Trans-Mongolian: Part 1
Russia Travel Blog› entry 5 of 11 › view all entries
December 20th, 2008 – by: nuij
My neighbour on my left are my friends, those across the aisle are two teenage boys and two other passengers whom come and go along the way, and those on my right a lady who spent a lot of time talking to the babushka (grandmother who is 80 years old) and her grand-daugther who slept across from her.
Do not try to take the picture of the provodnista (carriage attendant) without their permission especially if you have a dSLR. I learn that the hard way... I tried to take a picture of her doing some housekeeping when she saw me trying to take a shot. She marched over from the front of the carriage to the my place, grab hold of my lens and started spurting something in Russian. I was intimidated and terrified at the moment. All I can think of is whether she will confiscate my camera or worst, break my lens. Every one in my carriage is afraid of her. She once barked at my friend to sit while she was vacuuming the carpet.
I met Ben, a lone English traveler the next day. I had my guide book on my table and he plopped into the empty seat in front of me telling me he had the same guide book in his bag. He was traveling at the 2nd class cabin and was really bored over there. Every one stayed in their own cabin at the 2nd class, unlike in the 3rd class where it is really open, and one can easily see what the other is doing. There were lots of activities going on, especially with the boys. There were 4 of them; two at the front of the carriage and two at my area.. so they go back and forth a lot. Through Ben, I got to know 1 German and 2 Austrian girls whose bunks were at the front of my carriage. Tina, the German girl, myself and Ben decided to make our way to the end of the train.
There are many interesting characters in my carriage. One, whom we nicknamed as talk show host because he talks a lot... and every time he talks, he has quite a few audiences... people listening to him telling stories and such... I would love to be able to hear his stories.. unfortunately it's in Russian. Then there's 2 men who seems to bond as they spend a lot of time chatting over cups of tea.
I was really sorry when the train arrives at Irkutsk. It was such a pleasant experience and I don't really want it to end.
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