fresh off the train
i've just completed the second leg of my trans-mongolian journey, and arrived today in irkutsk, russia, from ulan bataar, mongolia.
i've made a ton of notes on the journey that i'll turn into longer writing pieces later, but suffice it to say that i am in love with the way that i am winging it through this trip with plans that firm up at the last possible moment, and everything works out ok regardless.
the ride itself was excellent. i booked a bed in a 4-bunk "kupe" or 2nd-class compartment, and ended up with three more-or-less friendly Russians in my car. after having a few conversations using whatever common ground we could find between their english vocabulary, and my 4 words of russian, they disembarked after the first day, which left me with my own private train compartment for a day!
being the intrepid partier that i am, i spent a fair amount of time napping and listening to old Love and Rockets songs off my iPod while watching the Siberian countryside stream past the window.
i have a few days here in scenic Irkutsk, and then on the 28th i board the trans-siberian train for an epic 4-day train journey to Moscow! i'll be packing lots of groceries and vodka to fortify myself for the journey.
that's enough time spent writing for now, it's time to go explore this fascinating new land where cars obey pedestrain crossing signs and don't constantly use their horns to signal their presence to the world. stranger in a strange land, indeed.