Not Crying over spilt Milk. It wasn't Milk

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Trans Siberian Train

Flag of Russia  , Siberia,
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

09:41 Having spent last night watching a couple of Idiot Abroad episodes with everyone till about 2am (again, no idea about time any more!) we decided to get up at about 9 today to start shifting our body clocks some more. Steve had already got up and I woke and discovered a wet patch at the edge of my bed by my knee. This was very mysterious, I looked up to see if the roof was leaking but quickly discovered that Steve had left a soaking wet hand towel dangling over his handrail that had been dripping on me.

It's another beautiful day and I think it will continue to be since the lack of moisture in the air stops any clouds from forming.
I went to get my morning tea and opened the new carton of milk. Hmmm, it smelt weird, it seemed thick when I jiggled the carton. I tasted a bit on my finger and thought 'I'm not sure about this' and poured little in my tea. Well it disappeared to the bottom and made it all bitty. 'this is NOT milk!'...I announced as I went into the corridor whilst holding it, that this was not no longer...milk, Jeff was talking to Steve 2 doors down and said they don't really do milk and it's actually a bit more like yakult. I'm glad he said yakult, and not yaks milk, but given where we are, maybe any milk will do.
I took it down to our nice cabin attendant (did I explain, we have two. one does night shift and doesn't seem to like us much because we are noisy and drinking in the evening. She's called Orlia. The other one, Nadia, is lovely and often comes up to point things out and 'tell' us things, even though we guess what's going on! At one point she was telling us that in the area we were passing they grew vegetables there for several months of the year (we found out as a translator came past). What we thought she was saying was that for several month of the year there is no sun. So things can get very lost in the guessing games we have.)

I digress. Having taken the carton of suspicious white fluid down to "Nadia the Nice", with my point it translator I gave it to her whilst miming that I thought it was milk. She said it wasn't milk it's called (sounds like) kefir and certainly isn't for tea. She offered to put it in the fridge for me but I tried to explain I was giving it to her.

I haven't mentioned the cook who works in the food cabin that occasionally comes past with a tray of borsch. She's quite a short round woman, maybe 45-55 years old with a magenta bob and fringe and the reason I write about her is that she has no upper teeth except for 3 gold ones randomly through the top. She is a cheery woman who insists she'll get us to buy some at some point.
In fact we've just realised that quite a lot of people wear their money instead of teeth.

14:57 Picnic time again sausage, cheese, bread, mayo, bacon crisps and sprite.

The landscape has changed again, it's almost like Switzerland. Gone are the vast flat landscapes and silver birches. Now we have small hills with tall evergreens and silver birches. We are in the Taiga forest lands now. In amongst the trees there are colourful wooden chalet style homes, with big gardens that are stepped down the hill, presumably to grow vegetables. There is a particular shade of aqua green that people seem to enjoy painting their homes which is common here. We are no longer travelling completely straight, instead we are winding our way through the valleys and every now and then I can see the beginning of the train, some 12 carriages in front. We trundle through at about 30mph and the train makes a rhythmic dun-dun-dunk, 2 fast and one longer, exactly the way you imagine a train to sound.

As we go along and I watch the land change, it now looks just like Cumbria, specifically it reminds me of the area near Holme, close to Kendal where my best friend Helena lives. I wonder how many more places I might be reminded of as I make my long slow journey east.

It also struck me that I haven't seen an aeroplane trail through the sky in a while, and only now do I see a single one in the cloudless sky where the moon remains in view also all day.

Best thing today: the ever changing landscape

Worst thing: discovering the milk was not milk!

Most beautiful thing: landscapes
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Scott on

' Picnic time again sausage, cheese, bread, Mayo, bacon crisps and sprite' - oh Zoe I can't believe you've recreated one of your amazing Spanish salads!

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