Russian Trains and Tea…

A train in Russia is not a train with out steaming hot water and a constant supply of tea. I have seen Russians tolerate trains that are -30 below zero, +40 above zero and they tolerate drunks, smokers and loud mouths, but when the car we ride in does not have hot water for hot tea! Then that is riot time and Sveta will lead the riot… :)

Russian Railways report that their passengers drank nearly 3 million liters of tea this year. This most vital passenger drink was served in over 14 million classical 200ml glasses. This volume is enough to satisfy the population of 3 cities the size of St. Petersburg or one larger city like Moscow. Over 20 million sugar packets with a complete weight of over two hundred tons were emptied into this quantity of tea. All in all, Russian long-distance trains can carry over 54 million passengers a year…

This picture to the left is where you get hot water on a train (samovar) and the picture on the top right is how it is served. Classical Russian tea glass…

Something that the world just does not talk enough about is Russians and tea. The world likes to mention Russians and vodka, but what the world ignores is that Russians drink more tea than vodka any day. In fact I see Russians show mood change and actually get ill from not enough hot tea to drink. Russians drink hot tea like we in America drink hot coffee, plus add the way we (Americans) drink cold beverages on top of the coffee. Russians do not hardly drink any cold beverages at all. It is considered bad for you and your health to drink a beverage with ice in it…

Even after 5 years in Russia I still miss ice, once in a while. The other day I had a diet coke (called cola light) from McDonald’s and it had ice in it. I enjoyed crunching the ice (?) except there was only two small cubes of ice in the cup. That is Russia for you…

So if you travel a train in Russia and you do not like hot tea or hot coffee then you could be in trouble, because that is just about all they serve…

Or do as we do and bring your own cups, tea, coffee, chicory, water and diet cola… :)

Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia!

PS: The last train ride we took, I watched a young guy about 25 years old get up every hour and a half and get a cup of hot tea. He even had his alarm set on his phone to wake him up. This went on the complete 15 hour trip. Unless he ate a meal and then he drank two or three glasses of hot tea…

PSS: I think of the  of the 20 million sugar packets that are used on the trains, I found 1 million of them in Sveta’s purse. Her purse is stuffed with sugar packets from all the train rides… :)

kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

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A survivor of six heart attacks and a brain tumor, a grumpy bear of a man, who has declared Russia as his new and wonderful home (&) Honestly, I have no idea how much to ask for, but is a gift of even $1 something you'd be able to consider, to help keep Windows to Russia online in a Tiny Russian Village?