Thursday, 11 September 2014

Day 70 Saturday 6th September

As mentioned yesterday, we all felt a little more relaxed about our train journey.
This state of contentment was undoubtably helped by having copious amounts of beer on a pretty much empty stomach, served by the increasingly friendly and helpful cabin staff. Olga, a rotund woman with a big smile supplied the Stella bottles and tins of Baltic 3 until about 12.00 local time.
Unfortunately our Russian cabin mates may well have not been quite as relaxed as we went clambering in and out of our bunk beds to visit the toilet at the end of the cabin.
The toilet is a simple stainless steel bowl with a flap which is opened with a foot pedal. Pressing the pedal, opens the flap and the contents of the bowl drop on to the track. The toilet door is locked for obvious reasons when the train is at rest in a station.
One of the team, who struggles finding his way round whilst drowsy from sleep had to be ushered back on the train by the night shift pravadneek. He isn't sure where he relieved himself but feels a little embarrassed this morning about his night time wandering wearing only his underpants.
Not as embarrassed though as Geoff. Geoff decided that he would try out the shower that he had discovered the day earlier. He had his shower, changed his clothes and rejoined Paul, Frank and David in the buffet car.
Some 20 minutes later, David returned to the cabin which he shares with Geoff and a stern faced, middle aged Russian woman and her husband. As he walked down the narrow corridor which runs alongside the accommodation he was met by the female cabin mate. She was grimacing and wafting her hands in front of her face.
On entering the cabin David was knocked backwards as the smell of Geoff's dirty laundry hit him. The ladies husband appeared lifeless, his arms,still and limp against his side, the only thing holding him up was his nose which was jammed through the open window. ( this may be a slight exaggeration but it has only been done for dramatical effect. Hopefully enabling the reader to fully comprehend the impact which Geoff's laundry had on this section of the train)
The cabins sleep four and are very cramped, as a result we have spent much of the day and evening in the restaurant car prior to sleeping . There are surprisingly few people frequenting this part of the train. The relative high cost of food and drink perhaps being the answer. Whilst we were enjoying our morning coffee, we couldn't help but notice 3 men in their late 30's / early 40's having numerous cans of beer followed by bottles of vodka. They were very friendly asking where we were from. By the time we were having our evening meal we had all become tired of being asked the same questions. Uncertain as to whether it was a result of the alcohol that they had consumed or perhaps they were taking the p..s. We all decided to leave before anything kicked off! Unfortunately Frank and David hadn't finished their beers and instead of promptly leaving ordered another couple. Too late was the cry. It kicked off! Fortunately the friendly staff must have contacted the burly train security and much of their aggression was directed towards them. Although the two slower members had to dodge an empty vodka bottle being hurled around the cabin. Danger gone, a delicate situation dealt with care and consideration it seemed prudent to order another beer or two and discuss all the 'numerous events' of the day.

More later

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Location:Somewhere on the Trans Siberian Railway

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