Mankind's only alternative 28   NOV.   21  
Mankind's only alternative
Welcome
MAIN  RUSSIA  WAR NERD   [SIC!]  BAR-DAK  THE VAULT  ABOUT US  RSS
 
 
EXILE BLOGS

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

Feature Story November 13, 2002
 
Way East of Tynda: 116 Hours in A Small Room
By Jake Rudnitsky Browse author Email
 
Page 7 of 9
 
Some of his lines seemed like third-rate Clancy dialogue, like when he described killing two Chechens with a knife in a basement: "Cutting a throat is just like going through sala [pork fat]," he said. "Killing with your hands is terrible, I spent two weeks drunk after that." Killing someone from a distance, however, was simple, he said. He hinted that he had done a lot of it.

Misha's view on solving the Chechen problem was simple: either pull a Stalin and deport them all, or wall off the entire republic. He said the Chechens were too sick and vicious to ever be conquered. He insisted they fought the Russians out of envy. It seemed a little weird to think of the Chechens, or anybody else envying the wasteland we were crossing. The wildest thing about my conversations with Misha, though, was that even as Misha got more violent, drunken and vulgar, Vanya's daughter continued to bounce around happily and her mother didn't seem worried about her daughter hearing Misha's throat-slitting stories.

They all got off in the middle of the night at Novaya Chara, 12 hours from Tynda.

I had a thousand other conversations on the endless journey, on topics ranging from Russia's unbelievable decay to the familiar "how does America differ?" gambit. At first most people stuck to their koupes, but by the middle of the journey all us long-haulers knew each other. There was the Surzhik-speaking Ukrainian babushka who had come all the way from Venitsa with her daughter. She gave me a pear and wanted me to marry her granddaughter. The daughter told me I should stay up to see the Bratsk hydroelectric plant, which was "really beautiful, even at night."

I chatted up one of the few hot girls on the train, who got on at Sverdlovsk (as the station is still called, over a decade after the city reverted back to Ekaterinburg) and winked at me an hour before she got off at Novosibirsk, heading home for the holidays. She was a third-year law student, and despite her ill-fitting carpet/towel dress, she managed to charm me. Maybe it was because she was the first person I could imagine associating with outside of the train, or maybe because it was the first and last time I heard English after leaving Moscow.

Then there was the 17-year-old dart champion of Russia, who had just competed in an Ekaterinburg competition and was heading home to Bratsk. He had a catchphrase, "bez bazara," ("forget about it), and had not discovered deodorant.

Lots of the travelers were in the armed forces, because they travel for free. One of them actually traveled 4 days to Moscow to visit for two days and was on his way home. About one-fifth of the car went all the way from Moscow to Tynda, including an ancient babushka who handled the journey better than most (kids also seemed not to mind) and a couple of BAM veterans. Plenty of people pitched their cities to me as great places to visit; Novaya Chara, for example, is near the site of the first Soviet atomic explosion, which turned a huge chunk of taiga into sand. Other people told me China, only 18 hours away, was a must.

A street of Tynda

Tynda: It's a great place to raise a family!

At Novaya Chara, when I was still slightly drunk from my encounter with Misha and highly dazed from the ineffective Imovane, a drunken man and two slightly over-the-hill women got in my koupe. I don't think I said a word to any of them the entire way to Tynda.

Severno-Baikalsk, four days out of Moscow, is a critical stop. That's where passengers stock up on omul' for 10 rubles a fish, and the car takes on the sweet, clinging smell of smoked fish.

Up until that point, the car had a slowly intensified, relatively bearable acidic smell of unwashed bodies. I only noticed it when I'd been outside. Each wagon had a distinct smell and I learned to appreciate our own. I doubt it was better or worse than any of the others, but after so many hours it had grown familiar, almost homey. They say even tanners stop noticing the smell after a while. The important thing was to avoid close quarters with any of the serious offenders, none of whom, thankfully, were bunking with me. Other cars' musk would burn my nostrils, make me breathe in short gasps for the length of the corridor.


SHARE:  Del.icio.us  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit
 
 
FROM THE VAULT
Golden Apple
Bite My Boutique : Can’t afford a bed at the Golden Apple? Try the kitchen
Stop-Loss Film Review
Kimberly Peirce's Boys Do Cry: A Review of Stop-Loss :

Platzkart Hell :
Celebrity Retards
Celeb-Retard Roundup! :
 

 
 
 
LATEST ARTICLES

Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
Editorial
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...

 
 
 

    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442
E-mail: office@exile.ru