Lit-Bel 6: Into the Government’s Arms

There is absolutely no reason to go to Borisov.  It is the Guildford of Belarus: about an hour from the capital, has a nice cathedral, but it has nothing else to recommend it.  It is plainly not a tourist destination; even the normally unflappable lady at the train station looked a little perplexed when we asked for tickets there.   It appears in precisely zero guide books.  This is exactly why we wanted to go – to get a glimpse of real Belarus. It all sounds like the most dreadful clichéd pretension.  But this is not ‘off-the-beaten-path’ mania.  In a place … Continue reading Lit-Bel 6: Into the Government’s Arms

Lit-Bel 3: In Soviet Belarus… everything was pretty much the same

[I know I’ve been dreadful about posting about Belarus, and unfortunately even this isn’t going to be a conclusive report of our travels there.  It’s more a collection of Belarus-related thoughts that have seized me, as a sort of atmospheric prelude to the detailed stuff that I might, one day, get around to posting.] The whole point of travelling overland is to witness the joy of seeing landscapes, both geographical and cultural, blend into one another gradually, of crossing a political border and having a brief, anarchic moment of delight at the thought that a nation is a fiction! We’ve … Continue reading Lit-Bel 3: In Soviet Belarus… everything was pretty much the same