I officially suffer from train-lag, the others created this word especially for this purpose. I refuse to adjust to sunset and -rise and instead continue living in Moscow time. I go to sleep at midnight (so around 3 am in real time) and wake up at 9 Moscow time (so around 1 pm real time). I wonder how I can get off the train at 3.30 am Moscow time in the upcoming night…
When I wake up, we are stopping soon after, which means the toilets are closed now (to avoid spreading all our “stuff” in the train station) – yeah. Well, time for another visit in the train station toilet, I really need to go for little girls: For 20 Rubels you can pee into a hole on the ground! I decide to wait with the morning shower until our beloved “bathrooms” are open again, to which I got used to so much already.
The landscape has changed to hills, mountains almost, with lavender-fields in the foreground. We decide to go for a beer in the restaurant car, our first visit there since we boarded the train! It smells like grease and fried stuff, but the music is quite loud when we enter, so it feels almost like a bar. We also realize that the toilets in the 2nd class are somehow fancier than ours, as far as you can say that about a bowl that opens its contents to be spread over Siberia. Though our conductors seem to be eager to keep a clean wagon – once a day the guy, who has the day shift, tries his best with the help of a witch-like, old-fashioned broom and a wet rug that he occasionally dips into a suspiciously urine-like smelly bucket of “water” – I wouldn’t recommend eating from the floor here. And when it comes to the power they hold and demonstrate to hold over the toilet, the lady from the night shift as well as the guy seem to enjoy being the ones in charge for closing and opening the toilets. Whether you are queuing there, almost peeing your pants (sorry for all the toilet-connotations today), or wanting to get ready for bed after a longer stop late night – reopening the toilets for use depends totally on their mercy. Also here, the solution we find after 4 days is called: 2nd class.
Once I asked the lady for toilet paper because there was none, and instead of refilling it, she showed me the handpaper. Today, Tanja urgently waits for the break to be over and the toilet to be reopened, but the lady goes to the other end of the wagon first to get a new roll of toilet paper. Guess what – handpaper was there. But probably not good enough today. It’s a power game, and we are totally in their hands!
The landscape is hilly and full of juicy, green grass and blossoming trees, mixed with a lot of flowers. The Moscow clock shows 4 pm, but it is getting dark already. It is either 8 or 9 pm here, already. We are not sure. Our last night in the train is approaching. I wonder when the landscape will look less like Finland, or Europe, finally. Maybe our planet is not so different after all and in one continent, you can pretty much find everything that you could find elsewhere, too, we speculate.
We definitely either bought too much water, or we are not drinking enough. I dread the morning, when we have to carry all this stuff, plus the food leftovers, around again, probably in extreme heat. I can’t wait to have this shower that everyone is talking about, though. Maybe 15 more hours, and we can finally clean ourselves, and our clothes.
Our last ten-minutes-stop is about to take place, before we should definitely sleep in order to wake up on time. It’s raining, and we are late (for the first time on this trip!). Had we had a little more time, we could have shampooed our heads and have this shower right here, on the tracks. Well, we are almost there. We can almost smell the scent of showergel…