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I love the
six-hour train journey from Moscow to Saint Petersburg (this is my third trip in six months).

Tuesday, October 14th, 2003

Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

North by Train

From Moscow to St. Petersburg

I get up late: six o' clock. Where am I? Oh yeah — Moscow! The last time I had a decent sleep was more than forty-eight hours ago, in Kolkata, so I'm still a little discombobulated.

Not to worry. Moscow is laid-back: breakfast is served at nine-thirty and lunch is served at two. It is a dull gray day; I stay inside where it is warm, log on to the Internet and check and send email.

It is just starting to get cold: the lowest temperature recorded last night in Moscow and Saint Petersburg was 3°C (37°F) and 2°C (35°F) respectively. And the meteorologist are predicting an early snowfall in Moscow later tonight...

It's a good thing I left my hat, my gloves, my sweater, and my long warm coat (which I will need when I leave for Saint Petersburg later this afternoon) here in Moscow when I visited Russia earlier this year in April.

Vanamali Prabhu drives me to the train station. I love the six-hour train journey from Moscow to Saint Petersburg (this is my third trip in six months). It starts to drizzle slightly; I stare at the cold, wet, dark forests through the insulated window of my warm, dry, lighted coach:

yellow's in vogue now
tall thin trees, like mannequins
model fall fashions

What is it about the scenery between Moscow and Saint Petersburg that almost always makes me spontaneously compose haiku? I suppose it is because haiku is the recorded expression of a poet's unique, fleeting insight into a particular aspect of nature: a perspicacious peek into the world of nature and the nature of the world, as it were.

Amrita Krishna Prabhu and Amrita Mayi Devi Dasi pick me up at the Moskovsky railway station and drive me to the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math on the shore of the Baltic Sea.

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Layout by imonk — October 14th, 2003.