Friday, January 25, 2013

REALLY in Minsk now

Our first week in town we started catching up with friends and took care of necessary but uninteresting details inside our apartment. As I wrote in my prior post, I still felt a little bit strange here, noticing things that will become commonplace after another week or two. Then, finally, I went out dancing.

I wasn’t really sure about the dancing part, because I haven’t danced swing or Lindy in a long time and I know that folks here use fancier footwork than I learned back in the States. But there was to be live music, and by golly I wanted to hear it in any event. Alla, unfortunately, ran out of steam that day about the time we should leave home; so I went on my own.

I sort of knew a bunch of the dancers because I took about a month’s worth of swing classes here a couple of years ago and a lot of the people from my class are still dancing. They’re really good at it, too. I’m not, but that didn’t matter a whole lot. I got a big lift just from walking into a room with a bunch of known, friendly faces. Some of my salsa friends were there too, and I took a few of them out onto the dance floor. I was too shy to invite any real Lindy hoppers, but the salsa dancers picked up my basic steps quickly enough that we had a good time.

Connections are key. Going out dancing revived a bunch of wonderful old connections, and now I feel properly re-established in Minsk. [Getting registered once again and extending our lease are other crucial parts of getting re-established, and we have hacked our way through most of the bureaucratic thicket. It’s hard every time, but I no longer consider it newsworthy.]

Here is the YouTube video that led me to get invited to the dance party.

And here are some pictures from the party itself.

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