The idea to visit Minsk came across our heads last year. Dima complained that he really needs other lads to roof properly. "Guys in Minsk are scared of KGB" -- we thought then and made the decision to go Minsk one day. Well, you know, forbidden fruit is so-o-o sweet! Another reason to visit Minsk was that even if we would have breached any rule, we still could hope to be deported as foreigners.
So, we have got the obsession called "Go Minsk!". The chance to get to Minsk suddenly appeared when Vit and Vadim started to plan trip to Ukraine. Then our great obsession for the city gave us a call. Thus, Dima and me suggested to Vit and Vadim to go to Ukraine via Minsk. The lads too liked the idea to play Tom and Jerry with local KGB. Not to forget that we already texted another Vadim with pretty Olya who were on a long hitch-hiking tour started in Novosibirsk (one cold city in the middle of the Russian map).
The most striking feature that stuck in our memories was its cleanness (the town is ideal for plunkers). And Minsk was cheap. In fact, extremely cheap, especially local groceries. For example, coke goes for $0.45 (USD) for a 0.5L bottle, while in Moscow it is as much as $1.30. Moreover, each of us spent $35 in total on meals, tools and commuting about the town during the week in Minsk.
Neither we met any classical "gopnik" (local aggressive twats), who populate vast territories of Russia and Ukraine nor we have heard local Belorussian speech. Another noticable difference was that there was no man from post-Soviet Middle East. All this just for instance of how we remembered the Belorussian capital.
On the other hand, police seems to be very active in Minsk. Lots and lots of undercover policemen, especially on Wednesdays. This scares local folks, who rarely go in city centre midweek. Even though only few central streets are patrolled, it feels like the order is in the entire city. And cars. Very few cars iron the streets, not to say there is no Russian Ladas.
We haven't had any roofing mates in Minsk, so we were very fortunate to have Dima, who was familiar with the town and knew few places to sneak in.