Trans-Siberian: Across Russia by Train

- 1970 - (excerpt)

Trans-Siberian cover illustration by Anton Bantock "In the smaller stations, a picturesque row of stalls lined the platform, or when there was no platform, the railway line itself. Here retired "kolhozniki" were allowed to sell the produce of their back gardens and the arrival of the daily train was evidently a great event. Trestle tables were heaped high with neat piles of well-polished tomatoes, apples, edible fir cones, bilberries, mushrooms and even hugh containers looking rather like dustbins, filled with boiled potatoes and grated onion.

The human scene behind these tables was an endless source of fascination, for here one saw illustration by Anton a little bit of old Russia - bent old men with spade beards and peaked caps wearing riding boots and 'rubashky' (the collarless and coarse white shirt worn with tails outside trousers and gathered in at the waist with a belt), who looked for all the world as if they had stepped straight out of a Chekhov play."

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