On this persevering with sequence, we cowl my transfer from San Diego to Chita, Siberia to be a professor at Chita State Technical College. We decide up the story going to the prepare station in Khabarovsk to catch the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
In the event you’ve been studying this sequence on NomadJournalTrips.com, my authentic journey estimate was 2 ½ days from San Diego to Chita, Russia. Effectively, day Four has arrived and I’m simply getting on the prepare. This horrible time estimate is proof of a poor math schooling. I blame the American schooling system!
I by no means might determine these math hypotheticals, “If a prepare goes south at “x” pace and a bicycle owner goes north at “x” pace, when will they meet?” When are they going to fulfill? Extra like, “What the heck is bicycle owner going to seem like WHEN they meet?” What about his household, to not point out the nightmares suffered by the conductor. I imply, actually, who can do math underneath such circumstances?
Stairs…Evil, Evil Stairs
On the Intourist resort, we organized for prepare tickets to Chita. By we, I imply my buddy Grae did the whole lot. For $27, “we” had organized a non-public berth and all was good. With a superb nights sleep, we headed down from the room and out into the…pouring rain. An area was type sufficient to present us a experience to the prepare station and all appeared good. After a little bit of pointing, excessive facial expressions and so forth, we found our prepare was working about an hour sluggish. We hunkered down and did a bit of individuals watching.
As we sat, I contemplated my baggage. I had a big mountaineering backpack and one thing I known as “the lump.” The lump was a particularly giant duffle bag with tiny wheels on one-end and plastic bars working down the flat aspect/backside. In concept, you would roll it or drag it anyplace. Mine was black, moist and weighed about 70 kilos. Earlier than you snicker, consider I used to be going to Siberia for a yr. What would you’re taking? Nonetheless, I had an uneasy feeling, however couldn’t actually determine why.
Our hour was up and it was time to move to the observe platform. Like many European prepare stations, one needed to truly stroll down stairs, by a tunnel after which again up stairs to get to your platform. This isn’t the best way it really works in San Diego. It additionally doesn’t rain in San Diego. Rain, 70 pound bag on wheels, plastic bars, stairs…I believe you get the image.
The steps had been packed as I shuffled ahead pulling the lump behind me. You’d be proud. I made the primary flight with out maiming anybody or being slapped. Simply as I stepped down the second flight, “thou was nudgeth from behind.”
The lump hit me at the back of the knees. I fell again onto the lump. In a metamorphosis past my primitive understanding of quantum physics, the lump grew to become a excessive efficiency bobsled. Down I went.
Nonetheless in sluggish movement, I couldn’t assist however discover the agility of the Russians within the stairwell. Some jumped up a decorative shelf working down the steps. Chubby people sucked it up and all of the sudden grew to become skinny. Miraculously, not one soul was hit on my technique to the underside. My touchdown was uneventful, which is to say there wasn’t a loud smack on the wall on the backside of the steps.
I jumped up and turned to see if anybody was injured. There was complete silence. Faces simply stared again at me. Apparently, the one factor injured was my ego and pores and skin, which was turning a darkish shade of purple. Effectively, I prefer to make an impression! I vehemently prayed that none of them had been going to Chita.
Everybody began shifting once more and never a phrase was mentioned. Alas, the lump was not so accommodating when it got here to climbing up the steps on the opposite finish of the tunnel.
Subsequent – The Trans-Siberian Railway…How Many Days To Chita?!