The RIGA Tourist Soldiers On

Getting late. I am changing personas from ‘early to bed, early to rise’ to the ‘diller a dollar, a ten o’clock scholar.’ Just realized my total store of poetry seems to be nursery rhymes and Ron Silliman. A little horizon broadening may be in order—but can’t do that right now when I’m having a melt-down about all this coming time with…me.

Tomorrow to Minsk. Whose idea was that anyway? I know even less about Minsk than Riga. Have I always wanted to go there? Not exactly.

Here’s what Wiki-travel says: Minsk is the capital and biggest city of Belarus. It is situated on the Svislach and Niamiha rivers. From 1919-1991 it was the capital of the Byelorussian SSR. It is also the administrative centre of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

80% of the city was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in 1950s to the liking of Joseph Stalin. Large Soviet-Bloc style “palaces” make up a portion of the city centre. For this reason Minsk is a wonderful place to visit for those interested in the Soviet Union who want to see it almost alive.

English is rarely spoken and tourism is not a priority in Minsk. It’s wise to learn some key phrases in Russian (which is the default language, Belarusian may also be spoken or understood).

 At least this explains my general sense of depression. It may even be dumber than taking a taxi at considerable expense to Lesotho for the passport stamp and a cup of bad coffee.

Wish me luck.

Here’s the rest of today’s photo gallery from Riga. First the Museum of Occupation.


Finally, gray peas and all. Actually all delicious.


One Comment on “The RIGA Tourist Soldiers On

  1. Buttermilk and Beer? That would depress anyone. If anyone can find something interesting in Minsk it is you and I am sure you will. However, you might learn to ask in Russian: where is the restroom? Where is a restaurant? What more do you need…oh and how do I get back to my hotel? and where the hell is the train station?? important phrases all. I look forward to this tale.

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