Having flown to Moscow in early January I boarded the train bound for Novosibirsk: three days, two nights and over 3,000 kms. I wanted to get some sense of scale.
I travelled 2nd class having been warned about the shorter bunks in “platzcart”.
The journey turned out to be a fantastic way to get to see 50 shades of white through the compartment window. And also to read and hypothesise about the life awaiting me in my new home.
Of the four potential beds in the compartment, only one was permanently occupied. My constant companion for this journey was a man who stood as a clear argument for not leaving things too late. Vasily is a gold miner. He lives in Odessa (Ukraine). He works somewhere in the vicinity of Irkutsk (given the scale/ sparsity I would give or take 500 kms). Vasily usual flies to his place of work. This time all the plane tickets had gone before Vasily had managed to log on and buy one, leaving him with a 6-day train journey to endure.
In the picture, me and Vasily are enjoying breakfast together. He offered to get me a beer but I declined, explaining that I don’t usually drink at 8 am. He was kind enough to buy me a can of non-alcoholic larger. A kind gesture.