Обновлено: 15 сент. 2019 г.
There is no train station in Barysh, the train just stops in the middle of a field. On arriving you jump straight into the mud. Trains only stop there for one minute, so you need to be quick. At the exit from the “platform”, you meet golden Lenin.
Roads here look like the Second World War just ended. There are also many symbols of the sickle and hammer, like time is frozen. The main attraction of the town is the temple, which I did not visit because of the dress code for women.
There is no shower and bath in my mum’s house and most of the people still bathe only on Saturdays using a баня (Russian sauna). Although I grew up here it seems weird and uncomfortable to me.
Sadly, people in my town embrace alcohol far too much and drug addiction is all too visible. The place might look exotic and fun from pictures, but in reality it is depressing, with nothing much to do and vast unemployment.
Early marriages and domestic violence are common here too. Women have no choice but to stay with their abusers if they have kids, because men have more job options and can get as much as $500 a month, while women can only hope for $100.
I feel so alien here the place doesn’t sit comfortably and I don’t see it as a hometown. As a child, I often looked from the hill at passing trains to Moscow and knew I need to go there, to that distant scary capital.
It’s nice however to look back at the past, come to peace with it and move on. I’m happy I’ve escaped this place as I so hated this town. Now, having not lived here for 10 years and more I view it as a strange surrealistic picture. I think David Lynch would like it! A small depressive town lost in the woods, with considerable violence, crime, and murder.
I also discovered a few of my childhood paintings. Sadly all graphic works have been lost or used to fire the stove. So I only have those early childish still lives on canvas, but it’s nice to see what I was working on, all those years ago.