Goodbye, reserved seat!
Soviet era, like a phoenix, dying once again: Now - with the abolition of second-class carriages. We are engrossed in nostalgia and remember boiled eggs, conductor, benefit drunk Dembele and other artifacts of the Belle Époque.
The first thing that is taken to make a typical second-class passenger car after the train starts to move - is frantically eat. A tiny table pulled out a chicken grill in oiled paper, boiled eggs, onions, sausage sandwiches and other cucumber-tomato-bacon. There is something in this gluttony nervous, fearful. Some perceptive anthropologists explain all the atavism of peasant consciousness: even some few generations ago, Russia was predominantly rural country, most people who travel by rail is extremely rare. And the food is known for the traditional man - a symbol of reliability and durability, as well as the victim, designed to appease the Railway incomprehensible God.
communication with the conductor - the most important part of the ritual trip to the reserved seat. In the compartment carriages conductors working on the principle of the maids in hotels, it is not interesting, and democratic cars are constantly interacting with passengers, handing out clothes, calming drunk and fumbling with a rag on his feet barely awake. Symbol strict maternal care conductors - "cup of tea" (c) in a tin cup holder. However, this culture began to slowly die long before the death of reserved seat: all dejectedly trudged with plastic cups to the faceless cooler with hot water in recent years. Conductors, second-class carriages were always willing to take on board not ticketing him away. Which, however, often had to climb on the third, a luggage rack. Foreigners who happens to explain this phenomenon can not imagine how you can go for two days, for example, to Tyumen, in the ephemeral space under the ceiling vibrating.
During stops at railway stations and platforms polustanochnyh traded and trade anything from cakes with cranberries to gzhelevskih spoons. His most heartbreaking item apron peddlers - giant stuffed toys, especially common in Zhlobin, Minsk direction. One of the episodes gallyutsionatornyh great films of Kira Muratova "The Adjuster" - a scene with plush tigers, elephants and crocodiles, climbing into the carriage window.
With a giant network of Soviet railroads, of course, connected with lots of amusing myths and legends. One of the most beautiful fables tells the story of David Bowie, who 40 years ago, returning from a tour of Japan, for some reason, went many days in Trans-Siberian Express from Khabarovsk to Moscow. Itself rock idol is often recalled as he came out of the car in a bright yellow coat, causing frightened citizens. Of course, riding a star in any comfortable NE, but do not want to give up the fantasy that the singer-alien feel about all the hard power of the second-class.
Very drunk people in the second-class carriages, in principle, was rife on any route, at any time of day and year. But the special attraction - go with Dembele, who are celebrating the end of the departure of the sacred duty to the Motherland. The range of the whole set of thrills (auditory, visual and olfactory), and even confusing stories about service, fancy riding and appearing under the curtain of a police patrol, planted insane ordinary stock on the desert halt.
A trip to the farthest distance on Russia, and in the absence of excessive comfort - the surest way to experience the existential angst. Poor lonely beauty of the Russian landscape and Chthon post-Soviet railway stations can be described indefinitely, but enough to remember the first line of one of the old songs of Boris Grebenshchikov: "8200 miles of emptiness, but still we have nowhere to sleep."
Talking to life
The well-known effect of a particular communication skills, covering people in a society of strangers for travel in second-class hostel is enhanced significantly. In fact, the Soviet economy class trains was a unique place of meeting people of different social circles from trying to survive the journey quietly submissive troublesome intellectuals and retired before seen species of locksmiths and college boy with gitarkami.
Mass cars inspired many writers, filmmakers and even contemporary artists (from the past can recall the art installation by Ilya Kabakov's "Red Wagon"). In Soviet times, many films have been made - from homespun detectives to light melodramas - the plot of which is somehow connected with the people's cars.
The total radio
second-class car was stuffed with all sorts of Soviet artifacts. Chief among which was a radio, then there is a hole on never really closing the window from which you start yelling at the radio "Mayak" at 8 am, in some worst cases - and at "Russian chanson".