Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Siberian Restaurant-Cars

Siberian Restaurant-Cars designed for passenger 
Comfort over thousands and thousand of miles!. . . . .
Here, over a carafe, people sing and quarrel
And wounded hearts are torn and torn again.
The sailor hurrying back from leave,  the beetle-browed
Actor about to go on tour: for miles
And miles these friends against their will sit there,
Touch foreheads, and they stare into each other's
Eyes.  And all the pain of half a lifetime,
And all that they have hidden deep within them,
They dare confide to one another's hearts
Among the passengers as if in private.
Your whole life, espousals, separations,
Sad mistakes of former days, the need of
Human nature for confession - stronger
Than diffidence. How many novels, stories,
Poems here, if you dug about enough.
How remember them and not go crazy!
The friends are mumbling: light, darkness, and light, 
Darkness once more, break across their faces.
If only they could forget about all this
How simple their heavy lot would be.

Through the window, unpeopled Siberia
And midnight forests stretch for a thousand miles.

Evgeny Vinokurov
translated from the Russian by
Anthony Rudolf and Daniel Weissbort

Photos Jeremy White

If we want to confide in Strangers
We make do with the WWW
Instead of going on long train journeys


  1. How right you are. It is a wonderful thing to be able to do but there is also an element missing of being able to see the happiness or pain in the face of the sharing an experience. I have never ridden a ride and probably never will, so in the long run this medium is even better.

  2. So here we are on the Blog Train Friko. There's still a long way to go. Can't see through the screen to the scenery, so tell me - what was it you wanted to confide? :) :) :)

  3. Zap!......and Friko does it again - right to the point while we're still digesting the interesting little piece.
    Strangers on a train, dark places of the heart revealed in pen and ink - who hasn't read a long-ago written letter with the relish of peeking in on something private? Really, the www is only part of a long tradition of confiding one's precious thoughts to near strangers. Sometimes the things that are closest to our heart are too tender to be exposed to the people who know us and love us.

  4. I'm a big fan of the WWW railway. The quirky stations, the changing scenery, the travelling companions. And no cold, windy platforms to wait around on. All aboard!

  5. I think Martin H has said it all - WWW Rail has to give the best service for miles around. :)

  6. Ah one meets such interesting people on trains I used to commmute to London every day and loved the mini snatches of lives one saw!

  7. A train ride sounds wonderful to me, right now. Alas, I'll settle for this, and extend a hearty Hey-ho!

  8. I love riding trains, but here we do not have many. Leaving Paris at night – looking through the window in the dark to watch Switzerland quickly go by and waking up in Italy was one of my favorite ride in summer for vacations. I miss the trains.

  9. Ah, Martin said it well! I am only here to agree with him, and you.

  10. So all aboard now!
    Thank you all for your messages and I agree, short of adventure on the high seas adventure in blogland is not to be sniffed at.

    I feel a blog about blogging coming on any day now.

  11. What wonderful words! I rode a train a long time ago and I still cherish the memory. I fly a lot but traveling by air just isn't the same.

  12. Years since last I read words by Weissbort - thank you.
    Remember a saying, 'not to shave, while the train is riding' - yes, it must be old, maybe as old as the days since last I was inside one meself.
    A wonderful Friday for you all.


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