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Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
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AOC's Missing Boyfriend Offline
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Post: #251
RE: Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
(05-03-2019 04:12 PM)Rocha Wrote:  
(05-03-2019 03:02 PM)AOCs Missing Boyfriend Wrote:  
(05-03-2019 11:43 AM)Rocha Wrote:  ^ He would eventually show up in this thread...

Rocha does he have some sort of reputation or notoriety?

On my youtube account, I watch a lot of niche travel videos (maybe I watched a few videos about the political situation in belarus), and he popped up. I said cool, I like these types that travel to off-the map destinations on shoestring budgets.

Well, it turns out this guy speaks Russian and wrote a book about his travels (specific to belarus i believe, although I haven't bought it). I imagine the foreigner community in Belarus is small, so maybe you've heard of him.

I'm stunned by the balls on this guy, going to random villages and just conversating with villagers.

This video is also damn good, and has sort of a gonzo quality to it. To summarize, he shows up in random city in Belarus, meets a guy on street, gets invited to drink, goes to store to buy vodka, then they go to the guy's apartment to drink vodka. (As many in the comments note the guy is an obvious alcoholic looking for a fix). One of the guys is a violin teacher (who also happens to be a chechen soldier I think), the other man it turns out, knows english, and his friend starts freaking out because if you know english as the saying goes, you must be an infiltrator. It is a surreal and hilarious episode that illustrates the paranoia that people in the eastern block have towards anglo influence. To continue, one of the men takes the brit to task for world war ii of all things, "you didn't help us, fuck churchill." Which goes to show many are ill-informed on history, even as this man chides the brit for "not knowing history." The Chechen continues to play the violin as they drink. In true gonzo fashion the Brit repeatedly keeps breaking the fourth wall and translates the action and the anger happening in Russian. In my opinion, much better than reality TV:




That violinist is not a Chechen. From my understanding he was living in Grozny when the war broke. Chechens are normally practicing muslims, so would not be drinking vodka like this.

This is a very awkward comment. There are plenty of "muslims" from Caucasus that drink and other FSU countries. Especially the older generation who grew up in secular times when attempts were made at eradicating religion in Soviet Union. And no, they don't go to Mosque every week, but do identify as muslim.

Additonally it was only in the past few years Kadyrov made alcohol illegal. Prior to that it was commonplace. This religious revival as well only happened under his watch in order to shore up control of Chechynia. There are plenty of chechians, especially members of the diaspora that drink. It would be like saying no-one inside saudi arabia (or outside in the west) drinks. Plenty drink but it's not always broadcast. In many parts of Eastern europe, there is an expectation that you will drink, even if you are muslim:

"Chechnya clamps down on alcohol" -- 21 Nov 2017

Quote:Drinkers in Chechnya face arrest as part of a campaign to enforce prohibition in the southern Russian republic.

Although Russian laws are officially in force in Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, its 41-year-old strongman leader, has created a defacto Islamic state in the mainly Muslim republic.

Alcohol sales were permitted in Chechnya daily between 8am and 10am until late last year (2016), when the few shop owners with liquor licences were summoned to a meeting with Magomed “Lord” Daudov, a Chechen government official who is Mr Kadyrov’s right-hand man. The shop owners all announced after the meeting that they would no longer sell alcohol.

Mr Kadyrov took the decision to clamp down on alcohol sales after eight people were killed in a car crash near Grozny, the Chechen…

The president is also a known drinker.
(This post was last modified: 05-03-2019 05:02 PM by AOC's Missing Boyfriend.)
05-03-2019 04:51 PM
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Gopnik Offline
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Post: #252
RE: Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
AOCs Missing Boyfriend Wrote:  you didn't help us, fuck churchill." Which goes to show many are ill-informed on history, even as this man chides the brit for "not knowing history."

If you ask most Russians, they'll tell you that the second front came way too late. Despite some economic help from the allies, they fought the bulk of the German troops almost singledly until 1944.

https://russian7.ru/post/pochemu-vtorojj...ko-v-1944/

(05-03-2019 03:20 PM)rudebwoy Wrote:  ^He a well regarded former member of this forum, some of his writings were epic but are no longer on the forum.

I will leave it at that.

True, it's a shame he doesn't post anymore. I'm glad his channel blew up though, he's got a natural charm for story telling. He's even getting offers from TV producers to film his own travel show.

AOCs Missing Boyfriend Wrote:  I have read some of English Teacher X's stuff. And seeing as this guy has been in Russia now the gears in my mind are turning...

If you liked vokdaberg, you'll probably like his book too. I'm halfway through and so far it's less debauchery and more history/culture though.

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05-04-2019 11:35 AM
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Post: #253
RE: Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
Belarus was part of Poland in 1939. England had a treat to defend Poland.
05-04-2019 01:28 PM
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elrubionordan Offline
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Post: #254
RE: Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
Gopnik im trying to message you but i cant seem to find the message option ??‍Sad Im going to minsk this summer to study russian at the university and I was wondering if you could share some tips(or.private message me) about "things" that you would do differently if you went to study russian there again and how was life at the doorms and also how much you spent per month on average.. spasiba
(This post was last modified: 05-11-2019 07:54 PM by elrubionordan.)
05-11-2019 07:53 PM
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Gopnik Offline
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Post: #255
RE: Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
(05-11-2019 07:53 PM)elrubionordan Wrote:  Gopnik im trying to message you but i cant seem to find the message option ??‍Sad Im going to minsk this summer to study russian at the university and I was wondering if you could share some tips(or.private message me) about "things" that you would do differently if you went to study russian there again and how was life at the doorms and also how much you spent per month on average.. spasiba

Sure, no problem.

