Scents of the Trans-Siberian Railway

August 23rd, 2016, 8am

head near the window in upper bunk 14 of car 2 of train 68 bound for abakan. gusts of refreshing air blow scents in — machine oil, brake pads, cow dung too close to the city, cut grass, cool water. peaty mud, wood smoke, cement, diesel, train horns. cow dung further from the city. fresh air, heat. forests. stink of sulfur. of sewage. of burning plastic. salty instant ramen vapor drafting up from the bunk below, acidic apples, tea. canned tuna. at night, stuffy heat and body odor as the windows close against the cold and the frequent intermittent roars of trade imbalance, one long thin overland electric cargo ship after another bringing containers from the far east.

Porter and David Wade said thanks.

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Ian Leighton

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