August 4th: On the train
Our companions on this leg of the journey were two Russian paratroopers Vajim and his friend Alex. Vajim spoke a little English but made up for it with his big big and loud personality. He spent most of the evening convincing Bill to drink vodka. Bill gave in and had one shot but he literally spent the next 3 hours trying to get him to do one more. Apparently, good Russian girls don’t hit the vodka so I was safe…except for the fact that he blamed me for not letting Bill drink. It was pretty hilarious. All this time, he’s been drinking a lot of beer and also finished the vodka that was remaining. He was also an incredible singer and was traveling with his guitar..so he belted out a few songs in Russian for us…one of which we found out later, was not a very nice song at all..hey, it sounded good!:) He had to eventually stop as we got told off by the conductor to keep it down..it was close to midnight. One loses track of time here as the sun sets at 10:30pm and is up again before 4am. Before long, our friend fell asleep and we could all go to bed!
All in all, what a fun evening. He’s already complained of a headache this morning! 🙂
When I got off at a station to stretch my feet.. And in the midst of trying on one of those ridiculous fur hats(yes, the one with a tail), I finally bumped into our first solo foreign traveller! Nice to know we weren’t the only crazy ones on the train. Peter, has been to Russia a few times and unlike us, doesn’t really even have a plan. He just goes where he feels like. This would be his second time in Novosibirsk and the last time he stayed for 7 weeks! That’s right.. I think he won the who’s crazier competition!:)
5 more hours to a nice hot shower and clean clothes.
Update: In Novosibirsk now. Nice hotel…with free laundry. Awesome!:) Tour of the city tomorrow.