Thursday June 14, 2012 – I’m on a train

…  I can’t complain. Who knew Nirvana were supporters of mass transit?

I’m on the train to Yekaterinburg. This is the first leg of the Trans-Siberian Express, although technically we’re not in Siberia yet. Our berth is cramped but efficiently organized; the back rest folds down into a mattress-bed, where I spent a reasonably well-rested night after I decided that if I could sleep through the pitching of the train car and the roar of the tracks, I could also sleep through the snoring, smoke-smelling Russian man lying across from me. The countryside outside the window looks a bit like southern Ontario, except more expansive, and every kilometer or so there’s another village of wooden houses, every one with a garden. These are often log cabins (I saw one being built) and apparently many Russians have them as summer homes where they escape to on the weekend.

This blog has remained un-updated for some time, but not through lack of effort, due to my Linux system, Joli OS, hanging and freezing. After 9 days of this I’d had enough and downloaded another Linux system, Kubuntu. It meant erasing the data on my hard drive, including my carefully-kept expenses spreadsheet and two blog entries. But Kubuntu worked for even less time: it started freezing, and the famous IT Crowd catchphrase, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” did nothing.

When I was still able to go online and look for help, the solutions involved pages of debate about programming, different terminal commands which I tried and which invariably gave me the answer “Can’t find program”. DIY software is like DIY bike repair – the access it provides is for people who are sufficiently educated beforehand and have the time and energy spent to fix the problems. Windows is bloated and evil, sure, but it works. Inefficiently and with viruses – but it gets tested and distributed widely enough, and enough netbooks are designed to run it, that for basic things it’s fine. Of all people, I should have known better than to believe the software nowtopians. God I miss my Macbook Pro.

In Yekaterinburg, I expect to pose for a photo where the Tsar and his family were shot by the Bolsheviks – the executions of murderous, royal parasites who let their people starve for centuries while they lived in unimaginable luxury, do not move me to tears. I’ll try to learn a few more Russian words, despite my apparent inability to remember any no matter how many times I say/read them. This still feels like a holiday rather than a relocation. Once I get a job offer in Korea, it will be hard to accept that I won’t see my friends for a while. I do hope you keep in touch and maybe even visit.


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