Russia During the Cold War

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The moment I stepped outside, it began to drizzle. Rain fell like clockwork in the mountains. I swear I can set my watch by it. Every day since I have lived in this lonely town, dark clouds would roll in and rain would fall at exactly 4:00 PM. Oddly enough my 3 o’clock train had yet to arrive. An unfortunate red light flickered on the word ‘Delayed’ above my platform, as the drizzle became a downpour. I fiddled with my crummy umbrella for a while, hoping that dreadful light would disappear. It would seem that a late train that has been ‘delayed’ has little hope of actually arriving. I started trotting back towards the shelter of the station, when the ear-splitting roar of a train whistle bellowed from behind me. I do not think I have ever been so glad to hear a train whistle in my life.
The rain was so heavy I could hardly make out the approaching train, however I noticed something distinctly odd about it. Every year during the holidays, I have taken the train from the minuscule town of Marble to Denver to visit my parents, and each year I have been stuck on some decrepit, ancient Amtrak train from the 1990’s. The trains screeching to a halt before me was a bright green coal-engine locomotive that resembled something of a child’s toy. This unusual spectacle made me hesitant to board the train, but at this point I did not have much of an option.
I practically jumped through the cabin door and plopped down in the nearest seat. In the compartment across from me sat an elderly couple talking quietly in what sounded like a Russian accent. I could only make out a few phrases of their conversation over the roar of the train, but from what I heard I could infer that the couple lived in Russia during the Cold War and had si...

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