Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Belarus, Russia: Minsk-Murmansk Train

LJ user af1461‘s blog has many wonderful photo entries about the Russian North, the Far East and other regions, as well as about Russian railways (see, for example, these photos of a “dead” train station in a town in Murmansk region).

The post translated below (RUS), however, isn't a typical one. It features a photo of a note pasted on the Minsk-Murmansk train – a note that's supposed to assist passengers in locating cars they've got tickets for, but is instead a great illustration of how easily something mundane may turn into the frustratingly surreal in this part of the world.

Quite a mess

Train #325/326, Minsk-Murmansk, is [mixture] of add-on cars – the Minsk-Murmansk kernel consists of only eight cars or so, while the rest are attached in [Grodno], [Brest], [Gomel], [Velikiye Luki], [Pskov] and other such places.

As a result, when the train departs from Murmansk, the numbering of cars is such that only a very sober and attentive passenger would be able to find his car:

[photo]

Here's the note's translation:

train 325 numbering [of cars starts]
at the train's head
31, 32, 34, 33, from 2 to 7, [handwritten 8 inserted], 20, 21,
29, 19, 22, 17, 18, 23, 15
[handwritten at the bottom] car 0 [is] between 5 and 6

And here are two reader comments:

strijar:

Big deal! This is how apartments in [St. Petersburg]'s old buildings are numbered ;) On one floor you'd have apartments 3, 17, and 24.

alenok74:

This is an IQ test for Murmansk residents :)

There was time when my wife was riding this train, and there's another fun thing about it: half of its cars are [registered in Belarus], while another half – in Russia, and the tickets for the former are 1.5 times cheaper. So when you were buying tickets, you had to say, “I need one for a Belarusian car” – and it came out cheaper that way.

1 comment

  • When you look at the prices you have to pay, it probably would be better to fly.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site