Traveling with dad: stop in Novosibirsk, the capital of Siberia
Our journey on the Trans-Siberian railway fortunately continues without problems, also thanks to Dad's spirit of adaptation and the joy of his 98 years. The train sways, jumps, creaks, gets stuck. To come and go from one wagon to another, there is the iron walkway, the swinging one with drafts and the view on the rails, on the sides. To eat meals in the restaurant car, therefore, is not talked about for dad. With napkin and home placemat, dine on the bunk. Sip the concoction for diabetics I have hidden in an empty bottle of wine from Chile. "It looks like water!", She protests every time. "Transportation is suffering, I tell him, from Chile, it's a nice trip!" He smiles, however, when the driver launches the train at high speed and we are at our table. "Right now that we start eating!" He says. Comedians follow to take medicine, with the wine floating in the glass. The climate has changed on arrival in Ekaterinburg, in the Ural region. The frescolino penetrates into the bunk, becomes palpable, so much so that Dad gets up from the bed, declaring with satisfaction: "We are in Siberia!". And order a tank top and wool socks. Geographically speaking, we are not there yet, in Siberia. But the 10 degrees, combined with an annoying wind, convince me to cancel the visit to the city.
In the following days we go down to Novosibirsk which is the capital of southern Siberia. But there are 30 degrees. Just enough time for Dad to enjoy the local dance ballet at the station, and receive an answer to the question he brings from Moscow: "How much does a worker earn per month?". Twenty, thirty thousand rubles. (More if he works in Moscow or in the remote regions of Siberia or if he specializes). "Nothing!" He comments, shaking his head. Then we return by train from where, however, he has the opportunity to observe a slice of the city: «I didn't think I found all these skyscrapers in Siberia! And what buildings. They have twenty, thirty floors at least. "
«Look at the houses! And what beautiful hills ... And what expanses ». Dad is happy as an Easter. After Krasnoyarsk, the landscape changes. Bunches of wooden houses, small villages nestling on the hills now peek out through the woods. "But - he adds - the campaign here is uncultivated! And also the streets ». Which, in fact, are on clay. There are also bears in the woods, the guide informs us. And in April they are very hungry, so people in small villages must not leave abandoned rubbish. Dad listens in amazement. We also put the brakes on in Krasnoyarsk. No visit to the city. The thirty degrees, combined with the dad who kicks like a foal and would like to see everything, invite caution. Especially after what happened in Kazan, at the Monastery of the Virgin. Genuinely Orthodox Church. I have to put the veil on my head and a cloth kindly made available at the entrance for us women, to be wrapped around the dress to hide the legs. Dad and local guide go on. They disappear. I find them at the top of a very rapid flight of stairs which I climb in stages. With a breath. "But Daddy!" I take it with the guide, who blames my father saying that he wanted to go and see. Yeah, but he's not a boy scout and I explained to him that he's almost a hundred years old! In Irkutsk, a city founded in the mid 1600s and capital of Eastern Siberia, we get off the train and stay overnight. The guide takes us to Piazza della Vittoria, where a perpetual flame burns in memory of the Russian soldiers of the Second World War. Dad seems touched: he nods a hello with his hand.
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Elisabetta Soglio - I was born in 1965, I graduated in Literature and I started to be a journalist at Avvenire: for 25 years I have been working at the Corriere where I dealt with news and politics and I edited the page of the City of Good. Currently I am responsible for the insert on the Third sector: which is then news, politics and also economics.
Paolo Foschini - Born in Bologna in 1964. He has a degree in literature as a journalist since 1990, first at Resto del Carlino then at Avvenire and since 1997 at Corriere. He has always dealt with news, every now and then with culture. He directs a choir of prisoners in the Milanese prison of San Vittore.
Rossella Verga - I was born in Milan in 1965, I graduated in Political Science and I started to be a journalist at 21 years old, first at the Day and since 2000 at the Corriere. I mainly dealt with news and politics. I told the life of the city but also the stories of many people. I have three children. I like playing the piano and I love to travel.
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