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Forum about Minsk and Belarus

Forum about Minsk and Belarus

as part of The Minsk Herald
 
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 Post subject: Lonely foreigners vs lonely citizens
PostPosted: 21 Oct 2014, 20:39 
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Joined: 21 Oct 2014, 17:50
Posts: 6
How could it possibly happen that a person lives/visits a place all by itself and doesn’t know anybody to hang out with. I mean normally people make friends in childhood and hang out with them the rest of their lives. :ko_re:sha: But what if someone happens to end up in a new place all alone?

As far as I know there are a couple of non-profit organizations that help people (both locals and foreigners) meet each other to hang out and/or make new friends: couchsurfing.org, numerous English conversation clubs in Minsk… Do you know/have heard/ attend any organization of a kind?


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 Post subject: Re: Lonely foreigners vs lonely citizens
PostPosted: 22 Oct 2014, 21:18 
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Joined: 27 Sep 2014, 18:12
Posts: 11
There's a dear old cleaning lady who knocks at my door early each morning to fuss around my room & clean up a little. At first, I could barely turn the key and she would push straight passed me into the room, while singing 'Gooood moorrrning', rolling her R's in this surprisingly good Russian-Spanish opera voice. I think it's the only English word she knows. :) I politely tried to suggest that she didn't need to come everyday as there isn't so much to do, except maybe wipe up around the cheap kettle I use to cook rice and eggs in. Yet each day she arrived earlier and earlier... until one morning I gently opened the door in the dark, still half-asleep and asked her, in cryptic hand gestures, if she could give me 10 minutes. She sternly waved her finger at me as she walked off down the corridor and never came back. For a few days after this I could tell she was upset with me. What a gem.

I've been in Minsk for over a month now... most of the time alone, but not necessarily lonely... and funnily I look forward to her arriving. Sometimes I even find myself sitting with a tea, waiting for her knock. It was bitterly cold here a week or so ago, and the heater in my room doesn't seem to work.. so I asked her (again combining English & waving my arms around :) ) about maybe getting an extra blanket. She just shook her head and said something in Russian, which I assumed meant.. 'No'... But she so sweetly just held two fingers up and made a like a gentle hugging motion, while pointing at my sofa bed, & smiling.. I guess saying, its better to have someone else there to keep you warm at night. What a sweetheart. The next day I arrived home from my training at Minsk Arena to find a fresh blanket waiting for me.

And although she rambles funny Russian at me from the second she enters until the moment she leaves.. I'm so grateful for her brief visits, as I realised that some days she's the only person I speak to. Maybe she feels the same.

That's not at all intended to sound sad either, it's just the honest truth about my life on the road and where laser focus on a goal can take you sometimes. (....I guess that's in part my answer to your interesting question about how people end up in a city all alone :) ). I could write so much more too.. haha.. but will stop there for now ;)

I don't yet know of any groups that meet up in the city.. but am always curious to learn more, see more, enjoy nice conversation, so I will let you know if I find anything!


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 Post subject: Re: Lonely foreigners vs lonely citizens
PostPosted: 23 Oct 2014, 10:46 
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Joined: 14 Oct 2014, 21:55
Posts: 11
Gosh, it doesn't sound sad at all. This story about the dumb friendship with the cleaning lady is really cute and funny :D I imagined it so brightly, almost like one of Chaplin's movie.
Actually, I don't know any international social clubs as well. Nice idea for a public initiative by the way, somebody should do it :) But for now Couchserfing really seems to be the best variant if you suddenly feel lonely. Or you may try to contact the students of Minsk Linguistics University. Languages are not a problem for them and they constantly feel the lack of native speakers. I graduated from this university myself and remember how excited we were each time a Real Foreigner happened to appear in our company :D Or probably this forum could help you to make offline acquaintances? As far as I can see there are both foreigners and locals here, and everyone is able to speak fluent English.


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 Post subject: Re: Lonely foreigners vs lonely citizens
PostPosted: 23 Oct 2014, 21:56 
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Joined: 21 Oct 2014, 17:50
Posts: 6
What a nice sweet story, Nathzen! :) Honestly I've personally always liked some company while visiting a new place. 2-3 days of exploring a new destination together with the fave music tunes is more than enough for me. Though that's just me. And that's the question of a purpose of journey. I find it fun to see untypical for travelers sights which only locals can show. Still can't forget the line from "Into the Wild" movie. "Happiness is only real when shared".
As for couchsurfing.org, I used to be quite an active member until it got too publicized and people started using it for personal gain (free couch, food and etc.) :cry: I guess it's a nice alternative for meeting both locals and foreigners to hang out in a city.
But I wonder if there is something else, an organization with different positioning or so. :ne_vi_del:


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 Post subject: Re: Lonely foreigners vs lonely citizens
PostPosted: 27 Oct 2014, 18:04 
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Joined: 23 Oct 2014, 17:47
Posts: 4
Hi Nathzen ,
travelling open wide doors to know the other . Belarusian people are hospitable people, if you have a problem of language you can use social newtorks to make english speakers friends.


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