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Something like GUM and CUM, if you know what I mean. This is how department stores in the Soviet Union looked like.
What to buy: Men's Clothes, Women's Clothes, Sporting Goods, Art, Gifts, Music, Home Furnishing, Toys and Games, Children's Clothes, Bath and Beauty...
Written Nov 26, 2006
This is not a tip on what to buy, but how to buy! In many large shops, especially food shops with many attendants, you may have to choose twice - Soviet style. You decide what you want and tell (or point) to the shop assistant who will either prepare the item or just stand there telling you in Russian that you must now pay for it. You must then go and find the distant cashier and tell them what you want. If you speak Russian. After payment they give you a ticket you take back to the shop assistant and you get your purchase. This has not changed since the days of the Soviet Union.
If you do not speak fluent Russian, always take a pen and paper with you. You can always draw pictures and write numbers!
Please see my Cultural Tips regarding money!
Updated Oct 5, 2006
This place is located in Prospekt Nezavisimosti, near McDonald's. You can buy almost everything there. Well, apart from postcards. I found a postcards only in the Main Post Office ("Пошта" in Belarussian). There are no hyper-markets in Belarus, no multi-national companies such as Vero, Metro and so on, which is great! They have their own markets ("магазiн" in Belarussian, or "магазин" in Russian), and one of them is GUM (ГУМ). So it's a right place for you if you want to buy some clothes, gifts, shoes, whatever.
What to buy: Babushka, or some other similar toys.
What to pay: From 5-10 Euros.
Written Apr 5, 2006
Address: Prospekt Nezavisimosti
Four of the things I loved to drink and eat in Belarus:
(from left to right)
1) Moloko s Saharam (Milk with sugar)
I do not know how it is made. It is very densed and sweet milk. If you need something sweet Moloko s Saharam is perfekt. As far as I remember a can of 400 gram Moloko s Saharam was about 600 Rubles (about 25 Eurocents)
2) Sok Yabloçnýy (Apple Juice)
It was really my dream. First of all it is without any additives. Since it is without any conservatives it has to be consumed daily. Although some sugar is added, it is very sour. I think they just gather apples and press them without any fabrication.
It is sold in funny glass jars of 3 liters and it was cheaper than 1 Euros as far as I remember.
Although it is originally a Caucasian drink made from milk with yeast like yoghurt, it is surprising that itisvery popular in East Europe.
For those who know Turkish AYRAN, I shall say that kefir is very similar to ayran, but less salty and more densed.
I also have to add that it is very healthy and as far as I know Vladimir Putin drinks kefir for breakfast.
4) Smashed vegetables and fruits (Baby food)
In 2004 when I was injured on my head and when I could not move my chin I used to eat that stuff, and honestly speaking I loved that. (They say that men are like babies,maybe it is true :) ) I used to pay about 2 Euros in Turkey for a small can of baby food. When I saw it in Belarus I did not believe my eyes as it was only about 20 Eurocents (1/10 of the price which I used to pay in Turkey)
Written Feb 18, 2006
What to buy: Matryoskas are not Belarus speciality. But those pupets are original of Belarus and they can be found in every Belarus city at different sizes. (The Puppet in photo is Belarussian but the hand is not, it is Turkish :))
Written Feb 17, 2006
Shopping in Belarus is a must. OK, so average monthly wages are $100-200 and the cost of living makes everything cheap to us Westerners. You really can feel like a Millionaire in Minsk! Don't feel that you are pillaging the locals, they will be grateful for your tourist cash...
When shopping for food or convenience goods, some stores operate a strange (to us) system. One store could have a long counter that is split into 5 sections. You have to buy your milk from one till, then your meat from another and so on. This happens in the smallest of shops. You are forever paying then taking 2 steps to the right, paying then another 2 steps and so on...
What to buy: Generally speaking, local goods are cheap. Eg: textiles, clothing, furniture, household, food & drink, cigarettes and gifts.
Imported electrical goods are expensive and why buy something that you can easily get at home?
What to pay: We bought some linen tea towells which were locally made and of excellent quality. They were about $0.50 each! The kids bought lots of gifts like Russian Dolls which cost between $3 & $7.
Written Aug 19, 2005
ANTIQUES,FURNITURES ,CLOUTHES,TOYS,ELECTRONICS,GIFTS,LOCAL ARTISANATS,DRINKS,FOOD,JEWELS,BOOKS.....
What to buy: IN SMALL & CHEAP PRICES WHERE YOU CAN BUY LOT OF .
What to pay: VERY CHEAP PRICES
Written Oct 15, 2004
Address: IN THE CENTER OF MINSK.
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