reading'n'stealing

On the Border



I’ve left the Russian border behind me and now I sit and wait. I sit on a bench of an old train station; its roof squats over a dozen of freezing passengers, me among them. In the bleakness of winter their Asian eyes seem even narrower, and their bent bodies even more crooked in this devilish cold of minus seventeen....Read more about that borderline experience here
reading'n'stealing

Nights of Siberia

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Do you remember that moment, when you felt a connection with your roots? Mine are of a wandering kind, spread around the whole Eurasian mass. A couple of years ago I passed through Siberia, on a Trans-Siberian railway. More than a hundred of years ago, my ancestors came there to stay.

"A train speeds through nine thousand kilometers of snow, pine, and withered grass. Rooks, houses, empty fields – day by day I watch them crumble and disappear into the night, on the other side of the window. Hours shift steadily one notch further until the notion of night and day becomes irrelevant. On the fifth day the rhythms of my life stop matchıng the rhythms of the life outside. I sleep through the day and my eyes are open long after midnight, as I lie on my bunk, staring into the window. There is a piece of moon gliding to and fro in the sky, staring back at me." Read more
reading'n'stealing

Good-bye, Kiev!

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Every city has its flavor, but I am so used to Kiev that I can come up with only a short list of characteristic traits, which would distinguish it from another city.

Kiev is cold. It is cold even in the hottest time of year and it is not about the air temperature. There is aloofness in its large buildings that stand apart from one another, like strangers on a bus stop. There is vanity in pilasters of its classic houses and in brightly lit shop-windows. There is indifference in its wide avenues and massive bridges. There is coldness in the absence of light. Six months a year the sky is grim in Kiev, leaving a sour mark on faces of its inhabitants; then, a tiniest ray of sun is a piece of paradise. When the sun comes out, hordes of people spill out onto the streets and scatter around parks, forests, and nearby villages, always finding activities to busy themselves with. When a sunny day is out of the nature’s schedule, they still manage to make the best out of that coldness, creating warmness in their kitchens and drawing sunshine out of their hearts.Read more
reading'n'stealing

A Comfort Tree

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Do you have a moment in your life to which you return again and again and which makes you feel comforted? I do! I call it my comfort tree.

"It is so cold here in Kiev that my mind started wandering into warmer places, albeit only by routes of memory. Searching for the warmest one, I came across an old fir tree that we’ve seen once in Nepal. Do you remember it? The tree clutched to a stone staircase that led towards a village up on a hill. It stood there for such a long time that its roots grappled and twisted between the stones, forming with them one unbreakable entity."
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