Things I'd do differently: do more cultural stuff, go see some WW2 museums, chat to random locals (not just fit girls that is), do a weekend trip to Gomel or perhaps some smaller provincial town. Pretty much all the cool stuff you see BaldandBankrupt do in his youtube channel tbh. Not knowing Russian at the time made things harder.

Life at the dorms - it was alright I guess, you get what you pay for. Considering how cheap they are they're pretty good value. I was placed in the modern dorms which took like 20 minutes by metro to get to uni, the old ones that are near the centre were basically falling apart I was told. The only downside is that you have to share a room. My roomate was a belarusian student. He was cool, I even met his gf and coursemates. I guess it depends on who you're paired with.

I can't remember how much I was spending but I was a student back then so I lived pretty frugaly. My guess is around 500$/month.

If I went back now I'd also try to get a long term rental on some russian-speaking site and pay local prices for a studio flat in the centre. Not sure how much rent is in Minsk these days but I'm sure one could live there comfortably for under 1500$/month.

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05-12-2019 07:05 AM
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elrubionordan Offline
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Post: #256
RE: Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
Thank u for your reply!
Wow 1500 huh? Minsk mote expensive than kiev then..
Where did you eat when you were there?
How were the classes taught?
Was it worth it?(course wise)
05-12-2019 08:46 AM
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TripleG Offline
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Post: #257
RE: Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
Let me give my 2 cents. Minsk still has its bargains but they are disappearing. For example when i visted 2 years ago i negotiated a nice apartment above victory square for $25/ night but i am neither an inexperienced tourist nor someone who does not speak fluent Russian.

Many others will pat a premium so now id say it is not a cheap city anymore, $1500 is too much as quoted by gopnik (unless you earn a western euro salary and want to live in one of the white towers by isle of tears) but expect to pay $700/month+ If you want a modern apartment in city center. Also, Your best bet is still not to go out for food and drinks frequently but to cook your own food and shop where the locals do (outside city center). Youd be surprised how much prices drop just by taking metro a few stops from city center. Dont forget that prices have also gone up a bit over the last year due to more tourists visiting via visafree regime and one may not know but Minsk is still a fav city with rich Russians (partially due to gambling being legal) so that inflates prices.
(This post was last modified: 05-12-2019 12:53 PM by TripleG.)
05-12-2019 12:51 PM
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Gopnik Offline
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Post: #258
RE: Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
(05-12-2019 08:46 AM)elrubionordan Wrote:  Thank u for your reply!
Wow 1500 huh? Minsk mote expensive than kiev then..
Where did you eat when you were there?
How were the classes taught?
Was it worth it?(course wise)

Just for the record, I meant 1500 with all expenses. Not sure how that compares with Kiev but my estimates could be wrong.

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05-12-2019 03:44 PM
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elrubionordan Offline
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Post: #259
RE: Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
So, did u learn good russian during the course?
Where did u usually eat?
05-12-2019 08:23 PM
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Gopnik Offline
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Post: #260
RE: Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
(05-12-2019 08:23 PM)elrubionordan Wrote:  So, did u learn good russian during the course?
Where did u usually eat?

I cooked my meals or ate at cheap столовые (cafes/canteens). The course was good, I made a lot of progress considering I was just there for under a month. It took me about 2 years to become more or less fluent although I wasn't living in a Russian speaking country so I reckon it could be done in less time.

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05-13-2019 05:59 AM
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elrubionordan Offline
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Post: #261
RE: Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
So, the doorms have a common kitchen(i know i sound stupid butnive never been in an university before)
How was the hookup culture at this university? How many students were in your class?
Im planning to study 3 months here.
05-13-2019 08:08 AM
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Gopnik Offline
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Post: #262
RE: Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
(05-13-2019 08:08 AM)elrubionordan Wrote:  So, the doorms have a common kitchen(i know i sound stupid butnive never been in an university before)
How was the hookup culture at this university? How many students were in your class?
Im planning to study 3 months here.

The hookup culture was nonexistent as the uni was almost empty until the last week of August when local students got back. Even then, I doubt the average girl there sleeps around often. For casual sex Western Europe beats Belarus any time of the day. Belarusians might be easier when on holiday though.

It was about 10 or so students per group, mix of many nationalities - Iran, Venezuela, US, Brazil etc. It was mostly dudes.

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05-14-2019 12:46 PM
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Beirut Offline
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Post: #263
RE: Minsk, Belarus Data Sheet:
It’s been entertaining so far. Some nights it’s full of pros some nights you could get 10 ONS and some nights a girl falls in love with you but gets spooked if you even hold her hand before knowing her for a month.

Definitely not what I expected. I expected a more uniform experience but it’s been a wild ride.

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05-16-2019 07:56 AM
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