Russian or Belorussian. Younger locals do have a grasp of English but speak clearly and slowly.
Trolley buses and normal buses in Gomel are plentiful. The main bus station is located directly outside Hotel Paradise, but, also in the same location as the main train station. A single journey is very cheap, approximately 2500 Roubles ($0.30).
There is a fantastic military museum about one km from Hotel Paradise which charges no more than 2usd entry. A fantastic collection of aircraft, uniforms, weapons and even a stream train.
Located in one corner of the Gomel market is a shop selling Gomel chocolate and confectionary. If you didn't think Belgian chocolate could be beaten you must try the delicacies from here. One word - beautiful. Expensive but well worth it.
Plaza is a superb, upmarket, nightclub. Drinks are expensive but the atmosphere is fantastic. A great night out. Remember you'll pay extra for a table.
Gomel is a very safe city. You would have to be very silly to get into trouble. Don't flash your cash. People in Belarus are not as well off as westerners. Do not jay-walk, the police will have a word with you.