The train helped me get a better idea of what is most interesting about this very large corner of the planet, how the various pieces fit together, and what it all might mean for the future.
Russians are obsessed with size. If something is big, it's good. If it's oversized, it's better. Buildings in St. Petersburg and Moscow are huge and tend to the baroque. Visually impressive, albeit much the same. One finds oneself longing for something small and private.