Alexander, our taxi driver who didn’t speak much English, took us to go see the Asia-Europe border markers outside of town. On the way, we stopped at a location off the side of the highway. It was a memorial to those who were victims of Stalin’s purges. It was HUGE. Names, row after row, covered the grounds. It was hard to think about how many lives and families were affected by one man.
After we got back in the taxi, Alexander looked towards the memorial and then turned to us and shrugged. “History,” he said.