If you live in Moscow, but never use electric trains, then a whole world passes by you, full of thrills. Indeed, it is only necessary to drive from the Kazan railway station to the Sovkhoz station, or at least from the Ostankino platform to the Left Bank, how life will become much more interesting, and you will immediately feel the romance of distant travel. Especially tempting seems to travel without tickets, which seems a very real option. In №1, I already wrote about a summer trip on the train, but did not mention the kind controllers who allowed me to go from Trofimovka station to Bronnitsy free of charge. In response to the words that in this "deaf village Trofimovka there is not even a checkout on the platform" the mustached man in a uniform shirt asked briefly: "Where are you going?" "To Bronnitsy," I answered. "Today you will reach", - he threw, already going towards the door to the tambour.
If the controller, whom you are unlucky to meet, does not look like a kind man, but, on the contrary, stares intently into your eyes, knowing well what you are going to say to him now, do not waste time talking, but brazenly go past him to the tambour. There you will be harder to catch, or even will not be asked about the reasons for modest solitude or the presence in the huge crowd of the same free riders. Another way to escape from the "contra" staff is to move in one direction with those men approximately one car ahead. In winter, it is not very easy, because the compounds are shortened, and the road may end soon. In this case, there will be nothing left but a bold oncoming moving with a terribly busy look, screams about life which is really hard even without controllers, or even the evacuation from the "dangerous" train. It happens that together with the controller a policeman goes, who sometimes understands other people's financial problems, and sometimes - according to rumors - not very well. It is advisable not to test fate and get out of this train, if there is still such an opportunity.
Using a rather unobtrusive ticket check system, many acquaintances from the institute on weekends and holidays went to St. Petersburg, Vladimir and other regions, which names arouse the craving for distant wanderings. In this case, poor students, they said, managed to overcome hundreds of kilometers without paying a single penny. Of course, this is advantageous and tempting, but quite troublesome. For example, at some intermediate station on the way to St. Petersburg, you need to sit waiting for the train from ten o'clock in the morning to three in the afternoon. In addition, according to these lovers of distant wanderings, the police in the provinces is not as lenient and democratic as in the Moscow region, as a result of which one "pilgrim" spent 24 hours in prison returning to the southern capital from the northern one. By the way, electric trains are often called "dogs", and so do not be surprised to hear that someone was going to go to Kursk by "dogs."
The beauty of these "sled dogs" lies in their close proximity to the broad masses of people. Probably, the train is the most "public" type of transport in the world. There you can see a bank officer who saves money on the car, and a badly exhausted vagabond. By the way, where do they come from in such quantities? It's just unusual: in almost every car, especially of the evening trains, you can meet not only a single homeless person, but also a whole company of vagabonds who all the time go somewhere - I even marveled at their activities. Then, of course, it became clear that they all just live in electric trains, because it's warmer there than in January frost in the street. Sometimes, by the way, among them there are quite interesting personalities who go out to the tambour to talk with people or even make a speech right away. So, one still not very old short man, who, really, looked from his life to eighty years, somehow even very sensibly talked about life, joked, asked for a cigarette. Then, when he approached the people and heard the demand to keep the distance, he answered that he had nowhere else to go except to the cemetery. To confirm his words, he coughed wildly, and a long slime popped from his throat.
Oddly enough, homeless people, especially in their companies, are not discouraged and, if they do not sleep all the way, often do something. For example, they carefully look for bottles or celebrate their free life, drinking vodka. Yes, almost all these people consume alcohol in huge quantities. This is the real bottom of society, quite unlike the one described by Maxim Gorky in his play "At the bottom", to the holes read in the school. I remember that in my time I had to write four times an essay on the topic "Is Humanism Useful in the Understanding of Luka?" The first option was rejected by the teacher of literature, the second one was lost on the table by the class teacher, who also angrily denounced my mistakes some time later. The third one was rejected by relatives who interfered in the process of academic creativity, and the fourth, written already with their active participation, was safely handed over for 5/4 respectively for content and literacy.
The main attraction of green "dogs" are the ubiquitous merchants who are sometimes ready to talk about their goods in half an empty car for half an hour. Even seeing complete inattention to their person, these people persistently continue to tell and show, taking out of the bag all the new lighters, books, shampoos, and some useless scrapers with a super-strong handle. For one active speech, sometimes lasting up to five minutes, there is a desire to give the seller a ruble or two. It is especially funny to watch how they wait until the competitor who has outstripped by half a step ahead, will finish his speech, and are preparing to surprise the "respected passengers" with another achievement of the shadow economy.