I have been alone in my cabin, which was great. Yesterday, though, I got scared to death: I was reading a book on my bed, my door was half-opened as I needed some fresh air (the window doesn’t open), when suddenly a guy enters the room (I recognize him, the Brit from the cabin next door, he has just made a mistake to I think within half a second), and shuts the door. Ok, so it is not a mistake if he closes the door. I stop breathing…
Nope, it was indeed a mistake; he laughed and left the room as quickly as he entered it. This morning I did that mistake as well, entering their room while they were sleeping. Ufffff.
When the rail was first introduced, people were afraid that speed could blow their brain. Here, in the Trans-Siberian, there is no risk, I’m sure our average speed do not exceeds 60 km/h…
It is my last day in a Russian train. We don’t go East anymore, but South, following the Manchurian boarder up to Vladivostok. As I wake up, we enter Viazemskaya. I take a breath on the platform, where some people sale caviar in small baskets.
A little bit later, three women are trying to sell garlic and grape to the train’ travellers but they get angry as nobody is interested, and they leave the platform shouting.
As a conclusion to the Trans-Siberian journey, let me share with you this Russian joke, telling the USSR political changes through the train:
There’s been a sabotage on the train’ rails, so the train has to stop. Lenin asks the passengers to repair the rails all together, and they all do, with enthusiasm, singing the International Song.
A little bit later, the train stops again, again for a sabotage. Stalin orders to have half of the passengers killed, to find the treats, and asks the other half to build a rails’ factory to repair the tracks, in spite of the cold.
A little bit later, rails are kaput again. This time, Khrushchev asks people to take the rails from behind to put them upfront and then keep going.
Of course, it happens again with Brejnev. He asks people to pull the curtains and some guys will shake the wagons from the outside, so that still believe the train is moving.
This is the official end of the story. But you can keep going post-USSR:
Gorbachev stops the train to run a global inspection.
Eltsine runs a privatization program of the rail industry.
Putin decides he’s going to be the CEO of the new rail company!
And as I’m writing those lines, I have in front of my eyes a surprising landscape again. It looks a bit like the African Savannah…
In a couple of hours, I will finally reach my destination. Slava will pick me up at the Vladivostok railway station. Who is Slava? Well, a friend of a friend of a friend who knows one of his relatives, what else!?!
Oh, and here it is…. Ten minutes before entering Vladivostok’ railway station : The Sea of Japan pops up!!!