From a Corner of Somewhere

ユーラシアを北から南まで旅した記録 日本語と英語で書いてます。 Traveling From the North to the South of Eurasia

No.7 ”Guns, Germs and Steel, and a Strawberry Sponge Cake”

It takes 7days to go Moscow from Vladivostok by Siberian railroad even if you don’t get off any stations. It’s very hard to take it for 7 consecutive days, so I got off at Irkutsk and Omsk station. Of course I had to stay in the train for total 7days. To make good use of free time, I started reading “Guns, Germs and Steel: Jared Diamond”. This is a bestseller of cultural anthropology. Summarizing the book simply, “The human race has lived being affected by natural features. There is no differences in any races, though they have different qualities of their cultures and how much their civilization have progressed” By the way, this simple title that just put 3 words means 3 factors which considerably affect mankind. I think this book is ideal for tourists. 

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 Whenever they travel overland, they have to go through some routes and visit some towns, and they can feel the flow of natural features, cultures and civilizations. This book gives us hints to think something about them. For example, In Irkutsk, located to the north of Mongolia, you would see many people who look like Asian. Diary products are piled up in the market and you can feel the influence from Mongolian equestrian people. After a few hours passed since the train left Irkutsk station, I found that the space between town to town has been getting smaller than that I had already passed by. In addition, the scale of the towns have been getting bigger. I expect that it’s because the Siberian land, which is harsh and covered with most of Russia, have prevented greedy people from advancing.

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To imagine the world map is easy, but it is only drawn with borders and there are no color and not complicated. The joy of traveling overland might be to mix the knowledge and traveling experiences. After that, paint colorfully on the map with the mixture, even if the color is weird and combined from your subjective point of view. However, I don't know this map is how useful for the rest of my life and deserves how much I have spent time and money on this journey. While I am traveling, the people who are close in age can have a family and achieve good results in business. It seems to be difficult to get utilitarian advantages, but it must be something making my life interesting. Man shall not live bread alone. I can be satisfied with my life if I can get a strawberry sponge cake that I want to eat sometimes from this journey. 

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In the morning after staying for 2days on the train left Omsk station, it was going for West as usual. Approaching the final destination, the passengers started preparing for getting off. I took off a pillowcase and a sheet from the seat, and threw them to the heap of linens. Sat down on the seat and was seeing idly the scene of impersonal and sterile houses and old factories. Checking where I am now by using map app of the smartphone, the blue point was slowly moving to the dense area. As I closed to the city center, my expectation of this city was raised and I woke up gradually. Moscow is right in front of me!

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