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10 Days in Minsk
July 20, 2012 11:41 PM   Subscribe

"I’m off. It’s been a while since I haven’t travelled alone. Last time was in 2008, I’ve been travelling in Sweden for a week after I put an end to my trip throught Europe. I had understood then that travelling by one’s own is something unlike anything, that this is a true and healthy experience, exiting, insperating. I’m on this train leading me to the unknown, and this feeling of being off on a adventure again is already exciting me. I’m off to spend ten days in Minsk, capital of Belarus."
posted by maxwelton (17 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Instagram photo effect are disturbingly annoying.
posted by knz at 12:56 AM on July 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: exiting, insperating.
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 2:26 AM on July 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree with knz. Of course I believe that if you can tell that a filter has been applied to a photo, it was probably a bad photo to begin with (mine included, I've "Camera+ed" more than my share of drab photos). After the second page I had to either quit or clean my glasses, and since the glasses were already clean.......
posted by HuronBob at 3:22 AM on July 21, 2012


It's a long journey from Milan to Minsk...
posted by Mezentian at 4:44 AM on July 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


1- What's so special about traveling alone that it warrants such praise? You'd have to be some kind of egomaniac to find such floridly-described pleasure at one's own company.

2- This person is absolutely killing me with the effects. Some of those could be good photos, and they are ruined. I mean, OK, you want a certain look to the photoset. It's Belarus, it's drab. Great. But the dust and the leaky light is going to be pretty much the same on every shot if it was actually generated in-camera. Making it different for every shot betrays that it's an effect. And why so much of it? Can't you turn those filters down to, like, 6 on the scale? Why 11? There is a threshold where adding some noise and effects like that makes a photo look better, or somehow more legit. This person has dowsed that threshold with gasoline and torched it.
posted by gjc at 5:30 AM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's so special about traveling alone that it warrants such praise? You'd have to be some kind of egomaniac to find such floridly-described pleasure at one's own company.

Yeah, seriously. Until relatively recently I spent years as a single woman traveling quite a bit for work, and I'd always try to take extra time in some of the more interesting places to be a tourist for a while. In fact since my partner is deployed for months at a time for work, I'm STILL effectively a single woman traveling on my own, always. (Barcelona next week!) It's great that some people find this an amazing and self-discovering thing, but for those of us for whom it is an everyday reality... you're going to have to do better than Instagram some photos to impress me.

Of course I also eat at restaurants alone and go to movies alone too, which I understand from recent MeFi discussions is also an "amazing" and "empowering" thing, so maybe this just isn't For Me.
posted by olinerd at 6:26 AM on July 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


I can’t really qualify those passed moments as enjoyable moments, but as strong ones.

That was exactly my feeling about the time I spent in Moscow in the winter of 1987.
posted by Decani at 6:33 AM on July 21, 2012


I did not find Minsk especially 'drab', it still has a lot of Soviet era massive concrete architecture, but there are grand pre-soviet buildings and parks are charming. Any amusement park off season will seem stark.
posted by sammyo at 6:40 AM on July 21, 2012


Remember when we used to use photoshop to restore old cardboard photos that looks like this, instead of using it to grunge up pristine digitals to make them look like old cardboard?
posted by ook at 6:54 AM on July 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Traveling alone certainly requires a different set of skills. When you are with someone else, you have to deal with them constantly, which can be draining, even if you like each other. You also have someone to watch your stuff in the station when you need to use the bathroom or get something to eat, which can be nice. However, you do carry a "bubble of normalcy" with you that, I think can get in the way of being in a foreign place.

I find being alone in a country where I don't speak the language (or not well) is both frustrating and liberating. Things are harder to do, sometimes, but you also experience odd things without filters, with can be an enjoyable feeling.

I'll agree with the consensus on the photographs -- they are kind of interesting, but they rely way to heavily on that "unearned nostalgia." If you want me to care about your Polaroids of crumbling Soviet architecture, you are going to have to go and take them in the early 70s, sorry.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:21 AM on July 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


It’s been a while since I haven’t travelled alone.

Are double negatives really so difficult to understand?
posted by sic at 7:52 AM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I’m bringing three cameras with me. My Digital Reflex Camera, for filming, if I have the opportunity. My Holga, faithful travelling-companion, and my argentic reflex Praktica, bought exclusivly for this adventure.

Hate to ruin the oldmanhateoninstagramfest, but I'm pretty sure those are the old fashioned real light leaks.
posted by saul wright at 9:22 AM on July 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hate to ruin the oldmanhateoninstagramfest, but I'm pretty sure those are the old fashioned real light leaks.

That's nice, but fauxstalgia, even with legitimately old cameras, still makes for a deeply irritating experience.
posted by cmonkey at 10:26 AM on July 21, 2012


Yes, yes, the photos are irritating. The words are fantastic, though.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:42 AM on July 21, 2012


These may have been shot on film but still they've been run through filters in Photoshop. There are some serious chemical stains that you could only get by messing with the film or paper in the developing stage. I would think she would make it known if she was printing these by hand on an enlarger and developing in trays, as it would be a feature and might be used to make some sort of conceptual comment on arcane traditions. I suspect she got scans of her negatives and then added the chemistry swooshes and enhanced and even added dust through a filter. Not sure if this accomplishes the same conceptual idea as if she had done this the old school way. Some nice shots though!
posted by smartypantz at 2:21 PM on July 21, 2012


What's so special about traveling alone that it warrants such praise?

Traveling is extraordinarily different when you make a special effort to leave everything you know behind.

Placing yourself in a completely unknown place surrounded by completely unknown people is going to be a powerful experience, good or bad. It's the stuff drama is made from.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:17 PM on July 21, 2012


All those ingredients creat a funny continent where you can get lost in. There’s a desperate youth, dreamless, wandering throught the runes of communism. Fortunatly, there’s also a youth turned toward Occident and/or the futur.

creat
throught
runes of communism (actually, these sound awesome)
Fortunatly
futur

...needs more spellchik.
posted by snorkmaiden at 10:12 PM on July 21, 2012


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