I am now sat on my first proper Trans-Siberian train, not quite as nice as the St Petersburg to Moscow one, but not bad either. It feels good to be doing this trip, it’s been so full on I haven’t really had chance to sit down and think about it!
I am loving the fact that the huge language barrier brings about constant surprises, be them good or bad! I am unsure how the meals work on this train, but I believe I get one per day included, be that breakfast, lunch or dinner. Anyhow I have just been brought in some noodle soup that I wasn’t expecting. I’m not that hungry but I won’t pass up the opportunity to eat, who knows, the next surprise may be that I don’t get any dinner! Everything is unsure in the world of ‘not having a clue what’s going on!’. I do love a food surprise too, pick something, bite into it, and find out that way what it is that you’ve picked!
In my cabin is Ludima. She speaks as much English as I do Russian, however I have established she is a doctor, and my job in Russian is ‘patyana’, that’s if my ‘charades version’ translated as it was meant to……! Her colleagues are in the next cabin, and one of them has brought us both in coffees and chocolate, and knows a handful of English words. I was slightly bemused when he kept calling me their ghost…..until I realised he meant guest! And, as I write he now brought us in ice cream, this is after also offering me beer and Pepsi cola! He says ‘Welcome, Russia’ a lot!
Ludima started spraying her face with a mysterious vapour, and to my bemused look she passed the pink contraption over to me and started to spray the vapour on to my face, let’s hope the vapour is something pretty innocent! Must be as she’s spraying her own face with it! Turned out it’s just water, a freshener I guess.
The lady at my hostel in St Petersburg said that on the Trans Siberian train I would see trees, trees…..trees…..and more trees. You know what, I could look at these trees all day 🙂 Which is a good job as that is exactly what I’ll be doing for the next 3 days in fact!
Further out into the countryside, there are many wooden houses with tin roofs, and I can’t help but wonder how difficult it must be for them in the harsh Siberian winters….
Lots of great grafitti along the buildings that run alongside the railway
Well, I’d got used to Ludima being in my cabin and her friend popping in, but early in the evening they’d obviously reached their destination and they left the train. Another travel bubble burst. Although it turned out I had the cabin to myself for the night – result! So it was just me, my music, and a couple of beers for the night. Happy days.
Next morning I tried to get breakfast from the restaurant car, only to be told, as I understood from the body language, hand gestures, and tone, that there was no more breakfast. Oh well, least I have muesli bars and a huge bar of chocolate. I bought a tiny carton of apple juice for £1.60, so perhaps it was just as well I didn’t get breakfast there.
I now have a new girl in my cabin. I don’t know her name but boy do her feet smell! Stronger than the packet of TUC biscuits I had in my possession. Let’s hope this one won’t be a stayer either!
A few hours later….
Luckily she was not a stayer!
One more girl came and went, and another came last night and has been here all day, and it’s looking like maybe for another night too, but you never know. I am fully in my Trans Siberian bubble, and this again, could burst at any moment. But, when one bubble bursts, another, different bubble is created. I have spent my time on the train mainly: sleeping, reading, blogging, eating, drinking beer and listening to music, and contemplating. It’s all been a pretty good experience so far. Even the carriage assistant is used to my ‘one beer please’ and ‘hello’, and ‘thank you’. Pretty much my limit. Oh, and I can say black cat, Ludima taught me that, although haven’t found use for that one yet.
My cabin to myself
Now, going back to my earlier comment about how I love food surprises? Well, that’s because I’d never had a bad food surprise…..this morning a carriage attendant selling what looked like some kind of pastry or croissant passed by our cabin. I called him back and pointed at one of the food items, as I was a little hungry for breakfast.
Deep fried cabbage donut anyone?
No, me neither. I must admit the cabbage innards themselves weren’t too bad, so I ate these from the centre. But the stodgy deep fried sickly surround…..?! This one goes down as a bad food surprise!