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Author Topic: Travels in Siberia  (Read 5673 times)

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Online AvHdB

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Travels in Siberia
« on: July 20, 2013, 01:15:48 AM »
Cruising with a friend from way back before and two teenage 14 year old women, Anna and Abi, one is my daughter. We are sailing in a lazy way along the coast of lower New England. In fact it is more motoring and when we reach a harbour bikinis are hung out as sort of honey to catch boys. The A Team than with equal degrees of seriousness and flippancy decide if they are “gay or hotties”.

On sale before our departure was a book heavily discounted, The Dutch side of me likes the word discounted. Travels in Siberia written by Ian Frazier it is big and rather thick. The dyslexic side prefers short stories and poetry. I acquired it and am now reading it.

It is wonderful, at times flippant other times incredibly insightful. Not limited to Siberia, but as he points a fair bit of Russia is so-called Siberia, he covers topics from Genghis Khan, and the Mongol’s or Tartar’s to Lynn Cox who swam the approximate 4 kilometers from The United States to Russia in the waning hours of the cold war.

He covers the history of the region from before the Mongol invasions until more or less now. It is a great readable read if one wants to get a sense albeit written by an American of the vastness of not only Russia but of its soul. His insight and perceptions are at times hilarious and other passages one feels the sadness and pain that is also part of “Russia”.

Oddly enough I think an American or Canadian can better understand Russia and Ukraine because while each comes from a different culture, that are many respects quite similar or parallel.  Western Europe is too close to Russia and both sides on the same continent wish to be more integrated. North American’s look at what was the Soviet Union and wonder and nod, it seems so do those in the former Soviet Union in the opposite direction.

NB: Seeing this in fact the ultimate travel report, if OK with the moderators, I will quote sections of the book as they regard travel in Russia
“If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” T.S. Eliot

Offline PBRstreetg

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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2013, 02:11:54 AM »
It's heir apparent you have good bearings on the crew,
your judgement is impeccable.
Reading is an investment.
 
AvHdB with all due respect sailor,
are you on permanent vacation, or what?
Разрушить всегда легче, чем построить. Обидеть проще,чем простить. И врать всегда удобней , чем поверить. А оттолкнуть намного проще, чем любить

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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2013, 07:54:43 PM »
It appears that Manny was not the first chap from Great Britain to marry a woman from Russia.

In 1746, John Bell wed a Russian woman most likely in Constantinople (Istanbul) though some reports indicate St. Petersburg and they returned home Milton of Campsie in Scotland. He lived there for another 34 years.

Before his marriage from 1714 onwards he lived in Russia crossing Siberia and working on behalf of the Russian's, Persian's and even for the English. His travels are recorded as Travels from St. Petersburg in Russia, to various parts of Asia In two volumes.
“If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” T.S. Eliot


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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2013, 01:18:54 PM »
Just finished watching the Peter Weir film The Way Back, what a long and almost boring film.

But since it started with escaping from Siberian Prisons in the early 1940's and one of the escapees has Stalin and Lenin as a tattoos across his chest.  It becomes apparent that he can not cross the border into Mongolia and leave the motherland.

But the image of Lenin brings to the point made in Travels in Siberia, about the visits of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin to Siberia. He went there twice. The first time from 1897 to 1900 though he was imprisoned in 1895. His trip there took about three months and family members accompanied him. He lodged with a peasant family after reading the library of land owner along the way. He also managed some fishing and hunting along the way. About a year latter his girlfriend "Nadya" Krupskaya also a revolutionary joined him and they were married there.

Subsequent prisoners to Siberia received a different treatment in the gulags.

In any event Lenin during the 2nd World War also visited Siberia this time Tyumen and this time for protective reasons as the Russians could not bear the idea of the Germans capturing such a prime icon. Quoting from Travels in Siberia "Russians who had seen him both before and after his stay in Tyumen reported that when he went on display again he looked "much worse for wear" his second Siberian sojourn having had a less salutary effect, apparently, than his first. The experts in charge of such details soon got him back in shape again."
“If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” T.S. Eliot

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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 11:25:37 PM »
As I read through Travels in Siberia I find passages that I will post on.

But Anteros noted something not described in the book and I assume he will not mind my excerpting it to this thread.

Space Odyssey on the Trans-Siberian: Bowie in the USSR

by Kevin O’Flynn at 20/08/2013 14:49

It was a snowy April day just over 40 years ago at the small station of Yerofei Pavlovich in the Far East of Russia when the Trans-Siberian train stopped en route to Moscow. Soldiers stood on the small station’s platform, which was piled high with snow, and watched as foreign passengers got off and started to throw snowballs at each other. Another group of soldiers bumped into the first, as they were distracted by the sight of a passenger disembarking from the train.

Dressed in a yellow leather jacket with a matching fur collar and a large checked cap, the young man with bright red hair stepped down onto the platform, a visitor not just from another world, but another planet. David Bowie was in the Soviet Union.

