Let's start with the log :
i might be the only person in the world to be hit on by their 19yo ~stewardess~, but it fucking happened. as i'm sitting in line to get a local phone sim, this bubbly chick is all "oh, i flew you yesterday, remember me ???"
Technically, she said "I flew you tomorrow", which gramaticaly confusing statement I took to mean she's implying some kind of deep philosophical point about the nature of arrangements in postmodernism and the impermanence of the present divide between future and past, or something like that. I tend to err on the constructive side, what can I say.
As my long-awaitedi phone number finally appeared (on a printed piece of paper, don't ask me why), this girly bumps into us, very excitedly. It takes a few minutes to figure out who the hell she is, but then I point to the piece of paper -- here, take the number, call us.
At which juncture she proceeds to... jot down her own, underneath. Now, given the context, what would you expect happened ?
Your idea is, the girly understood the request just fine, but preferred to simply give out her standard fake, for whatever reasonii. Right ?
Wrong. She simply did not understand what I was saying, past the basic content. She didn't get "here is my phone number, copy it into your phone". She understood "phone number". And what does she do when she hears phone number ? She writes down her phone number. Simple enough. What does everyone in the store do when hearing me rant ? Move out of the way. It's like being in the colony part of a colonial empire, pretty much, everyone wants to be nice to the saheeb.
Nicole calls her later, she picks up, eventually they manage to lock : so and so place, 9 pm.
What place does Katja pick ? Oh, Nyamiha metro station, inside. The city is fucking crazy from National Dayiii, everything is cordoned off, we end up having to walk about two miles in a spiral to get to the damned thing, through crowds of people as thick as the earth can bear, literally tit to shoulder unbroken wall of humanity. But whatever, leaving half hour early from what on the map looks like a quarter mile awayiv, ie in plenty of time ended up a quarter hour late inside the... well actually... in front of a cordon of policemen. "Can't go in, only out" they explain. I'm totally wtf, at which point the commanding captain's all like "let him fucking pass". So they let me pass, against orders, a dozen doods in parade guard uniforms. Because I want to pass, and they want to help, you understand me ? Brusque, military, bureaucratic, eastern, sovok, say what you will -- they want to help like nobody's business, it's Costa Rica all over here.
So I go in, and of course there's no place to meet in this absolute worst meeting place anyone ever came up with during my many decades of meeting randomly with random people. Just... insane, nobody who ever met anyone does things this way ; but you see... she doesn't ever meet anyone. Who would she meet ?
She's just some kid, as informed of this world as a newborn pup, as connected to it as young Chimichurri, wanting to take us to the epicenter of the crowd. I disuaded her of that notion in short order, so she took us to a barv instead. There she confessed that her English being not that good, she said "tomorrow" meaning "yesterday". And that she's also learning Spanish -- repeating a few textbook phrases in fine enunciation. And she's started college but it was too expensive so her sister got her the job working for the airline, which she's been doing for about three months and which pays about a grand a month but offers no benefits (even the most basic, such as a frigging place to stay!). And she has a boyfriend, who's also nineteen, and who, being drafted, is currently away for a while. And she's never kissed a girl before. And so on and so forth.
In exchange she got to see pictures of Costa Rica's beaches on her own phone, and also fresh welts from the very paddle in question on inner thighs and other tender womanly flesh. You should have seen her facevi when, upon spending however long trying to figure out the relationship she finally gathered the nerve to ask and I told her the girls are my slaves. "But but but isn't slavery illegal ?" "I'm rich, no laws apply to me."
To unwedge the matter, and permit her free breathing again I asked if she ever heard of BDSM, and to the "I never heard, what is that" I picked up her phone and googled, falling conveniently enough on the ru-lang wiki entry. This clarified the matter to the utmost, "oh, of course, everyone has seen, but never in person". See ?
So now she's seen in person, and as she said on parting "this is the best story to tell her friends". Because, indeed, nobody in Minsk, and certainly nobody her age, has quite this fucking story to share with their social circle. What exactly the drafted boyfriend will say about all the pictures that ended up on his phone that he had lent her upon his departure is, in the end, his problem. At that age relationships aren't made to last anyways ; but the exercise puts us in a fine position to discuss the larger matter of Minsk.
It gets fuzzy by the time you get to the Man-Tan.
Draniki with somon fume, don't ask.
Dans ma rue...
The guy above, a very... florid, let's sayvii, representation of Death I suspect, guards the entrance to a rather sad "souvenirs" & local flavour store.
They have malls here, I lived right by one (Galileo). They have the same shops, and the local sluts put a lot of effort into sexualizing themselves properly, crowding about the warpaint aisles and trotting everywhere on the most respectable heels, the stuff you'll maybe see in your world at a fashion, maybe. They're par with what performing transvestites will do in Latino countries, just about.
