Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
What a journey we have made. Together with Paulo and Hilal (and all his other companions) we crossed straight through the (former) Soviet Union with the Trans Siberian Railroad. We have experienced wonderful things, it was (at least to me) a very spiritual journey which brought me new insight on the Soviet Union and it's spiritual background. We have visited the most wonderful places and we were part of a Siberian Shaman Ritual and other rituals performed by Paulo and Hilal, e.g. "Ring of Fire".
Today we are arriving at our endstation of this trip, Vladivostok, we have made a trip of more than 9200 km by train and I enjoyed it a lot.
The aboriginals of the territory on which modern Vladivostok is located are the Udege minority, and a sub-minority called the Taz which emerged through members of the indigenous Udege mixing with the nearby Chinese and Hezhe. The region had been part of many states, such as the Mohe, Balhae, Jīn Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, and various other Chinese dynasties, before Russia acquired the entire Maritime Province and the island of Sakhalin by the Treaty of Beijing (1860). Qing China, which had just lost the Opium War with Britain, was unable to defend the region. The Pacific coast near Hǎishēnwǎi was settled mainly by the Chinese and Manchus during the Qing Dynasty period. A French whaler visiting the Golden Horn Bay in 1852 discovered Chinese or Manchu village fishermen on its shore. The Manchus banned Han Chinese from most of Manchuria including the Hǎishēnwǎi area—it was only visited by illegal gatherers of sea cucumbers.
|Railway Station of Vladivostok|
During the Soviet Years, Vladivostok was closed for foreigners and this stayed until the 'Cold War' was over. In 2012 Vladivostok hosted an International event. The 24th Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. In preparation for the event, the infrastructure of the city was renovated and improved. Two giant cable-stayed bridges were constructed in Vladivostok, namely the Zolotoy Rog Bridge over the Golden Horn Bay in the center of the city, and the Russky Bridge from the mainland to Russky Island, where the summit took place. The latter bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world.
|Zolotoy Bridge, Vladivostok|
As they arrive almost in Vladivostok, Paulo decides to make a walk through the Trans Siberian Express, which he sees as a city. He walks through that city,which stretched out like an ever-flowing river of steel, a city were he doesn't speak the local language. He heard all kinds of languages and sounds and notices that, as happens in all large cities, most people weren't talking to anyone, each passenger absorbed in his or her own problems and dreams, forced to share the smae compartment with three strangers, people they never will meet again. The Trans Siberian Express, is really a city ... and as in a normal city we live together with our neighbors, but ... do you know your neighbors really?
After his walk through the train he writes a note, which I love to share here with you.
[...]I am not a foreigner because I haven't been praying to return safely home, I haven't wasted my time imagining my house, my desk, my side of the bed, I am not a foreigner because we are all travelling, we are all full of the same questions, the same tiredness, the same fears, the same selfishness and the same generosity. I am not a foreigner because, when I asked, I received. When I knocked, the door opened. When I looked, I found. [...]
(Source:'Aleph' by Paulo Coelho)
With this quote by Paulo Coelho I will conclude our Trans Siberian Railroad journey. Dreams you have ... you have to fullfill, they are not negotiable. So ... go for your dream and let that dream come true.
another day ends
reaching for the stars and the moon
into the dreamworld
This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and it will stay open until January 28th 11.59 AM (CET). I will publish our next episode, that will be a Special haiku written by our featured haiku-poet from Russia, Alexey Andreyev. As I was preparing this episode I over saw that we had another episode, Ussurysk, I have decided to let that episode go. So the last days of this Carpe Diem month looks somewhat different than planned:
January 27: Special by Alexey Andreyev
January 28: Instead of Vladivostok an episode about Shamanism which I have titled "Flight of the Eagle"
January 29: Tengri, the Spirit of the Taiga/Steppes
January 30: Pilgrim
January 31: Shikoku
I hope you don't mind these little changes (smiles).