The Big 2015 Trip is on my mind. Fellow Traveler Beth and I got together Thursday night to eat better-than-average cheese sandwiches, ingredients Whole Foods all the way (except the Mayo, hate WF Mayo). After all, sophisticated world travelers like us cannot dine on Wonder Bread and Velveeta alone.
We are going to do this. Siberia, Mongolia, the long train ride. Yes. We decided. We drank champagne. Here’s to us.
Sunday is a Word Day, writing about books and other conveyers of words. I’ll get to that in a minute. Meanwhile here’s the almost final outline of the Big 2015 Trip or B15T for short. Maybe not.
Beth and I will meet in Stockholm after my Norwegian sojourn. Ferry and train to St. Petersburg and then about 2 1/2 weeks of Russia, Mongolia and China. That is certainly not much time to take in the world’s biggest countries by land size and population but we do the best we can. We also throw in the country that produced one of the greatest warriors of all times, Genghis Khan, who actually ruled much of those other two big powerful places for awhile.
I think a certain amount of reading is in order for us to even scratch the surface of this huge enterprise; huge in concept at least if not so much in actual time on the road.
Reading a certain amount of history is the obvious way to start. I will reread “Catherine the Great” by Robert Massie I think for starters.
However, considering that Russia was the American nemesis in terms of equality of power and influence for a long time (and who knows about the future?) and that China is rapidly overtaking us in so very many ways for that Number One spot of who is the biggest, baddest, boldest kid on the block, some serious contemporary views are in order as well.
How about “Nothing is True and Everything is Possible” by Peter Pomerantsev (Russia) and “Age of Ambition” by Evan Osnos (China). Hot off the Barnes and Nobel shelves. Remember Amazon makes everything very easy but they aren’t really book people anymore. I think I talked about these books before. Sorry. Hopefully both will be so good they’re worth mentioning twice.
I started to write a comment about saving a rereading of “War and Peace” for the actual train journey (yes, I did read it once upon a time AND saw the movie). So then I googled greatest Russian novels and have been perusing those lists for the last hour or so. I am happy to say I’ve at least read four of them including a particular favorite called “Quietly Flows the Don” which apparently is a four-volume epoch out of which I’ve read one book so not sure that counts. Anyway I enjoy Russian literature, or did. So I will take at least two or three big fat drama and history and angst-filled novels for the train ride.
Enough for now. I think I’ll try to make the book-Christmas-tree which I saw on Facebook.