- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
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(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
and down inside the carriage, thinking the soul
must be shaken out of one. When I reflected that we
had to drive 330 versts (210 miles) in this way, I
never expected to hold together so long.
But it is a strange thing, one can get accustomed
to a lot, and gradually one found out positions which
made it fairly supportable ; and when about midnight
we arrived at a station to change horses, one was so
comfortable that it seemed quite a bore to turn out
for a glass of tea. But on reaching the ground it was
undeniably a grand feeling to be able to stretch one’s
limbs a little and see that they were still sound and
serviceable.
Inside the station we were cordially received, as it
happened that the woman there had formerly been
housekeeper at Vostrotin’s, and there was no end to
what she wanted to do for us. We entered a large,
bright, comfortable room, where a samovar was steam
ing on the table, and glasses soon appeared and the tea
was poured out—the glorious Russian tea, which was
certainly not least welcome at this hour of the night.
And then came a collation of all kinds of viands.
Strange it is that here in Siberia people seem to
be just as good-tempered in the middle of the night
as they are in the daytime. It made no difference if
they were called up, they always received us with equal
hospitality and gave us a welcome—nor did the lateness
of the hour have anything to say to our getting horses.
They seemed to be used to people travelling day and
night. I was constantly reminded of how difficult it
sometimes is in Norway to get people to attend to
travellers’ wants at night. How often, when in a hurry,
I have met with sour faces and infinite difficulties when
it was a question of providing horses at night ; and yet
they have not the same excuse as in Siberia, that the
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