Stories

The crossroad of the BAM and the AYaM train lines

by Jorge Sanchez - 2 years, 4 months ago

I arrived to Tynda by train, from Saint Petersburg. I had to spend one day and one night there while waiting for my next train to the Sakha Republic by means of the AYaM (Amur Yakutsk Magistral). I found a bed in a dormitory in the same train station, for scarcely 300 rubles. Tynda is small and I noticed that many shops were selling weapons for hunting and items for fishing, the main hobbies of the people in the whole of Siberia. There was a statue devoted to Lenin and a pretty Orthodox Cathedral called Holy Trinity. The people had migrated there for 10 or 20 years because of the higher salaries. Then when they save enough money they move and buy a flat in other less remote cities and better communicated with the rest of the country. Tynda was founded in 1917, when constructing the BAM (Baykal Amur Magistral), and presently its inhabitants, basically Russians followed by Ukrainians, work in the timber industry. Even 1500 North Koreans live in that town very miserably, like slaves, cutting logs in the forest and their salary is sent directly from Russia to the Government of their country; the North Koreans receive just enough for an Spartan life in Tynda plus a small remuneration that they will receive back in North Korea, while the North Korea government keeps the difference with the real salary, much higher, paid by Russia. I saw their buildings at the distance, but did not go there; it was an empty area with no people in the streets. North Koreans never mix with the Russians; they live apart in buildings made with blocks. It was sad. The next day I continued my journey to Neryungri and further by train to Tommot in the River Aldan, and finally I hitchhiked and soon boarded a truck to Yakutsk.


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