Yet... the walkways are too narrow, for a mall. I'm talking three, four feet wide walkways. The escalators are haphazard. The town has wide streets, but randomly disposed ; humongous soviet-era bureaucratic buildings entirely bereft of any pedestrian interest, whole islands of concrete desert in the downtown. The two bedroom apartment has indeed two bedrooms, and is well placed and is nice and everything -- but only one bath ; and lives up a stairwell, with no elevator. Various, arbitrary blocks, obstacles, walls and fences make pathfinding inconvenient far above what it'd have to be. They have signs, but not usefully, rather commemoratively. And so on and so forth in this fashion, Minsk is an oasis of orc purity trying to come to terms with Western tradition in a somewhat haphazard manner : everyone's heard and nobody's seen this БДСМ thingviii. Just about the same goes for just about everything else.
But they'd really love to!
For their sins, they'd really love to.
- It actually took the fucking idiots well over fifteen minutes to produce a god damned ten dollar basic sim card. They're about five euros through obviously apparent telco agreement all over Europe (and ~2 bucks in Costa Rica), but they're 20 Belarusian rubles here, notwithstanding an average salary hardly goes over $400 (ie about 800 in local fiat). The process also involves your passport (not just for me, the locals too!), and taking a picture, it's insanity on wheels.
The shop itself is the same two person cash register "idea store" they copied from the West Euro market ; but the item that there functions as a 90 second sale of an inconsequential object here is stuck satisfying insanely complex attempts at rooting the meaninglessness of contemporaneous superficialia into some kind of authority structure. How the heck are they supposed to make money by using a tool designed with some strengths in mind exactly against its weaknesses ? The sale is not supposed to take that long, the phone store is specifically designed for sales that don't take that long! Whadda ya know, hammering nails in with microscopes is not limited to Bitcoin, but rather an universal orcish pasttime.
Yet the people themselves are the heart of helpfulness and accomodation. The trainee kid working with Elena Romanova (the designated store slut, elaborately made-up girly spending most of her time on the phone / smiling ineptly [though I expect she thought it's "mysteriously"] at random people while drifting aimlessly through the store) and the older woman actually running things fished me right out of the queue and on his own initative, because I was talking in English and he wanted to be helpful. Not as an obligation, not even as interiorized work ethic. The kid simply wanted to be fucking helpful!
So he proceeded to try and help me. His intentions were pure, but his cultural context fucking insufferable. He wanted to ask all sort and manner of inept questions and then treat them all as equally important, and dedicate them his full attention. "Do I need internet ?" "Nope" So he went and inquired for a while, to exhaustion, whether they have any plans with no internet whatsoever. Turns out they don't (duh), and also that "not having any internet whatsoever" is no priority for me, nor what the meaning of "do you want internet / nope" actually is. Just because I don't want it doesn't mean I want not-it, but the local mindset is very... Well ? Very what ? Very exactly what we preach it should be, right ? Thorough, unfuzzy. What the fuck now, bitches ? What do we do now that we've once again discovered the virgin was slightly pregnant ? Pass over it in silence yet again, huh.
Anyway, I cut through the web in short order ("do you have a list ?" no they don't "ok gimme that 20 one", seeing how it was the cheapest they had. Eschewed a bunch of details about lengths and durations and what the fuck all else, because seriously now, who has the time to be Belarussian in 2019 ?
By now he's bumped pretty much everyone in front of me so I can be catered to and the process is still taking way too long. [↩]
- What reason ? Not like I went to her. [↩]
- Some visual aids :
I suspect you get the idea. [↩]
- La Crete D'or, quite delish French-style coffee house. Here :
And the macaron Tour Eiffel :
I wanted to take their hat, but they, regretfully to the point of tears welling up in their eyes, could not give me the thing. A well, there goes Hannah's Minsk hat. [↩]
Nfi what this is, somewhere on Monastery street if vague memory still holds anything useful. [↩]
- I asked to capture it, but she didn't want her picture taken. Instead, let me describe it : her eyes became wider than her ears (literally, lower eyelid hanging lower than earlobe, higher eyelid flying higher than ear tip) while her mouth gathered into a pinprick and all respiration ceased.
Best thing that can happen to a teenager, wouldn't you say ? Well... maybe not the absolute best, I guess, but still, way the fuck up there. Oh oops, I said fuck. Tee hee. [↩]
- Why's he got a flower for a cock ? [↩]
- Note the interesting difference between the ru land illustration
and the anglo illustration :
Do you see the differences, now that you're so finely equipped to see them through having read this article ? Why is the anglo item face-only ? Why is the person behind the face absent, the "wells of the soul" well closed ? Why is the female face the least important part of the ru item, why is it inscrbed (and not labelled, and yes there's a difference), how exactly does the posture focus work into the implicit conflict ? Is she a slave because he says so ? Is he her Master because she says so ? Do you see how the passport-simcard drives and resolves the dilemma, because obviously he with the inscription is also the source ?
Well then! Congrats on your newfound Belarussian cultural acuity. Priceless as it may be, it only cost me a coupla days of my harem's time. You're welcome [↩]