Again last night I couldn’t sleep, excited by the possibilities of the next day, I think because I have limited opportunities so can only read, listen to music/podcasts or explore gameboy and iPod games; having reduced the options to a minimum, there’s room to be excited.
The Dutch couple sorted themselves out for bed at what felt like an early hour, but it was dark and we’d lost a couple more hours so local time was about 11. As the light went off I switched to listening rather than reading and eventually dozed off. We were all awake and up early, and lunch was a repeat of yesterday. I missed the first stop, and at only 18 minutes it wasn’t a long one in any case. The next (next with a stop longer than a couple of minutes, that is) was five hours later, at 13:55 (9:55 Moscow time) and this time I bounced off the train to find wifi, the cricket score and, as it turned out, Krasnoyarsk square – there were a couple of wifi options once I hit the stairs out, I went with the ‘cafe’. For a moment as I stood in the sun I had the nagging feeling something was missing, but then a girl in a short skirt and heels walked by and I knew I was still in Russia. Getting back on, email duly checked, we had the excitement of more English voices-a posse of Americans, 10 of them, whose version of travelling second class is to book a four person compartment for two. “We wondered why we had two tickets!” They are older, well travelled and from Seattle or surrounding areas. Apart from the two Australians, anyway. I met one half of several of the couples at various stops, they all had a way to talk about England, one opened up with the Olympics, another with their 24 day tour of England. Including Brentford. Obviously.
At Ilanskaya I didn’t find wifi but next to the station building was a group of shops, and Piwo Baltika got me not just service, but shiny-toothed service with a smile-£0.79, this time. Evening sunshine, a beer and now spontaneously smiling people.
Reading: Don Quixote, to a finish, Flinn, Cloaked. Haddon, A Spot of Bother.
“You got the impression, sometimes, that parts of his brain were actually missing, that he could quite easily wander into the bathroom looking for a towel while you were on the toilet and have no clue as to why this might be inappropriate.”