Over the last few days Stef and I seem to have developed a talent for making Russian people very angry indeed.
It started when we were trying to buy train tickets for our trans siberian journey. First time we tried we made lots of people in little glass booths very cross by trying to buy 5 journeys at once and then failing to understand when they tried to send us to a different glass booth. Or indeed a different station.
The second time we tried we managed to make an entire queue of people – about 20 in total – cross when we went with a girl from our hostel to buy tickets. The instant we got to the glass booth the girl put up her 15 minute toilet / coffee / money counting break sign. Then when she came back it took AGES to buy 5 tickets which caused some muttering when the queue realised that it was not just 1 we wanted. THEN to make matters worse the train we wanted wasn’t on the system so she had to go away again and find out when it was. By this time people were actually leaving the queue – never a good sign! To their credit none shouted at us, just did like the British do and muttered under their breaths and glared a bit. Nevertheless it was a relief to leave that particular booth.
Our first train left at 7.20pm which meant we were travelling on the metro in …. yep you guessed it – RUSH HOUR! Cue hundreds if not thousands of angry Russians tripping over our bags walking into us etc and so on and so forth.
But all of that was just general annoyance compared to the early morning train we managed to enrage about 50 Russians on. So it’s a train. A long distance one. People travel long distances in it. They go home from university, go on holiday, move house on it. So why on earth did they look so surprised to see baggage?? And on seeing said baggage why the rush and shoving to get past us? Stupid thing is that had they been patient we’d have been out the way in 2 seconds flat. As it was they frightened some small children, scared a kitten and pissed off the carriage lady who we need as our friend to get tea and hot water from. Oh and half the carriage was woken up (it was 4.30 am!) All this at the beginning of a 15 hours long journey with these same angry people…
Thankfully we lived to tell the tale – just! And our next train ride was full of lovely helpful people and a lot of fun.