an interesting place. xxxx

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