They settled into their own special routine which lasted over the three days. Several shots of vodka, interspersed with Schweppes lemon followed by a few bottles of beer to wash down the bread, salted cucumber and sausage. After a bit of a chat, they would climb into their bunks and fall into a deep sleep. After a few hours, it all started again.
We fell into their pattern, minus the vodka. Hubby hates the stuff. He over-indulged as a teenager once which has left him with an aversion. Had they brought Tia Maria perhaps I might have had a little!
Even with the alcohol, they were so polite and respectful. They would go into the corridor if I needed to change. I felt obliged to do the same in return. Can you feel the pain??
By the second day we were like family, sharing stories and photographs. They went and bought some lottery tickets from the Provodnistas in an attempt to raise the funds to visit Scotland. They wanted to take David shopping at one long stop station. Having read stories of tourists whose train leaves them behind and knowing the plight of a couple who left passports behind, we persuaded them to take some money and bring back beer and sausage ready for the next 'party'.
As we travelled through the countryside,they would point out places of interest,saying 'Look Patrizzia' in a way to make any girl's heart beat faster. I almost had a coronary!!
They told us about Siberian winters and how cold it would become. I am not sure if they were teasing me about tigers and bears??
By now the scenery had started to change. There were still the trees flashing by, but now we spotted occasional hills and large expanses of golden cereal crops. This contrasted with small stooks, which were dotted around near the small homesteads. We saw these being stacked by old country folk with large pitchforks. And so it looked as though they had been invaded by Cousin 'It' and his family from 'The Addams Family'.
One more night on the train. I woke at midnight Moscow time. I wandered on the corridor and found a spot to watch the world flash past. There was only one star in the sky. I made a wish for all my loved ones. Then the sun rose in a blaze of red and gold. How lucky am I??