[nocrosspost]After a frantic packing Anton brought me to the train station an hour and a half before the train. This was just enough to visit ATM and to drink cognac with Julia from a small coffee cup in front of closed train doors.
Ibid, in front of closed doors of second-class car I met two guys with backpacks with cups and trekking shoes tied. “What’s the plan?” I asked in Russian. One of them turned and said cautiously: “no russian!”. Well, I thought, interesting. Two Englishmen, going to Vladivostok, not a word in Russian, and the way will take a week in this very car.
The first day (after the first night) passed in the reading and the elimination of the most delicious supplies (my grandfather said, “I do not understand how self-respecting person can board a train without fried chicken”), and in the evening I invited the British guys to play Evolution. At first (while playing evolution) we drank up the cognac, then (while playing evolution) we drank up scotch and I began to teach the guys to play in the Preference, and not without success, though I wouldn’t bet on them against more experienced players. Their first impression of Russia was comic.
-”You have a lot of Nazis in Russia?” – They asked me. I’ve seen none of them in my life, and so I said.
– “The first man who spoke to us in Russia, asked whether we are from the States, and when we said that we’re from UK, has asked us to come closer, showed a swastika hidden under his clothes and said ‘Heil Hitler.’ Understand us correctly, he was very helpful, but he also said ‘Heil Hitler!’”
by profession the British were professional alpaca shearers, which fact once again shows how important it is to find a niche. They work a few months a year in the United States or Australia, in the long nights drivng between farms in big American pickups.
First time we went for vodka in Novosibirsk. I bought it and a jar of pickles without any enthusiasm, but it was drank up while playing evolution rapidly. I need to say I feel my sacred mission is to teach foreigners how to drink vodka. Usually Europeans drink pure without any food, or in cocktails – neither one nor the other way does not reveal the potential of this great drink. Vodka with pickles and sausage found its way to the hearts of the weary by the journey British guys.
For the second bottle we walked in the late evening of the same day in Krasnoyarsk, and then found out that there’s absolutely no place to drink – in the carriage everyone is asleep and the British categorically refused to do it there, so we went to the staff vestibule, where drank a couple of times before being discovered by the conductor. I had to go to sleep. I then told that taught them the two most important things – use hanging on the wall train schedule (in russian only) to determine the next long stop and to buy vodka at these stops. I sincerely hope that they have used this skill. Not once.
On the last day we fought for the title of The Real Lizard Master (that’s me!), drank a farewell shot, then we arrived to Irkutsk. Even did not want to go.[/nocrosspost]