novosibirsk24 december 2004
sitting in a basement somwhere in novosibirsk. it is christmas eve and time is 10:47 local time. outside the thermometer has dived to -23 degrees celsius which means ten minutes in the cold and your face is practicly numb! my clothes hasn’t let me down yet though – i am wearing almost everything i brought and it feels good. the other day oscar gave me the nicest compliment when he couldn’t find me among all russians: ” i couldn’t find you! you look too much like russians!”
anyway, the three day train journey from moscow was a nice one. a lot of reading, writing, eating and sleeping. in that order. just because you never used your body physically it was very hard for me to sleep. so i wrote instead. like a diary, but not like i usually do, this time more thoughts. if i have some time over i’ll see if i’ll put them online. we met a very nice guy from uzbekistan on the train. he gave us chocolate and told us he had three wifes all together in his life. one russian, one from ukraine and one from israel. he also told us about all different prostitutes he’d been with. it felt odd to talk about that but it seemed normal in his world so well, why not.
at every station we passed, people were selling stuff at the platform and some had refridgerators filled with goodies. what’s interesting here is that they used the fridges not to chill the goods but to hold it at 8 degrees instead of the -20 that was outside. so they were actually ovens?
another interesting thing is that time doesn’t really exist on the trains in russia. well, no one really knows the exact time because you never really know in what time zone you are in. the russians solve this by using moscow time everywhere in trains and in train stations. so when we arrived to novosibirsk it was three in the morning inside the station and 6 outside on the square. no need to get a hotel room – it was already morning!
so we went straight to New York Pizza and had a slice and some coffee and pepsi. the funny thing is that where we are right now is the furthest away you can get from New York in the whole world! so it felt really awesome to listen to the same song by christina aguliera 17 times in a row until the staff noticed it and changed to ace of base. two kids ordered beer at five to ten in the morning and drank it with straws – novosibirsk style.
ok it’s time to check email.
ps. i feel sorry for all the kids in vladivostock. all tv is broadcasted in moscow time style which means that a childrens program shown at 6pm in moscow will be shown at 11pm in vladivostock…
ps2: for you who doesn’t know, in russia you celebrate christmas on the 7th of january.
I paid in your cheques. Should be cleared by now. Merry Christmas!
I like reading about your adventures, especially here sitting cosy at home. -23! Ouch!
Keep on enjoying yourself. Go easy on the vodka though dude!
Happy Christmas to Oscar as well.
/Joelle 2004-12-24, 16:07