Drama in SiberiaOctober 7, 2016 in Russia
Fortunately after two days of not sleeping and a couple of pills I was able to finally sleep through the night and awoke this morning feeling a little bit more human with beautiful Siberian sunshine streaming through our cabin window. With less than 24 hours to go before our overnight stop in Irkutsk I was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and dream of the fresh air and food I will be shortly consuming.
After a couple of coffees, we strode in the restaurant carriage for an omelet after 3 days of watered down porridge and protein bars had started to take its toll. Whilst awaiting for our omelets to arrive, we bumped into Lukas who looked like he had had another rough night induced by alcohol. It just so happened that he had a rough night induced by losing his passport between a space in the train whilst trying to pull his Go-Pro out of his pocket. His passport is now somewhere on a train track between Novosibirsk and Bolotnaya. Supposedly the police are on the hunt for it but if it is not found, his Trans-Siberian adventure is over as he will unlikely be able to obtain the necessary visas from within the Siberian wilderness. We felt so sorry for him and tried to work out ways in which we could help but whilst in Russia there is only so much anyone can do.
Our next big stop of 42 minutes happened in a town called Krasnoyarsk. We had 42 minutes to explore the town but being to scared to venture too far from the train in case it decided to abandon us in the middle of Russia, our exploration involved an in depth look at the train station, it's statue and all its wares. After a quick tour we settled on the first cafe we came across and purchases some cheese bread thing resembling a crossiant in texture but flat, a meringue filled with creme and some fruit. Health plus. After doing some quick lunges and squats on the platform it was back on the train to consume our purchases. Lukas managed to get hold of the Polish embassy in Irkutsk who advised him his passport is unlikely to be found and if not, he will have to return to Moscow before he can fly back to Manchester where he currently works. Normally smiley, Lukas certainly has lost his way.
The afternoon passed by in a blur talking international politics, geological settings of our given countries and wine in the restaurant car whilst drinking Russian champagne (Yes ok French people it's not really champange) whilst passing beautiful snow covered Siberian landscapes. The temperature is now around 0 degrees and feeling very fresh. Lukas joined us after an afternoon kip and drowned his sorrows in beer and playing more rounds of 500. At Beer #5, we received a visit from the "train boss" who confirmed that the police had found Lukas' passport and it will be on the next train to Irkutsk. Cue celebratory beers and vodka. Happy Lukas was back and it was time to make up for lost happy time.
After some food to ward off the probable hangover, I went back to our little cabin to prepare for bed. It wasn't long until the train stopped and we picked up another Russian passenger who was allocated into the spare space in our cabin. Due to the incredible stench that followed him into the train, I quickly made my way back to the restaurant car to inform my cabin mates that we had a serious case of bad BO in our room and he isn't the one who hasn't showered for 3 days! I went back to make up our beds and found smelly Russ on Jamie's bed taking over our entire area with his horrible odour, stomach and baggage. I asked him to move to his bunk as we were going to bed, although with his little understanding of English and my little understanding of Russian, I resorted to charades and hand gestures. He exited the room to allow me to make up the beds and I left to go and get a drunken Jamie from the restaurant car to put him to bed. On our return, the odour was putrid and smelly Russ was back on Jamie's now made bed stuffing his face with potato crisps and sculling coke. If there is one thing that Jamie hates, its anyone eating on his bed especially someone he doesn't know. At this point, after 2 nights of barely any sleep and no shower, I had enough (no one messes with my Jamie) - I asked him to move again and he refused and started getting incredibly agitated. I told him if he wanted to eat , he should eat on his bed or go to the restaurant car, to which his response was net net net net net net net net (no, no, no, no, no, no). He got up and Jamie lay his upper body on the bed with his legs off to one side (being pretty drunk). Smelly Russ then attempted to sit on the end of Jamie's bed to continue consuming his chips. I told him to move, that Jamie needed to go to sleep and he needed to go onto his bunk. I grabbed Jamie's legs and put them on the bed to make a point and said that he needed to go to sleep as he was drunk. He made a beeline for my bed and I had to resort to a wagging finger in his face saying NET NET NET and pointed to his bunk.
He huffed and puffed out of the room and was heard complaining to the Russian cabin manager, who paid him zero attention as she had had absolutely no problems up to this point. He disappeared to the restaurant car to consume his heart attack and I managed to calm myself down but was now petrified of sleeping in the same room as this man. He returned as I was reading my book and Jamie was out for the count while our other cabin mate was drinking vodka in another room. He proceeded to get undressed right in front of me and took off his top to reveal his large stomach and unbuttoned his trousers, the stench coming from his pores increased and I realised sleep was not going to come easy again tonight.
As if this man couldn't get any ruder, he left the sound of his phone on and proceeded to watch movies on his laptop without headphones. At about midnight he took a call on his phone while the rest of the cabin was fast asleep. After an amazing three days of getting to know some brilliant people it was a shame to end this part of the leg like this, but it makes you appreciate the wonderful people you do get to meet more and certainly adds to the stories we get to tell!Read more