Sunday, November 08, 2015

Trip to Belarus

I went to Belarus!

What? Belarus? What is that?
It's that country wedged between Russia and Poland. There! Look! You had no idea it existed? Off to Wikipedia with you! I also read up about Belarus, when my boyfriend (otherwise know on here as the Auction Winner) told me he comes from there. I knew of its existence and where it is, but that was about it. So I read the Wikipedia article about it and considered myself educated after this. As you do.
We went to visit my boyfriend's mother and to do some sightseeing, because it's my first visit. Belarus isn't really known as a destination for your next vacation, but I had the best of times! And I want all of you to know how wonderful and strange it is there. Off we go!
Pilfered picture from the nation wide campaign. Posters are found everywhere with very nice motives of the Belarusian countryside. The message reads: I love Belarus!
I visited Minsk, Vitebsk, Polotsk and Novopolotsk and will try to show you what I liked most. To avoid overladen posts I will make this a series. Heh.

In general I can say (and this is not a political analysis, just my feelings) that Belarus felt like the GDR. It feels and looks just like the GDR would probably feel and look if it still existed today and the German reunification had never happened. For example most streets were in a bad state and full of holes, just like I remember them from my childhood in the GDR. Also most houses were grey and needed some serious work done. Shop assistants ranged from unfriendly to nasty, just like back then. People don't smile the polite smile that is so important in the West, just like back then. (My family refers to those friendly smiles as fake and ass kissing.)

It might sound all negative, but you can be quite happy in a more simple lifestyle without glamour and smiling shop assistants. I was prepared for a vacation without glamour and luxury, so I wasn't horrified or anything. You can't go to a foreign country and expect everything to be like home, that's rubbish. I looked at it all with the interested eyes of a tourists who is heavily reminded of her childhood in the GDR. I had a lot of fun!
When people realised we were tourists from Germany, we always got special treatment. They thought it great to have visitors from other countries and wanted to be extra nice to make a good impression. What can I tell you? It totally worked.
The only time I got weird looks for speaking German was in the big museum about the Great Patriotic War while reading out German texts. Understandable, I think.

I enjoyed my time there and will show you around. Stay tuned!
Absolutely cute juice boxes