A year ago Dmitri Geranin decided to leave bustling Moscow to live and work in Minsk and had no regrets about his decision since then.
The av.by CEO who had worked in “Rambler” and “Yandex” shared his impressions about his life in Belarus capital and why he loves it so much.
This is Minsk, baby!
“A year ago I got in my car in Moscow and drove to Minsk. A year later I understand that it was the best decision in my life. Life in Minsk is amazing.
Honest and sincere people
You keenly feel how safe you are here. I am the person who is used to seeing dirty tricks everywhere.
That’s why on the first day there I requested a realtor’s copy of the passport, and of course he provided it but told me: “This is Belarus, we don’t deceive people here.”
Back then I didn’t get what he meant to say. Now I understand. You have to live here for some time to feel that.
Comfort, money and tidiness
My office is a three-minute walk from the house. In Moscow I spent at least 5 hours to get to work and back.
For a year in Minsk, I drove less than 4 thousand kilometers by car. In Moscow it was 20k. I refilled my car 10 times or even less this year.
I’ve learned to count in dollars and Belarusian rubles. Locals have this habit circulating in their blood, I had to learn it.
Minsk is clean. Even more clean than Moscow. And I’m not talking about Moscow that is prepared for championships.
I’m about everyday, ordinary Moscow. Moscow is a way cleaner than Samara. Minsk meanwhile is more clean than Moscow.
IT community is very friendly here. It reminds me of old RIFs, where you know everyone or through one handshake.
What are the weaknesses?
FinTech is not cool. Bank products are rather weak. Tinkoff is the best example for me, there’s nothing close to it there.
That’s why my acquaintances in Minsk use Tinkoff (I know four Minskers who prefer it), I use it too.
I have some questions to mobile networks here, roaming is lame, 4G is available only at MTS, MTS gives me only a guest tariff here.
Kolbasa here (lunch meat) is delicious though. Other food is similar to those in Moscow but kolbasa is great.
Now when I have 5 extra hours I really feel like a superman and have time to do everything planned.
You know how does it feel? Now I know. Long story short, if you are invited to go to Minsk – say yes.
Why move to Minsk?
Housing and medical services are much cheaper here. All the rest is on the same level. In some spheres the things are even better.
Take Zybitskaya street for example. I did not see its analogues in Moscow. It’s really fun there.
1/30 part of life. A good city, good people.”