Near Omsk 24/04/11
I am very much enjoying having Bill Bryson as my travelling companion on the train. He talks about people emigrating to Australia from Britain in the 1950s and for most people it meant weeks at sea. It kind of has that feel on the train, that we are no longer in 2011, but some earlier time, when people expected international travel to take a long time and didn’t have the impatience of our privileged position towards travel today. From the window of the train is certainly doesn’t seem that the world is getting smaller, in fact is it so large that I have difficulty comprehending the sheer scale of it.
There seem to be less houses now and just naked silver birch and brown and yellow fields. There doesn’t seem to be as much snow, we are heading South.
The landscape and the people are slowly changing. We crossed a wetland for many hours this morning. The houses, some made of brick look less like garden sheds. Vast concrete silos, industrial buildings don’t look so abandoned any more. I had a nice time brushing my teeth and peeing with the bathroom window wide open, the wind and the world zooming past, and washing the porridge from my cup in the old steel sink. My cup is used for everything! There are less Russians on the train, the Turkish men left in the night at Omsk. The faces of the passengers are changing as we cross the vastness of Russia, leaving Europe behind and entering Asia.
The towns in this area look like someone has abandoned an old Lada in an allotment.
Time for some instant noodles, chicken or beef, I’ll have the beef please!