I spent entire morning working on my transiberian travel bookings, and I’m glad my efforts were not in vain. Since I don’t speak Russian (and frankly, the Russian train website didn’t really work well on my computer), I went on a British travel agency website that has all the trains listed for sale on their website (with a significant market up, later I found out), found the stops that I want to make along trans-Siberian railroad, and wrote down all the trains that I want to take. Then with all these trains, I asked my hostel host to translate it into Russian on a paper slip. With the paper slip of all the trains I want to take in Russian, I went to the train station right across the street and ask the cashier lady to buy all the tickets for these trains.
The cashier lady at the train station looked at the paper, and then she started talking Russian to me. Not speaking Russian, I called my hostel host to have him translate for me. She and my hostel host talked for a while, then the lady passed the phone back to me, “what is it?” I asked my hostel host on the phone.
“don’t worry” He said…
Ok… next thing I knew I had 6 tickets on my hand for a little more than $200.
Later on the hostel host told me that the cashier lady at the ticket counter couldn’t believe that I want to book so many tickets ahead of the time. She asked, “so which one of these tickets does she want?”
And he told her, “all of them.”
“all of them?”
“Yes, ALL of them.”
Needless to say I was quite exhausted from several hours of intense scheduling work for my next leg of the trip. I spent that afternoon visiting one of Yusopov palaces. That evening I decided to relax around one of the parks I found interesting just north of the city. As soon as getting off the train I was surrounded by countless young navy sailors. Intrigued by their uniforms, I asked one of them to post with me for my camera. Well… I wasn’t aware that he was drunk till he stood next to me. The immense smell of alcohol almost choked me at first, but since he was quite drunk, he was also quite entertaining. After helping me out, he started speaking in Russian, so I told him that I don’t speak Russian. He and his friends then cut down the sentences for me – I still don’t understand. After several back and forth, I decided to ring my hostel for a translation.
“Jenny, do you have a boyfriend?”
“hmm yes, I do, why?”
“he’s asking if you want to go on a date with him.”
When I came back to my hostel, the host was quite amuse, “where did you go? Who did you meet?” After telling him about the sailors I met he said, “I hate this troopers day, these soldiers get drunk every year this time. It’s such a shame for our country. No one go out on the streets these days because of those drunken soldiers.”
From St. Petersburg Part IV- Yusopov Palace & Troopers Day in the Park, posted by Jenny Zheng on 10/17/2011 (65 items)
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