Three weeks in Grodno - and three weeks in the sun. We were happy and felt too that Lenin smiled to us. The park was green and the city were covered in many colors from the many flowers and plants around the city.
Belarussian billboards are reminicent of Soviet ads - done in propaganda style.
See the pictures (I wrote the English translation underneath each picture).
1 picture: AZOT is one of the largest chemical manufacturers in Eastern Europe. Produces ammonia, nitric fertilizers, sulfuric acid and other chemicals. Located on the outskirts of Hrodna.
2 picture: Ad from environment protection committee.
3 picture: Police ad encouraging Belarussian citizens to be proactive and report any suspicious activity.
Americans celebrate Mothers Day, French - Grandmothers Day, Japanese - Girls Day.. and Belarus has Women`s Day for females of all ages.
A hundred years old this bank holiday is celebrated on the 8th of March. It is one of a few times a year when our ladies get small gifts, flowers and chocolates from husbands, sons, boyfriens and even classmates and work colleagues.
Started as a political event (it was a day of unity and fight for the female rights), it is now the day of a year when all the ladies get presents, compliments and male attention.
Some families/couples celebrate it with food and alchohol, others do not do anything special and just say to their women 'S Vosmim Marta!' (Happy 8th of March to you).
Ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you my father`s work of 20 years: labels of beer he has ever tasted.
There are no duplicates, all the labels are unique.
Alomost all of them are from the Soviet era. Since my dad traveled a lot throughout all USSR, the beer labels are not just from one region, but from almost all the republics of Soviet Union.
P`S` On the picture you can see only 1/3 of his entire collection. :-)
Yes, he drank a lot!!! To see just how much he loved it, look at the picture #3 (my dad-student and his 15 bottles of Zigyli beer).
We usually pronounce all the letters in the words, basically following the rule 'what you see is what you read'.
Some help with our vowels:
1) [y] always sounds as a [u] in the word 'room';
2) [a] always sounds as a [^] in the word 'fun';
3) [i] always sounds as an [i] in the word 'me';
4) [o] always sounds as a [o] in the word 'con';
5) [e] always sounds as a [e] in the word 'hen';
1) [g] always sounds as a [g] in the word 'gun';
2) [r] always sounds as a [r] in the word 'room';
English = Russian:
- Thank you = spasibo;
- Good bye = do svidania;
- Hello = privet;
- Check, please = s chiot, pozalysta;
- What`s your name = kak tebya zovyt;
- Help!!! = pomogite;
- Do you speak English? = govorite po anglijski?
- I want to eat = ya hochy kyshat;
- My name is ... = menya zovyt ... ;
- How much is it? = skolko eto stoit?
Other than Belarusian or Russian, the only other useful language in Hrodna might be Polish. English is not widely understood. The obvious thing to do - I'm not saying I actually did this - is learn a bit of Russian. But if you want to cheat, just learn the Russian alphabet. A surprising number of things are examples of familiar words written in Russian script. The prime example is probably 'PECTOPAH' - which simply reads 'RESTORAN'.
For instance, it's quite a bit easier to find things to eat in Hrodna than generally supposed. Restaurants, cafes - and shops, generally - don't leap out at you and eating places tucked away in basements are quite the norm for the region. If you want a rather good pizza - slightly expensive by Hrodna standards put still quite cheap - there's a place in the main street. But you have to look for a rather discrete sign written in Russian script but which still says 'pizza'. The menu has all the familiar pizza varieties, just turned into Russian script.
Just wander around, seek out and read the signs: banks, post offices, shops of various kinds, all manner of things will appear out of nowhere.
Lenin square with Lenin there...
Building behind the statue is our local government - Hrodna District Executive Committee.
Whenever there is a strike or a meeting, people gather here....