BELORUSIJA – BELARUS – Беларусь

Dr. Slavomir i njegovi motocikli-Dr. Slavomir and his motorbikes

Dr. Slavomir i njegovi motocikli-Dr. Slavomir and his motorbikes

Mala crkva u modernom okruzenju-A small church in modern surroundings

Mala crkva u modernom okruzenju-A small church in modern surroundings

Minsk-grad heroj-Minsk the hero city

Minsk-grad heroj-Minsk the hero city

Panorama glavnog grada-A view of the capital

Panorama glavnog grada-A view of the capital

Pravoslavna crkva i volga-An Orthodox church and a Volga car

Pravoslavna crkva i volga-An Orthodox church and a Volga car

Trg pobede u Minsku-Victory Square in Minsk

Trg pobede u Minsku-Victory Square in Minsk

Vencanje u centru grada-A wedding in the city centre

Vencanje u centru grada-A wedding in the city centre

Vikend naselje kraj Minska-A weekend resort near Minsk

Vikend naselje kraj Minska-A weekend resort near Minsk

Beloruski cirkus-The Belarus circus

Beloruski cirkus-The Belarus circus

Dom sindikata-Trade Unions Palace of Culture

Dom sindikata-Trade Unions Palace of Culture

Ako maštate o nostalgičnom povratku u ambijent realnog socijalizma sovjetskog tipa, onda je ova zemlja pravo mesto za to. Beskrajna sigurnost i dosada, možda, prijaju u ovim nesigurnim i burnim vremenima u nekim drugim podnebljima postkomunističke tranzicije. Kako reče jedan novinar u svom članku o Belorusiji, kao da je cela zemlja na kolektivnoj pauzi. Svega ima, ali se teško nalazi, a ljudi su ipak beskrajno strpljivi i uglavnom dobro raspoloženi, što mislim da nisu bili u nekadašnjem Sovjetskom Savezu. Glavni grad Minsk zaista se svrstava u najčistije gradove koje sam ikada video. Potpuno sravnjen sa zemljom u Drugom svetskom ratu, obnovio je nešto svojih starih građevina, pri čemu preovladava mamutska staljinistička arhitektura, koja se brižljivo održava. Sve deluje novo, čisto i ogromno, čak se ni neki skriveni porok ne nazire. Jedini izuzetak je retko pijanstvo nekih mladića u parku, usled blagog predoziranja pivom. I to je, svakako, kontrolisano.

U tako blago sterilnoj atmosferi dobroćudnih ljudi, ono što najmanje očekujem i što je na mene ostavilo najveći utisak, jeste poseta mom kolegi Slavomiru, takođe naizgled običnom čoveku, u liku jednog od retkih plastičnih hirurga u ovoj zemlji. Odlazimo u posetu njegovoj luksuznoj dači, nadomak Minska, u kojoj se, ovaj ljubazan i veoma gostoprimljiv domaćin, pretvara u ono što se na zapadu zove „hell drivers“. Oblači ekstravagantno i tesno crno kožno odelo sa brojnim obeležjima pripadnosti pokretu motorista i seda na svoj preskupi luksuzni Harley Davidson motor, sav blistav od hroma. U tom trenutku on ruši svu moju dosadašnju predstavu o ovoj zemlji i ja ga vidim kao modernog gladijatora, iz nekog naučno-fantastičnog filma, kako uspavanu Belorusiju izvlači iz čeljusti realsocijalizma i odvodi je u daleku budućnost, sa gomilom nemoćnih policajaca, koji ga bezuspešno jure. Motor nije smešten u garaži, što bi se očekivalo. On ima svoju posebnu sobu u kući kojoj se pomera zid i gde on stoji na tepihu, sa još nekim motorima, okružen toplinom roditeljskog doma. Tu je orman sa kožnim odelima za mog hirurga i njegovu suprugu, koji u posebnim prilikama uzjašu svog metalnog konja i krenu u revijalnu vožnju Evropom, u pratnji svoje istomišljeničke družine.
Divno smo se proveli u njihovoj dači, na gozbi kao kod starih Rimljana, gde su izneli sve što imaju. Uz čašu votke, potpisali smo njegov ulazak, kao i još jednog beloruskog plastičnog hirurga u Međunarodno udruženje za estetsku plastičnu hirurgiju, što je i bilo svrha mog dolaska. Osećao sam se kao da sam bar malo pogurao ovu zemlju u svet, ali da je Harley ipak bio glavna vučna snaga.
Zajedno smo jači.

Oktobar 2006.
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If you are daydreaming about going back to the nostalgic past of the Soviet social-realism, then this is the country for you. Infinite security and resulting boredom can actually be quite comforting in these times of turbulence and insecurity in other countries going through Post-Communist  transition. To quote from a newspaper article about Belorussia, ‘…it seems that the whole country has taken a long, collective lunch break…’. You can get any goods you want, but not easily, however people are extremely patient, and for most part in good spirits – which they had not been during the Soviet rule.  The capital city of Minsk is definitely one of the cleanest cities I have seen. Completely razed to the ground during World War II, some of Minsk’s older buildings have been rebuilt, mostly in the shape of mammoth Stalinist architecture, which is being carefully maintained. Everything seems so brand new, clean and vast, you cannot detect even a hint of any vice or destruction. The only rare exception are some youths getting drunk in the park, consuming a bit too much beer. But even that seems to be under control.
In this somewhat sterile environment full of well-meaning people, the biggest surprise for me came during the visit to my colleague Slavomir, apparently an ordinary man as well, and one of the very few plastic surgeons in this country. We went to his luxurious dacha just outside Minsk, where this placid and kind man, a very hospitable host, turned into what is known as a ‘hell driver’. He put on this tight, extravagant black leather outfit, decorated with numerous insignia from the motorists’ world and sat astride his luxurious, precious Harley Davidson, its chrome fittings bedazzling to the eye.
At that very moment, he tore down my recent perception of this country, appearing in front of me like a modern gladiator from a Sci-Fi film, shaking Belarus out of its social realist stupor and taking it into a distant future, a group of hapless policemen chasing him to no avail. By the way, the motorcycle was not in the garage, as I would expect. It was inside the house, in a special room with sliding doors perched on a cosy carpet, accompanied by some more motorcycles, sharing the warmth of this family house. A wardrobe containing my friend’s and his wife’s leather gear was there too; once donned, they would sit astride their powerful metallic horse and set off for pan-European motorcycle showcase rides, accompanied by their fellow motorists.
We had a fabulous time at their dacha enjoying a feast worthy of old Romans – no food or drink was spared. Celebrating with vodka shots, we signed him up and one more Belorussian plastic surgeon to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, which was the original purpose of my visit. I felt I helped pull Belarus a little in the direction of the modern world, yet Harley’s horsepower was indisputably the main pulling force.
Together we were stronger.

October 2006

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