July 19. Train stories #1.

I feel comfortable on the train, playing in my head with reminiscences of my earlier Russian trainrides. The platzkart, the hot water tap, the linen, the short conversations in broken Russian, the angry looking young men, the smiling women – it is all the same here in the far east. The train rolls through endless empty green fields on its way to Chabarovsk. It’s a beautiful day. I open the Italian coffee I brought. At the moment I pinch through the vacuum foil with the tip of my scissors and it releases a short sigh, a child in one of the compartments cries. You know I always associated coffee with devil’s piss and believe every myth as long as caffeine intake is secured. I cut a slit into the coffee package, a large life-giving slit, and toss some coffee in a plastic mug I prepared with my knife from a bottle. It’s real coffee of course, not the soluble rabbit dung they sell for convenience. I avoid that whenever possible. I’m talking real coffee, real Italian coffee distributed to the Ukraine, Russia, Moldova and Kazachstan. I pour hot water on it. The train attendant gives me a glass mug, I get upgraded. Back on my seat, the coffee tastes like it should. The child is silent, playing with his mother and uttering only satisfied toddler wawls. A woman is making the puzzles in a newspaper; most people are sleeping when we arrive in Verino.

Movie of the day: transsiberian.
I really watch this movie sitting on the transsiberian train myself. It is great to see the waggons on my computer screen sitting in a real one, and when a murderer appears in the movie, it gets an extra dimension. I liked the acting by Woody Harrelson and Ben Kingsley. The photography of Russia is beautiful and close to reality. The plot has the right level of complexity to make the movie entertaining. Its climax is a bit exaggerated, but not out of control. If you have a sense of nostalgia for trains and road-movies, I guess you’ll like this one.

Why don’t I talk to the pimply girl and do I talk to her more beautiful sister? I confess. And I will make up for it.

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