It’s the first full day on the Trans-Siberian, and at least for me, it started off well. Despite my apprehensions, the top bunk was surprisingly comfy, and I slept more or less like a log. Woke up around 9am by the sound of my room mates talking in the corridor.
Sadly the girl in the other upper bed didn’t have such a good night. Despite normally having an easy time sleeping in public transport, she’d been up nearly all night, so didn’t crawl out until 11. At least she avoided the toilet rush.
The toilets are a mixed bag. On the one hand, they do look like low quality public toilets, and after 2 days they’re beginning to smell ever so slightly since the flush isn’t spectacular and the toilet roll goes in the bin. However, there is running water, which provides minimal washing facilities, and despite the warnings we were given, there’s rarely been any occasions where there’s been no toilet roll. My biggest issue is how wet the floor often is.By this afternoon it’s clear we bought too much food. At 12pm we got a bowl of chicken noodle soup and another polystyrene meal box. The soup was more than enough for me after my breakfast croissant, so I didn’t even touch the second course. I have about 4 boxes of instant noodles just sitting in my bag untouched – I’m just not hungry.
(Not that I’m not eating, its much more fruit and baby tomatoes and chocolate bars rather than actual meals).Spent the afternoon chatting and jumping out when we got a chance for cool air. All my Southeast Asia clothes have been dug out for the train – think I’m just going to wear the same clothes for several days – its not like I can wash properly and everyone else is doing similar. But I was out on a Russian station wearing nothing more than a short skirt, shorts and a t-shirt and able to stand it for a good 5 minutes before I had to flee inside. Frankly, the train feels too much like an oven mid-afternoon for me to complain about any cold. Yet still no snow!
Sadly my evening hit a sour note when it got to the evening. One roommate had bought an (illegal!) bottle of vodka at one of the platforms to join their already existing 3 bottles, and decided to have a party. They wrote the invitation to the party on the polystyrene box from my uneaten lunch, and then borrowed my scarfs to be fake babushka’s and used the very long and very versatile scarf my coworker gave me as a curtain – it would be WAY too hot to close the door.
Started off well, but for me ended on a rather miserable note once every single member of my party reached a level of intoxication best described as ‘wasted.’ They even invited some Russians from the dining car (as is tradition) to join in. I excused myself after about 2 hours (and multiple warnings from the conductress about noise) to keep an eye on my phone and tablet charging in the hallway since as a non-drinker, this kind of night is my idea of hell. When that was done, I fled to the now empty other cabin with my tablet…until 2 of the regular inhabitants returned – one desperate to lie down – and I returned to my top bunk to wait out the party.