Scared of flying, Bowie had taken the Trans-Siberian Railway as part of his Ziggy Stardust world tour. He was one of the biggest stars in the world at the time, and yet he was spending a week journeying across a land where his records could not be sold, and his songs never played on the radio.

http://themoscownews.com/arts/20130820/191866656/Space-Odyssey-on-the-Trans-Siberian-Bowie-in-the-USSR.html
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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2013, 07:16:09 AM »
Quote
In any event Lenin during the 2nd World War also visited Siberia this time Tyumen and this time for protective reasons as the Russians could not bear the idea of the Germans capturing such a prime icon. 

This cannot be correct. Lenin died in 1924 and the USSR wasn't at war with Nazi Germany until 1941.

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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2013, 07:35:44 AM »
Quote
In any event Lenin during the 2nd World War also visited Siberia this time Tyumen and this time for protective reasons as the Russians could not bear the idea of the Germans capturing such a prime icon. 

This cannot be correct. Lenin died in 1924 and the USSR wasn't at war with Nazi Germany until 1941.

He was just a silent observer seeing he was an icon.
“If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” T.S. Eliot

Offline Mikeav8r

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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2013, 10:05:15 AM »
Quote
In any event Lenin during the 2nd World War also visited Siberia this time Tyumen and this time for protective reasons as the Russians could not bear the idea of the Germans capturing such a prime icon. 

This cannot be correct. Lenin died in 1924 and the USSR wasn't at war with Nazi Germany until 1941.

He was just a silent observer seeing he was an icon.

That caught my attention too and made me do a double take but then I understood it to mean they moved his "body"  :chuckle:
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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2013, 08:18:51 AM »
“The first American to travel in Siberia was the famous John Ledyard, one of the most footloose souls ever to live.”

On an initial voyage in the Pacific with Captain Cook he formulated the idea to explore North America by approaching it from the West. In Paris he obtained permission and funding from Thomas Jefferson than a diplomat. With funding in he tried to obtain permission from Tsarina Catherine. But she not a big fan of revolutionaries and said no.

“Nothing daunted, late in the year 1787 Ledyard went anyway. Unable to cross from Finland because of ice conditions, he walked clear around the Gulf of Bothia to St. Petersburg in the middle of the winter. Finding Catherine not in residence at the moment, he charmed some kind of permission from a high-ranking Chinovik and then set out. He had made it remarkable far – all the way to Yakutsk – before Catherine learned of his contravention of her wishes and fell into a rage. She ordered him brought back by closed conveyance, never stopping, to be questioned first and than expelled at the Polish border.”
“If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” T.S. Eliot

Offline Phelan

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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2013, 04:13:23 PM »
I read Ian Frazier's book "Great Plains" several years ago and remember it fondly as one of my favorites. Nice to see he's extended his wonderful perceptions to Siberia.

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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2015, 12:17:31 PM »
While “Travels in Siberia” are primarily one persons observations and experiences crossing by car Siberia. The authour Ian Frazier does notice the women of Siberia, in one passage he note. “Deciding against a visit to the spot where Ded Moroz the Russian Santa Claus was born, I instead sat with Sergei in the van writing in my notebook. . . not saying anything, one beautiful woman after the next walked by. We found we both were looking up every minute or so. I remarked on this phenomenon to Sergei and he agreed it was surprising. After half an hour I concluded that Velikii Ustyug has more beautiful women per capita than any other city in the world.”

Further along he describes his journey and the frequent stops in the taiga and setting up camp. “I’m not saying that women paraded trough our campsites wherever we happened to be, but they did show occasionally, even when we were camping far from any village. A few nights before, . . . I had just got into my sleeping bag when Sergei rousted me out so I could meet two women he describes as school teachers eager to meet me. They wanted to see the America and I think Sergei had felt compelled to prove that he really did have one. . . The idea of chasing women in Siberia would have made me nervous even if I was not married. Sergei and Volodya found my reluctance mystifying. ?

Further West he reaches Krasnoyarsk he notices “Looking around, I noticed that beautiful women were in fact walking everywhere, as if I had wandered onto a set of a science-fiction movie about a city inhabited by only beautiful women. The numbers of beauties in Krasnoyarsk would put even Velikii Ustyug in the shade.”

He continues and makes an interesting observation; “It still strikes me as strange that during the Cold War we in America liked to believe that Russian women were not beautiful at all. Longtime fans of football in the United States may remember a light-beer commercial of twenty-five to thirty years ago that imagined a Russian beauty contest in which very fat, be warted, missing teeth women in bathing suits promenaded down before judges and flashbulbs . . . How could we get the facts so wrong?” He muses, he points to misconceptions from the 2nd World War or perhaps the wives of Russian leaders who did not look any more attractive than the leaders.

