Here I am being overpowered by the blocky Soviet architecture in Minsk. If you think American universities look austere, they are nothing compared to Belarus State University’s campus.
I’m wearing a half-length jean jacket I bought in the outdoor market in Minsk near the soccer stadium. It was the only item of fashion worth buying, if you’re into Russian gear, even though it was, in my opinion, overpriced at $60 – they only accepted American dollars there. Everything in the department stores, especially the old Soviet style ones, GUM and TZUM, looked like it came from the 1980s and there was only one of each item. Buying the jacket was definitely a highlight even though I had to endure the “Americans are all rich and careless with money” mantra – which the salesperson told me in Russian. It’s almost impossible to get around without Russian, but dollars are accepted almost everywhere.