July 24. “Labouring” in Siberia.

The train rolled in the Novosibirsk railway station at five am Moscow time. It’s three hours later here and the day has definitely started. A short busride takes me to what is designated as the answer to my repeated “centr?” where I hit a coffee place and get organized. I talk to the owner who is from San Francisco and tell him about my traveling. He seems interested and tells me about his faith: Bahia. It sounds nice and he did reduce only some of my aspirations to the matrix of his believe system. To me that is a good sign. Define openness. So, I can work in the “travelers coffee” as the place is called, and manage to contact my couchsurfer Vera. She turns out to be such a nice host, and we have wine at the balcony, overlooking the Soviet housing blocks against a Siberian sunset and listening to Beatles songs we alternately pick. C’est bon.

Movie of the day: Changeling. Another Clint Eastwood-masterpiece, based on the true story of a woman in Los Angeles whose young boy is kidnapped in the 1920s. It was the time of the Death Squads and the LAPD had a bad reputation. The kidnapping case was considered a good means to brush that up and so, when a lookalike child appears, they turn that child over to the mother, posing in front of the press. Of course, the mother immediately recognizes it is not her child, but they simply refuse to believe her. Even the facts that the boy is 3 inches shorter and circumcised don’t seem to affect the careerist policeman in charge of the investigation. The mother doesn’t give up and eventually is put silent in a mental clinic by decree of a medic who is evidently on police payroll. She is drugged, but the Father of her parish, who has made it a mission to bring the police department to justice, gets her out. I think I have a natural appetite for justice (and I think that is a common human sentiment). So I cry when the movie culminates in the removal of the chief of police and punishment of the corrupt officers. It’s a real story, (so) the child is officially never found. The mother has kept hoping for the rest of her life.

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