He continues; “Or maybe the error goes back to John Quincy Adams. . . Adams describes . . . and he mentions repeatedly how ugly Russian women were. “ A bit further on he comes to the Marquis de Custine who in 1839 published his journals, in fact they became popular on the continent. Oddly enough though they were banned in Russia, as way of background the Marquis was openly homosexual.  He notes and I quote from Frazier; “’but when they are handsome their beauty is perfect’. He went on; ‘They posses all the vague and shadowy delicacy of the women of the north, united with all the voluptuousness of Oriental females’”

Further on Frazier notes an interesting fact; “The first time American men met Russian women in large members” was during the time when there was an American Expeditionary Force in Siberia of the 6,000 personnel 700 married Russian women or 6%. The General leading the forces was not pleased but higher ups told him not to punish these soldiers.
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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2015, 01:31:40 AM »
Quote
Travels in Siberia written by Ian Frazier

Oddly, i haven't heard of this book before, but it does sound like a great read... here is the NYTimes Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/books/review/Hammer-t.html?pagewanted=all
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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2015, 03:59:45 PM »
Quote
In any event Lenin during the 2nd World War also visited Siberia this time Tyumen and this time for protective reasons as the Russians could not bear the idea of the Germans capturing such a prime icon. 

This cannot be correct. Lenin died in 1924 and the USSR wasn't at war with Nazi Germany until 1941.

He was just a silent observer seeing he was an icon.

He got you, Larry :-))))

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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2015, 08:12:46 PM »
"Further West he reaches Krasnoyarsk he notices “Looking around, I noticed that beautiful women were in fact walking everywhere, as if I had wandered onto a set of a science-fiction movie about a city inhabited by only beautiful women. The numbers of beauties in Krasnoyarsk would put even Velikii Ustyug in the shade.”"

Have any of you guys been to Krasnoyarsk? How's the scene there in terms of women more recently?

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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2015, 01:31:55 AM »
Have any of you guys been to Krasnoyarsk? How's the scene there in terms of women more recently?

Welcome to the RUA.

Krasnoyarsk is cold in the winter and hot in the summer. It is more or less the middle of Russia. Frazier mentions a million inhabitants, large for that neck of the woods. It stands to reason that more than one woman is attractive. I would search on a couple sites such as Mamba, Love Planet, and what ever else tickles your pleasure and form your own opinion.
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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2015, 05:22:36 AM »
Tripleg, If one uses the search feature on RUA there are some three pages of "hits" of Krasnoyarsk.

http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php?topic=5685.msg72023#msg72023

The person who started the above thread was married to a woman from there
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Re: Travels in Siberia
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2018, 05:16:43 PM »
While “Travels in Siberia” are primarily one persons observations and experiences crossing by car Siberia. The authour Ian Frazier does notice the women of Siberia, in one passage he note. “Deciding against a visit to the spot where Ded Moroz the Russian Santa Claus was born, I instead sat with Sergei in the van writing in my notebook. . . not saying anything, one beautiful woman after the next walked by. We found we both were looking up every minute or so. I remarked on this phenomenon to Sergei and he agreed it was surprising. After half an hour I concluded that Velikii Ustyug has more beautiful women per capita than any other city in the world.”

Further along he describes his journey and the frequent stops in the taiga and setting up camp. “I’m not saying that women paraded trough our campsites wherever we happened to be, but they did show occasionally, even when we were camping far from any village. A few nights before, . . . I had just got into my sleeping bag when Sergei rousted me out so I could meet two women he describes as school teachers eager to meet me. They wanted to see the America and I think Sergei had felt compelled to prove that he really did have one. . . The idea of chasing women in Siberia would have made me nervous even if I was not married. Sergei and Volodya found my reluctance mystifying. ?

Further West he reaches Krasnoyarsk he notices “Looking around, I noticed that beautiful women were in fact walking everywhere, as if I had wandered onto a set of a science-fiction movie about a city inhabited by only beautiful women. The numbers of beauties in Krasnoyarsk would put even Velikii Ustyug in the shade.”

He continues and makes an interesting observation; “It still strikes me as strange that during the Cold War we in America liked to believe that Russian women were not beautiful at all. Longtime fans of football in the United States may remember a light-beer commercial of twenty-five to thirty years ago that imagined a Russian beauty contest in which very fat, be warted, missing teeth women in bathing suits promenaded down before judges and flashbulbs . . . How could we get the facts so wrong?” He muses, he points to misconceptions from the 2nd World War or perhaps the wives of Russian leaders who did not look any more attractive than the leaders.

He continues; “Or maybe the error goes back to John Quincy Adams. . . Adams describes . . . and he mentions repeatedly how ugly Russian women were. “ A bit further on he comes to the Marquis de Custine who in 1839 published his journals, in fact they became popular on the continent. Oddly enough though they were banned in Russia, as way of background the Marquis was openly homosexual.  He notes and I quote from Frazier; “’but when they are handsome their beauty is perfect’. He went on; ‘They posses all the vague and shadowy delicacy of the women of the north, united with all the voluptuousness of Oriental females’”

Further on Frazier notes an interesting fact; “The first time American men met Russian women in large members” was during the time when there was an American Expeditionary Force in Siberia of the 6,000 personnel 700 married Russian women or 6%. The General leading the forces was not pleased but higher ups told him not to punish these soldiers.
“If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” T.S. Eliot

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