Αναρτήθηκε από: Nikos | Οκτώβριος 26, 2003

25th of October 2003

Hello all! Today it is Saturday, 25th of October 2003, and the temperature in Athens, Greece is 29 degrees at the celsius scale. I understand that i am a terribly lousy blogger since this update (which is apparently the last..) should take place..months ago! However, the truth is that Minsk is such a wonderful place, after all, that you barely have the time and the mood to start updating blogs – you always have something better to do! I could be writing pages and pages about my last 10 days in Minsk, but i really doubt it would be any use to anybody – other than reminding to me every single detail of my 4-week-stay in the Belarusian capital. Every day was a new experience, indeed. From the live concert of Robert Plant to the Tractor Stadium, that was so sadly filled with military forces that were there obviously to preserve law and order – President Lukashenko has every reason not to like big masses of population together, especially in rock concerts, to the underground bars with live piano music. From the friendliest people that i have met in my life so far, that are really thirsty for communication, that adore meeting foreigners to discuss, to exchange ideas, to express their deep sorrow and their hope to be able to flee the country, because Belarusians have learnt to be very proud, very democratical hearts, and just can not stand seeing their country becoming a cruel dictatorship with a liberal cloak, to the Belarusians that love to study, to socialize, to listen to music, to meet people from abroad, to travel when they can overcome the insurmountable difficulties that the regime has established for issuing a visa. People that love their country, but can not stand current situation. People that don’t care spending money so as to have a good time over a bottle of Vodka, especially when they do it for their guests from abroad, even though we are supposed to be the «rich europeans». Pride is pride. When they buy vodka, there are no economic differences. It pleases them to show their superb hospitality, the warmth of their hearts.

What have we gained in the so-called developed west? How would i react if people like Dima and Slava, the great Belarusian guys that Nicolas and i met in Patio Pizza 2 days before my departure started buying vodka for me in Athens? What would i think? That they would probably want to abuse us. And sure not that they just wanted to make new friends, they just wanted to grab the chance to socialize with non-Belarusians…

We may have gained financial wealth. We lost our humanity in a big degree…

I wish i could stay more in Minsk. After all, exams in Athens never took place, because of a strike of our professors in the University. Nicolas was informing me of the great time he had in September, with the new trainees that arrived in Minsk after my departure. Bygones are bygones, though. I do not complain at all. Minsk was a true revelation to me. I could never expect how many things i would learn, how many wonderful experiences i would have there, if somebody asked me a few days before i went there.

Last, but not least, i would like to thank from the very depth of my heart, professor Nikolai Petrovich Migoun, my supervisor, for the true interest that has shown during my practical training, and especially for his words : «always believe in your potential and in yourself». Even though my training did not go as well as i would like, for some reasons. Also, Mrs. Migoun and their son Alex, for the wonderful dinner and the hospitality that they have shown to me when i visited their place… It has surely been one of the most interesting nights of my life, we discussed numerous things over a vodka or two. (or three, whatever!)

If you ever have the chance to visit Minsk, do it with no second thoughts. The result will sure reward you. Belarus is a true revelation.

Na zdarovie!

Nikolaos A. Vergos

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