Tomorrow start another long day of riding the City of Minsk on a Monday morning rail there will be more than 15 restless riders, I being one of the most restless since we are on our way for a final interview that will let us know whether or not I get to stay the year as a resident or not. There will be more than 3 conductors, one conductor (Проводница) for each car, they are more like flight attendants, they give you your seat assignment, then tend to all your needs, food, water, blankets, pillows anything that is available for you as a passenger to request of course for a slight fee but nonetheless it is nice.
We will pull out of the Minsk Railway Station across the street from the city towers that welcome you as you enter the city of Minsk.
As modern as this city is and as beautiful of architecture it has to offer leaving the city brings you back to another time and place. You pull out of a rail yard which in it itself would be a glorious adventure with freight cars, express rails, old engines and building that look like they have stories that would hold your attention for years. I would love to be the midnight watchman down at Miller’s Tool and Die watching all the metal rusting as I watch the time go by. Little Harry Chapin flashback, anyhow as you hear the whistle whine you know you’re thrown back into time as look out your birth through cotton knitted semi shade curtain window covers, beautifully hand crafted for elegance in a time period which ended so long ago but a reminder of the love affair of steel wheels, metal transportation boxes for humans to enjoy the luxury of the countryside with all is decadence and no race for speed but built for time-sharing conversations with friends.
Hot Chai, tea or coffee are still served in Russian cut Crystal drinking glasses with metal glass holders (podstakannik) with complimentary silver spoons to complete you ride of the past. As I listen to train riders stirring their beverages my mind hears the beautiful sound one hears of fine crystal being touched by a silver spoon, imagining a pair of red ruby lips daintily, the cup is being brought up to her mouth as the fragrance of coffee climbs the outer shell of her birth filling the hallways with the aroma pleasing to the smell of every olfactory nerve within a 20 foot radius of her presence. I imagine a well kept middle aged woman traveling to see a gentleman who has captured her heart and has sent for her to be delivered to his domicile. As I peer out my own birth window I see the sun setting, smoke-filled skies as woodburning stoves are at full tilt taking the coolness out of the air for a warmth that will radiate late into the night as vodka, laughter, dreams and conversations of the future fill the midnight hours as tounged tied adults reminisce of the past and hope for better days ahead.
As we pass towns no bigger than the population of little league sports teams, I wonder how do these people survive here in the middle of nowhere, with little if anything to do, no industry to keep the town alive, schools with graduating classes of 6 or less, carts pulled by horses, and buildings that have been handed down through generations. I don’t feel sorry for their situation, I don’t know the true story that keeps them here but whatever it is they are survivors who seem to thrive along the railway tracks waving to passengers on the train, making me questions are they living life as it is supposed to be lived without keeping up with the jones or am I learning that everything no matter where you are or what you have is to be celebrated because we are all blessed no matter what our circumstances.
Thank you for takig the time again to read my blog posts, because I know time is a very important commodity and people don’t want to squader it away, so I like what your reading.
Peace and Love The Sok-Man